The Income vs Expenses vs Savings Triumvirate

There has been an ongoing agitation regarding the minimum wage for workers for a while. Government seems about to do something regarding this.

Minimum Wage: We ll Arrive At Definite Figure Soon FG

But the government said the figure may not be above N25,000, explaining that the benchmark was being considered in order not to cause unemployment as pegging minimum wage beyond the figure may result in many workers in the private sector losing their jobs.

Associated with this is the proposed upward review of the monthly allowance of the National Youth Corp Members as well. After all, they are part of the government labor force. The Minister of Labor believes that am adjustment to the Corp Members’ stipend cannot happen without the minimum wage being tinkered with, first.

Finally, Federal Government Speaks On Corps Members Allowance Increase

it is clear that, for so many people, here in Nigeria, what they earn cannot take them home. When your collective essential recurrent expenses outstrip your total legitimate income, you must supplant that income somehow.

You either keep borrowing and live from paycheck- to-paycheck (not sustainable) , steal or get involved in all sorts of corruption – to make ends meet.

This reminds me of an investigative police officer who said there is no way he would not have to be corrupt – while doing his present job. His minimum unavoidable monthly expenses far outstrip what he is paid monthly, he says. What then is the solution for him, he asks rhetorically?

To Avoid Being Thirsty Tomorrow, Dig Your Well Today.

Someone says,.

Many people find it nearly impossible to save because there is little or no money left at the end of every month to save – to start with

This is not even a problem of a savings rate that s too low; it s more of an earning rate that s too low, or, a spending rate that s too high. Or both

Obviously, if there isn’t a surplus during your earning / productive years, there would be a big problem in your retirement years. This is why it is so vitally important to be wise about what you spend your money on – during your productive years.

In a country like Canada where you don’t pay children school fees (until tertiary level), where the prices of things are predictable (you don’t wake up one day to find the price of cooking gas has gone up by 25! in two days), you are in better control of your expenses. You can make projections, and the outcome is mostly in your hands. Consider the situation here where you electricity bill can up drastically despite suffering eighteen hours of darkness. You still have to buy fuel for your electricity generating set.

As a daily commuter, you can get to the bus stop in Lagos,and discover that transport fare has been doubled because it rained and there is bedlam on the pothole-riddled roads. Or there is some road closure somewhere, causing insane traffic. Things totally not of your making, outside your control keep happening, forcing you to spend more..

It is therefore quite difficult to get a good grip on your expenses because things extraneous to your plans – that make you spend more than budgeted- keep happening.

As a consequence, to be able to put something aside monthly, you must decide to “pay yourself first “. That is, you decide on how much you would keep aside regularly for savings / investments, and spend the rest, only. We all know the exhortation of setting aside 10! of our income, no matter how meagre.

Of course, many people would say, this is impossible (what they earn is not enough, to start with).

True, that.

But then it has been demonstrated that what you spend (on) is most times a result of available disposable income. You could go for that iPhone when a Xiaomi would do well, or buy that branded drug when the generic is just as effective.

Spending impulsively is a no-no.

Therefore, when analyzing income vs savings , while you strive strenuously to increase the former, the latter can be enhanced by being finicky about how you spend your money. Have a good handle on your money leaks, and never succumb to family /societal / peer) pressure is determining what you spend on.

What You Earn Is Not As Important As What You Get To Keep. And that’s predicated on long-term life habits.

Regarding setting some sums aside for a rainy day and the nasty occasional surprised of life I would paraphrasing a popular song,

You can do it if you really want
You can do it oif you really want
You can do it if you really want

But you must try, try and try, try and tryyyy

You’ll succeed at last..

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