I had not always have the same view about money, it has evolved. There was a time when I did not have money and admired it from a distance. I then started working and earning an income, but still had a limited view of money. From different experiences I learnt a few things that transformed the way I viewed money. One of it was about the standard of living.
Last year, one of my cousin’s car got repossessed by the bank ( or he took it back not too sure about the facts) because he was unable to pay the bank. He was just one of many Namibians whose properties were being repossessed because of tough economic times. I felt pity for him but I was proud that he did not let that define him.
This holiday, someone brought up the same story of how the car was repossessed and I could not help but think how society looks at you when you start downgrading. This is sometimes voluntary but this can also be forced downgrade.
The sorts of downgrades we are referring to here include:
- Moving to an cheaper apartment because rent at your current apartment is simply not affordable. This could be changing from the fancy suburbs to the location.
- Selling your big car to a smaller one or even to going back to using public transport
- Getting a tenant in that spare room that was in your house or your apartment for a long time?
- Cutting down on outing simply because there are now other costs that are needing your attention.
Whatever the reason for the downgrade, please remember that it is in your best interest. For your mental state of being, improving your financial well-being, creating a future that could potentially be brighter than what it will look if you listen to others and most importantly stay out of debt.
Whilst we are at the beginning of the year, this is the best time to do some reflection if there is any adjustment while your energy is full. Things do change. It could be that you bought a three bedroom house and you could comfortably pay it off, then suddenly you really want a car and with the combined installments, things are just too tight. Or you never thought of travelling and are now keen to go on holiday such that you are weighing the opportunity cost of paying your current rental payment. Or you simply bought a house without an awareness of all the costs that comes with it? You got a baby and now all the costs of nappies, milk and the nanny just makes life a little tougher.
Whatever the case may be, think about it and make a decision. Society will always judge you for any decision you take so just do you. If you are married or have kids, please do remember to involve others in the dialogue before making the decision. Having one voice as a family or couple will help you survive the outside forces.
And for the rest of us, let us please refrain from judging others. Yes I have been guilty of judging others but I choose to think better. Give support when necessary. Help each other grow instead of destroying each other and most importantly teach each other what financial freedom really means.
This year, we are challenging norms and building a stronger foundation for a better future.