It’s such a prodigious honor to be participating in this challenge. My turning point for a paradigm shift on personal finances occurred in January 2014, at a camp I attended by Junior Achievement Uganda, where one of the speakers then, a one Ann Muhangi warned us never to ‘spend an African salary on a western life style’ and that was where the secret lay for me. I purposed to manage my personal finances better.
The objectives I developed 6 years ago, which still apply now, are to set long and short-term financial goals that have facilitated my financial discipline. I got a whole counter book where I track my expenses, opened a savings account and started a small business.
The first way I manage my personal finances is through setting goals. In 10 years’, time, I see myself independent, done with graduate and post graduate school, probably renting with the aim of building, financially supporting my family and with my first born. In 5 years’, time, I see myself complete with my masters, having a sustainable source of income, and driving. In a years’ time, I see myself at post graduate school, working while studying and sending my parents relief sporadically.
To reach there however, I need to make sure that I work towards that in terms of saving and being disciplined with my personal finances. The desire to accomplish these goals, pushes me to spend frugally while rewarding myself when necessary.
The second way is through accounting for each cent I spend. It’s very easy to lose track of where your money goes if you’re not keeping tabs of it. To remedy this, I account for each shilling I spend a day, even on buying chewing gum and a tropical mint. This helps me keep track of where most of my little money is going and helps me cut my expenditure on impulsive purchases that has not been budgeted for earlier. It also assists me to track the money I get, especially the ‘unplanned for’ money that I feel the need to spend.
Thirdly, my savings account helps me manage my personal finances. I currently have three accounts; one for daily expenditure (Stanbic Account) and two for savings and business with Equity Bank; it has better saving rates. Each income I get, whether in form of gratuity or hard earned, I remove 10% for tithe, 20% for savings, 30% to reinvest and the remaining 40% is left for daily expenditure. This has aided me keep tabs on my incomes and savings in order to make appraisals at the end of every year as to whether I have grown or remained constant based on my yearly goals.
Lastly, I manage my personal finances by multiplying them so that they keep increasing. I usually do this by investing in a venture. Over the years since 2016, I’ve done sandwich businesses, hot dogs, sold sweatpants, perfumes and lotions on campus as well as crocs. This has empowered me to not only profit from the gratuity bills from my family, but to burgeon the same so that I can rise on my pool of income.
Those are the major ways I’m currently managing my personal finances and I must say, it has worked for me pretty well. I intend on opening a dollar account this year to use as my savings account as well.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to have us share on how we manage our personal finances because much more still needs to be done.