I just realized that we’ll be entering a new decade in less than 3 weeks. Not just a new year but a new decade.
I can’t believe how fast this decade went. When I look back, there are so many things I am thankful for even though I don’t like how fast time is going.
I have learned so much in this decade. Interestingly though, 80% of the skills and habits I learned were learned in the past 3-4 years.
My early twenties were filled with idleness – mostly waiting for the right job to come along and at some point, waiting for any job to come along (can’t believe I actually turned down some jobs because of pay alone).
Common sense did not start coming to me until my late twenties. I still have a long way to go, no doubt, but I thought I should share with you some of that common sense are not so common.
They are very important habits you need to adopt for the next decade.
#1 Financial Education
What I mean by this is learning about personal finance. Unless you learn about money, you will always rely on someone else to take care of your finances.
It’s actually quite simple to learn. Read books (I can recommend a few), follow personal finance accounts on your social media, take masterclasses, and ask questions no matter how silly you think you sound.
#2 Saving & Budgeting
As simple as it sounds, this is one of the hardest things to do. It’s hard because it seems so easy to start and stick with it…for a while. The problem begins when unexpected expenses start popping up left and right. When family members turn you to an ATM (AKA Black Tax, click here to read about what to do). When emergencies fall from the sky. Basically, when life happens.
Learn how to build a shock-resistant budget.
#3 Earn More
The best personal finance advice I ever got was ‘learn how to earn more. You can’t save your way into wealth.’
No matter how much budgeting and investing you do, you can only go so far with a little income. An employee earning 50k a month and saving 50% of their salary for 30 years will only have 9 million. Just 9m after sacrificing half your salary for 30 years!!! Is that worth it?
Learn how to earn more by learning to sell a product/service or your skills to get a better job.
#4 Teach Your Siblings/Kids/Spouse About Money
We live in a society where talking to your loved ones about personal finance is like talking to them about your sex life – considered to be totally immoral and shows a lack of home training.
In the next decade, your children will be old enough to understand what money is. Teach them that it is okay to want money, make money, and keep the money. Help them gain financial clarity. Not just to give it all away in the name of charity. After all, clarity begins at home…or whatever the saying is.
#5 Setup a Mutual Fund
Set up a mutual fund for yourself and your kids. Inflation is not going anywhere anytime soon in Nigeria. Find a reputable fund with at least 13% annual returns on investment and invest for the next 10 years. Reinvest the returns and don’t touch the money until 2030 or longer.
Then you can use the money to fund your child’s school fees, start/expand your business or add it to your retirement fund. The possibilities are endless. Secure your future today.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes:
“Five years from today, you will be the same person that you are today, except for the books you read and the people you meet.”
Here’s my version:
10 years from today, you will be in the same financial situation that you are today, except for the financial books you read and apply, learning to increase your income, and your long-term investments.
It doesn’t take much to make a difference in your life. Let’s take control of the next decade.