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Finances Made Simple

By Editor
12 March 2016   |   1:05 am
I know what’s going on in your mind: “How could anyone put ‘finances’ and ‘simple’ in the same sentence?” Mind boggling right! I mean, is it even possible with the frenzy of bank accounts, bill payments, school fees...


I know what’s going on in your mind: “How could anyone put ‘finances’ and ‘simple’ in the same sentence?” Mind boggling right! I mean, is it even possible with the frenzy of bank accounts, bill payments, school fees, late fees, interest rates, bank charges and a lot of other things you have to actively track! Seriously, finances can be the most complicated thing in your life… but it doesn’t have to be.

Managing your finances going into the New Year can be overwhelming. There’s every chance you will overspend at one point and then be in debt later on, or that you would get them all muddled up and have a “ugh” moment. So how do you avoid feeling overwhelmed about your finances? Simplify! Plan ahead so you don’t end up in a financial mess; it’s never pretty.
Simple is good. If managing your personal finance was as easy as making noodles, then every man and his dog will be an accountant. But if we keep it simple, it would become very easy.

Here are six ways you can simplify your finances:

1. Choose one bank: Large financial institutions offer basically the same range of accounts and services, some just more tedious than the others. And if all you need is being met by one bank, then why have multiple? Think about it, you would get good services and you would avoid going through multiple monthly statements. This will simplify your finances and give you a better overview of your finances.

2. Don’t overdraft: Imagine this scenario, its 15th of the month and you drive by this fabulous store, you decide to stop and ‘window shop’ then you find this amazing red purse that fits the Aso Ebi you’re wearing for your colleague’s wedding two weeks away, but the amount you can afford is less than the asking price so you think you should dip your hand into your savings. That’s a subtle overdraft. Don’t buy things on debt. You don’t want to owe money before your salary enters, it’s not always advisable. Tell your account officer you want to cancel option of overdraft; you see, I’d tell you one thing, don’t spend money you don’t yet have! In addition, don’t buy what you don’t need. It amounts to waste and makes a mess of your finances.

3. Automate: Is there anything on your financial roll that you can automate; bill payment, fees payment and others? Then automate it! It would take some stress off you.

4. Let go: There are some things you want out of your life to bring more sanity into your finances. Personal finance isn’t only about the money in our pocket; it’s also about the people around us. I’m sure you have some leeches on you, we all do, and it’s time to show them the door. Sometimes you get off the phone with some people and your energy for the whole day is drained and bad decisions take over. Do yourself a favour, cut loose from these kinds of people that leech on your positive energy.

5. Pay your bills online: First time I paid DSTV subscription online without having to go to their office felt pretty awesome. Eventually I still had to call, but it would get better I hope. The point here is that, you’re the one making payment and it’s not automatic, but instead of going to the bank physically, you just make payments online. It saves you time and energy and on your seat you have a clean record of how much you’ve spent. Most services these days do take online payment, even your children’s school fees. Pay online, it’s neat and efficient.

6. Keep records: I had an uncle who was so meticulous about his spending, we thought he was thrifty. Turns out, he was improving himself. He keeps records of his income and expenses and this helps him monitor his spending pattern and cuts out wastages. Did we hate that habit? Absolutely! Because he was sensitive about giving us transport money whenever we visit. There are lots of personal finance software for desktop and mobile, you can’t miss them. They increase your efficiency at keeping track of your income and expense. Record keeping is one of the oldest traditions and your personal financial records would serve you a lot of good.