We’ve all been there, right?
You deprive yourself good things of life to save up some money.
But you end up spending it on things that are not on your plans.
I don’t know why it keeps happening; maybe it’s the thought of having all that money in your bank account, yet you can’t buy the best clothes out there or use the latest gadget or even spend some quality time with friends in a nice place.
Then one day you decide that enough is enough, you need to enjoy life while you still can.
You spend the savings until you realize – “what you are doing?” You begin the process all over again.
Saving money is a good thing, but savings alone will not make you wealthy.
It is what you do with your savings and what you don’t do with it that makes the difference.
We know of people who love to save money. They are all around us. Saving is their passion.
They trek for one hour instead of paying fifty naira to enter a bus or Keke. They refuse to enjoy any good thing of life because they are always saving. You would be amazed at how much they have been able to save if they tell you.
But piling it up and living the misery life is not the solution to wealth, though, it is very important.
Living a frugal life in order to achieve financial independence is very important. But you will not live like that forever.
When we have saved that money, you are tempted to do a lot of things with it. But avoid these five things because they are going to ruin your finances.
1. Spend it
Today, spending money is very easy. Online, in our malls, even in our local markets, it is getting easier to spend. The only thing you need is to have an ATM card, the rest will be history.
We are awash with ads online urging us that we are a click away to everything we ever wanted.
Retailers have figured out ways to make us spend more money. They have managed to convince us through store designs and decorations.
Now spending is no longer a way of satisfying our needs but it has also become a way of having fun.
Shopping is the fancy word for it.
Even the banks that traditionally should protect your savings now urges you to take that magical vacation you deserve.
All these means that we have all possible reasons to spend every penny that comes into our pocket.
When you listen to them and spend that way, soon your landlord will start knocking on your door because you can’t even pay your rent.
There is no point of saving money and then spending it again without that savings making any meaningful impact to your bank.
You should have a plan for saving and chief of those plans must be to bring in more money.
2. Loan it out
Stories of banks are legendary. It not hard these days to find families that have lost properties to banks because they could not pay back what they borrowed from these banks.
And it is not hard to find people that have a thing or two for banks because of lost properties.
Money matters are always emotionally charged and if you were put in the shoes of these bankers, you might do worse.
It doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. You are not. Just that sometimes, in those moments it feels as if the money is haunting you.
You will go to bed at night and wonder how on earth you are going to let all that money go. Then when you wake up in the morning, you are charged to get your money back by all mean. Especially when you think of what the money can do for you.
You are not a professional that at least gets something when he doesn’t get his money back. So don’t lend your savings out.
There is always a chance that you might not get it back.
Yes, they are family, they are friends, they are friends of a friend. But you don’t know their ability to pay you back. So don’t take the risk.
Think of why you started the savings in the first place and be true to it.
3. Invest in what you don’t understand
Did I say you don’t understand it?
No, you don’t have a clue of what it is.
The only thing you know is that it will return 100 percent just in two months.
My dear, run with your money. Tell them that your God is bigger than them.
You cannot afford to gamble with your savings.
I know of someone who would brag that the money he spends on betting every weekend are investments. One day, one will click, he would say.
If you can afford extra change to play with, have fun, but leave your savings alone.
Do not put it in any get rich quick scheme, it will not be you who get rich.
I think there is no better example than the recent activities of Ponzi schemes.
4. Give it out
Generosity runs deep in some of us.
We want to contribute to the society. We want to make a lasting impact and leave a legacy.
If you are reading this, I assume you are young. Leaving a legacy is not only for the elderly.
You too can make an impact. But if you are not yet where you want to be financially, why don’t you give more of your time?
Build your wealth first and then you can contribute to the society. That way, you can make more impact.
5. Leave it for so long in a savings account
Like I mentioned before about people whose passion is to save. They fall victim of this.
They save forever and do absolutely nothing with their savings. And they keep it secret.
If you find out about the savings one way or the other and mention it to them to spend a little from the money. They will look at you as if you have said a taboo.
Savings is good. But leaving your money in a savings account for years without doing the right thing with the money is one of the worst things you can do with your money.
This is especially true in our country where banks pay very low interest on savings and where prices are going through the roof on a daily basis.
The real value of 100,000 in five-year time must have gone down because of rising prices.
What should you do then?
The word ‘invest’ might sound as if you must have an investment degree before you can do it well.
Not at all.
Let me rephrase it- put your money where it will bring in more money. If you understand any business very well and feel you can succeed if you set up something, then go ahead.
If you have a talent that needs money to kick start, buy the necessary things you need.
If you understand the stock market, fine.
If you can mount on the back of the truck to travel all the way to the North to bring food stuff down to the South, na u sabi.
Anything you do, but make sure that your little savings are bringing in more money.
This is a sure path to wealth. If you keep at it, in five-year time you will not believe your bank statement.
You should give your savings one mission – go out there and get me more money.
And the only way you can do that is if you invest it well.
You should provide for yourself. Satisfy all your needs but do not allow your needs and wants to filter into your savings. Don’t even go there.
Save and invest and soon, wealth will come banging at your door.