There are too many people struggling financially and this is as true for us in Africa as it is for people in other continents. While the principles of money are the same all over the world, there are some money mistakes that are peculiar to those living in Africa. Here are 5 common mistakes.
Common Money Mistakes
1 – A Shortage Mindset
One of the big money mistakes a lot of people have is the belief that money is scarce. This is particularly true for those who are struggling with lack of money. If you are barely meeting your needs and paying your bills, it is easy to believe that there is a shortage of money. But money does not work like that. Money is attracted to abundance. A shortage mindset will keep you perpetually broke.
2 – Lack of Budgeting
It is hard to budget because there are always little expenses that arise. Another in the list of money mistakes many of us make is impulse buying. We spend money on things we may not really need simply because we have the money at the time we see the things. This is something that to a large extent, can be mitigated by a simple budget. Not budgeting expected income is a common money mistake.
3 – The Compulsion to Help Everyone’s Cousin
As Africans we are mostly community and family oriented. This means that when there is a need in the family, we are each expected to shoulder a portion of the expenses. It is just the expected thing. We also take things a little further by helping other family members meet their needs like helping to pay part of their school fees or house rent. There is nothing wrong with that, if it is done within reason. It is quite difficult to turn away a needy relation when we can afford to help that person. However, it is also important to accept that you can’t always be in a position to help everyone. If you stretch yourself too thin, you might find yourself in a position where you can’t help anyone.
4 – Over-dependence on Others
This is an overflow of our community spirit. There is this mindset among Africans that someone else will always be there to ‘help’ with our responsibilities. Not taking ownership of your finances and your life is one of the money mistakes that could be holding you down.
5 – Peer Pressure
Peer pressure is a powerful thing in any culture. But we take it way out of proportion in African societies. This is understandable seeing as a lot of communities actually have peer groups. The pressure to keep up with your peer group can cause serious money errors. There’s also the pressure to live a lavish lifestyle, have a big wedding, throw a big party, plan a huge funeral…what have you. All these cause money mistakes that could be avoidable.
You can attain financial freedom wherever you live. But it is going to take careful planning. What money mistakes are you making?