Being Good With Money

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 27th Oct 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

My experience with being poor and handling money. This is my attempt of explaining why less fortunate people don't take care of their money and how the situation could be remedied.

Help people help themselves.

I grew up poor, came into money under tragic circumstances, lost said money due to my naivety and went back to being poor (although I’m better off than where I used to be).

We always hear people talking about how the poor must learn to manage their finances more efficiently but more often than, such situations are easier said than done. Being poor is shit, and when a person is living for survival, thinking long term won’t be on the agenda. It might seem as if said person is fucking themselves over by not focusing on the big picture but then again, they aren’t in any position to think of the big picture.

At the lowest point in my life, I was working but still sleeping on streets (debt can be a serious bitch) and eating basics like bread accompanied with water.

Currently, my rent eats up half of my paycheck. With the remainder, I have to consider transportation costs, my groceries and bare essentials and on top of that, have to commit a percentage to my tuition fees. Needless to say, the strain is high.

Things may be better as compared to back in the day but I had to learn the hard way on how to manage my finances.

Living like that on a day to day basis is not good at all so understandably whenever the opportunity arises, poor people feel they have to spend the money the moment they get it. Whether it be spending their pay wildly or misusing it via vices, poor people know that luxuries are few and far between so they have to take advantage of any that come their way.

In my case, I owed money to the bank (be young, stupid and in possession of a lot of money can lead to such). Whenever my payday came closer, I’d begin to worry about the bank seizing my pay and leaving me with fuckall to survive on.

So what could I do?

Do I let the bank take its share and leave me worse for wear or do I refuse and let the bank kill my credit and eventually blacklist me with the credit bureau?

Now, people who are in a position to mitigate such a dent on their paycheck would say that the former would be the best option but as I earlier mentioned, I was living to survive. Letting the bank take its lions share would put me further back and there was no way I was going to let that happen.

My credit score was already fucked. What more could they do to me?

As a person, you just stop caring about things like a good credit score or being blacklisted. I mean, when the hell am I going to get time to do the things I want when I am constantly worried about paying back a bank?

I might’ve been suffering but I still want to enjoy life from time to time. Otherwise, what would’ve been the point of living?

Fuck that and fuck them

Expecting people who are in such positions to make good decisions that will (hopefully) pay off in the long term is asking a lot out of them. You simply cannot plan ahead of a paycheck, because there's no point.

I only recently gotten myself back to a reasonably low amount of debt that I can pay off with due time but I feel that my (and others) financial mismanagement of funds could’ve been avoided if someone...anyone with a successful financial background could’ve held a seminar or something of that nature to the community and explained all that shit.

In this day and age, it is unacceptable to have young folks that are still falling into debt at an alarming rate or old people who are losing their hard earned money over easily explainable things like how to reduce insurance costs, or which savings plan to use especially considering there are so many qualified people/institutions who’s very reason for being qualified is having said skills passed on to them.

To those in such positions, educate people on ways to improve the management of their funds. Teach people (especially those in poor communities) on how to track their expenses, make a budget, put money away and other things and to those who were/are lucky enough to receive such advice; do the same for others. With time, you’d find that those teachings will eventually begin to change said communities and people will begin to sustain themselves in a more practical manner which will lead to self-empowerment and with time, an empowered community can lead to an empowered nation.

The best way to help people is to equip them with skills. Sure, money will help here and there but that would only be delaying the inevitable. What happens when that money runs out?

That person is back to square one.

However, by giving them a skill, they can use to turn to a profit will mean far more to them.

Donating money is not solution, there are no regulatory boards and as a result, that money could go elsewhere. Teaching people skills and directing them to areas where such skills are badly needed will bring value to their lives through profit and purpose.

As the age old Chinese Proverb goes:

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”


Financial Management, Money Management, Personal Experience, True Story

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author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

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