blog equippingyoungpeopleinfostercare 2015At each stage of life our responsibilities are different. We spoke last week about being accountable and how our responsibilities increase as we earn more and gain more dependents and obligations. It is youth month but you aren’t excluded if you are a little older. There are certain lessons and habits that need to be learnt and practiced in one’s youth if we are to manage our finances effectively tomorrow.

While these lessons apply to everybody, the youth in particular (who have the most time on their side) should be aware of them:

Money is worked for, it doesn’t fall from the sky and therefore needs to be managed appropriately

Start good financial habits as early as possible. Make a habit of budgeting and saving. If you can develop these habits now you will carry them well into the future

Do not spend to fit in with society. Make sure that what you are spending on will benefit you not only today but in the future as well. Spending to keep up with friends will leave you penniless and without money tomorrow.

Galatians 6:4-5 says “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load”.

We live in quite a materialistic world where people are servants to their money. Develop the correct money habits and as scripture says carry your own weight. That is so much more rewarding.

Also remember what Proverbs 13:11 says, “Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles but the one who gathers by labour increases it.”

How you go about gathering wealth will have a big impact on your life. Make wise decisions.

Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant at Citadel.

2011 financial accountabilityFor most of us there was a time when we didn’t have many financial responsibilities. A time when we spent money on ourselves as and when we chose. However, as we get older, the number of dependents and responsibilities we have increases. We are no longer just accountable to ourselves, but to families and other dependents too, emotionally, practically and financially.

Financial accountability is defined as responsibility for the way money is used and managed. In being financially accountable, there are certain considerations:

  • Are you being responsible financially? Are you using the tools and resources you have available to help you?
  • Are you managing your finances with the future in mind? The financial decisions you make today will affect you tomorrow and into your old age.
  • Are you managing your finances with your dependents in mind? Your financial decisions, good and bad, will affect both you and them.
  • Are you correctly distinguishing between needs and wants? Today’s “nice-to-have’s” won’t pay tomorrow’s bills.

Luke 16:10 says “Whoever is faithful with very little will also be faithful with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much”. Be responsible and a good steward of your finances. Develop these habits early on and as you grow older – and your family’s need and your responsibilities increase, and your earnings potential increases – it will be that much easier to manage your money.

debtOver the past few weeks we have spoken much about debt, its dangers and what one can do to manage it and get out of it.

As a starting point we should ask ourselves, “How did I get into this situation of financial distress?” While a relatively low income may play a role, the fact is that it is often the luxuries we allow ourselves - and the credit we use to fund this - that results in debt.

We need to look at ourselves and check our behaviour in order to avoid financial difficulty as best as we can. Consider and answer the following questions:

  • How do I manage my money? Do I have a budget I stick to, or do I spend as and when I want?
  • How do I decide when to make purchases? Do I buy on impulse or only after careful thought and planning?
  • How did I get into debt? Was it impatience to purchase something I could have saved and paid cash for?
  • What does my financial future look like? Do I have a plan to ensure it’s the future I want?

Proverbs 25:28 says “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.”

It is important to answer these questions and make changes to your financial behaviour where necessary. It is even better to have a structured plan as to how you will manage your income and expenses and pay off your debt. However, if you lack discipline and self-control, you risk going back to your old ways. If this is the case, ask someone you trust to help you stay on track. Exercise discipline or else you risk paying the ultimate price and living the life of a debtor.

Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant at Citadel.

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