I was listening to the radio today, the host had picked a caller to make a request. The caller went ahead to mention he won Ksh 1000 on a popular betting site. His enthusiasm would make one think the amount was 6x that. It crossed my mind that perhaps the money wouldn’t see tomorrow’s dawn. What if it was a million, how long would he have pushed it for? Do you recall how a jackpot winner burnt through his millions in the span of less than a year. You can imagine his horror. Once a millionaire, only to join us yet again in this rat race. Here’s why you’re probably like him…
I’m sure you’ve been asked this question at least once in your life. If not, you need to change your friends. Many will jump to talk of luxuries such as a car, house or vacation. Some of you don’t even know which is more important or why. All you know is that you must have it. The assumption is that you are now in a different class of wealth and must therefore carry yourself as such. An important aspect of finance management is to be financially aware. Be able to answer questions such as; What is my net-worth? What are my monthly expenses? How much should I have in my sink fund/ emergency fund if I lost my job today? Ponder about this before reading on
“If I had a million shillings today, I would visit Dubai”, “I would definitely buy a car, I’m tired of walking.” “I’d finally start my business” These are a few of the responses I got when I made inquiries. More common than you’d think. But what people forget is that 1 million has a cap, it’s actually limited and can end. So people will receive the cash with a list longer than the money supply. This is a common mistake. If you’re buying a car, will you be able to afford the comprehensive or you’ll end up in debt and trying to keep making appearances with a liability that will cripple your margins. If you’re starting a business, will the 1 million serve as seed capital or cash flow? Ask yourself these important questions.
By expectations, I’m not referring to your own but of those around you. There will be a parent expecting a house or car, a significant other expecting a cut, a child with expenses, villagers with proposals for their shambas and businesses. You’ll basically become a walking bank. So you need to be smart not just about who you share this good fortune with but how you can probably multiply the amount before the leeches suck you dry.
Here’s what to do or consider doing, when you come across a windfall.
- Put the money aside or safely deposit it somewhere, dopamine is a fallacy; that high you get when spending will be a crash when you hit 900,000 and can’t account for the first 100,000
- Assess your financial position: identify expenses, overdue loans, pending bills.
- Put debt at the frontline: debt negates your networth and can affect your credit score so eliminate it
- Look into possible investment(s) that could be additional income sources; infrastructure bonds can give up to triple of the initial investment and pays out interest biannually.
- Don’t be guilt-tripped into spending the money, spend only on necessary items/ assets. You would rather have multiplied the money than work on helping a parent or villager with their many projects, you’re at liberty to say no.
I do hope this was insightful, feel free to point out anything I failed to mention. Moreover, share experiences of how it went down when you won an amount no matter how modest.