A word of advice to the employed

You have a well respected job in the services sector and have been putting over 60 hours of work per week. To match the workload, you have put in extra hours before the official working hours and have to work late in a bid to reduce the pile on your desk.

On some occasions, you feel burnt out, but continue to work because this income puts food on the table, not to mention the pile of bills you need to take care of.

But for some reason, you don’t seem to know where money goes.

If you have been working for the last couple of years, this may be familiar.

The so called rat race is wearing you out and this is not helped by the ever increasing financial pressures, particularly if you don’t pay attention to the way you manage your money.

Interestingly, some employees are content with their ability to keep a job, have some extra cash to splash and manage liabilities they mistake for assets. The more ambitious ones are weary with not meeting their financial goals.

Given that many people compare themselves to their peers, it may turn out that while they were considered a success and on top of their game a few years ago, they seem to be at the bottom of the pile now.

Sadly, most people blame the employer or anybody else and keep hoping that one day, that promotion or pay rise will happen and their situation will improve once and for all.

If you are banking on this, you are as good as 'running on a treadmill'.

The above scenario may be an oversimplification of your current situation.

However, you can use that to look at your earlier decisions and assess how they have impacted on your current financial status.

Look ahead

Ensure you plan for changes in your employment position, as well as those in your household in line with life stages. In addition, examine your lifestyle and answer a few hard questions. Do you like your financial current situation and where you are headed? Do you know where you want to be and how to get there?

If you have an idea of where you want to be, you need to focus on how to get there.

Go back to school

For example, if you need to improve your career prospects and increase your earning capability, will attaining a higher qualification work for you?

And, if so, consider the kind of resources at your disposal to achieve that ambition.

If you have an opportunity to juggle work and studies, that could be a viable option. Or if you have the resources to take leave to go and study, that could be an option.

On the other hand, if you decide to start a venture, do you have what it takes to go this route?

If this doesn’t compromise your employment, it’s crucial to remember that a business that requires minimum supervision may be suitable. The source of finance for this venture and the learning curve of the business are equally important things to consider.

Start a business

Related to that, you may take a radical decision and step out of your safe and secure job to start something of your own.

This needs both mental and financial preparation because you are doing what is considered out of the norm.

Whatever decision you make to change your situation, you need to prepare yourself for the impact of the decision will have on your household.

It’s advisable to get out of your comfort zone and the excuse that after all, your regular income is predictable irrespective of your level of in-put. Do not get obsessed by the status your job accords you in society.

Most importantly, remember you have to amount to something irrespective of getting stripped of your job title.

Consider a positive and high net worth as a worthwhile title that you can ever hold.

With that in mind, use your current income to build a comfortable future so that with or without earned income, you have accumulated enough assets to support your current and future lifestyle.

This will take a lot of effort, including purposeful planning, deliberate goal setting and financial discipline to make it work.

The writer works with Bank of Uganda
+256-414-253-840
financialliteracy@bou.or.ug
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