If there is something that can stress a human being, it’s a lack of finances. Not everyone knows what to do to gain this freedom. I will share a few tips from my experience, but they need not be taken as a doctrine for financial freedom.
In this life, we have four financial stages to pass through:
- Morning stage
- Afternoon stage
- Evening stage
- Night stage.
1. Morning Stage
Let’s talk about the morning stage. This is the stage between the day you were born and the age of 25 years. (1 day old to 25 yrs)
Allow me to be biased and quote the Bible- Proverbs 13:11 “Dishonest money dwindles, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
In this stage, parents or guardians make most of the decisions for their children. They decide which clothes their children will wear, either designer wear, Toi market wear, Gikomba camera, or anything new from Eastleigh, plus which toys suit their children. Then birthday celebrations kick in, and parents do a party like nobody’s business.
When school-age arrives, you have to decide on the school that your children will attend. To some extent, birthday parties are now extended to school.
Teenage kicks in, and “the children” begin to make some decisions for themselves, and guardians or parents are thrown into confusion.
It’s called parenting, and it’s not easy. We all want the best for our children, and we are ready to do anything to ensure they make it in this life.
Well, one thing we forget during parenting is ” giving financial freedom” to them. Much as we ensure they don’t lack food, clothes, and shelter, it’s the same way we should ensure funds go into their bank accounts no matter how little it seems.
Some of the ways to ensure financial freedom in this stage are:
1. Opening a Junior Account for Your Child
Deposit even one shilling in a day, and that will translate to Kshs. 365 in a year. In 25 years, that will be KES 9,125. How many parents can hand over 10K to their children at the age of 25 years to start a business?
Have you not seen family men and women asking what suitable business they can start with 3K! So don’t say this is little. The longest journey starts with one step.
Education policy is good, but as it is, it is for Education and not a policy for financial freedom, so don’t confuse the policy savings to account savings for your child.
2. Buy What Is Basic For Your Child And Not What Others Have Bought.
Our children need a lot of things and if we were to buy all we can easily go without food. Have you realized even our children know we must buy what our friends have bought?
Our children have picked it up from us that what others get, we have to get it by all means, and this is very dangerous. As a parent, don’t succumb to the pressure to buy ” Kidder joy” when you know those are three packets of milk.
How many toys and other items have turned useless in your house? We end up giving out money in the name of unused toys to friends and family members. Have you thought of selling off those items and getting the money to your child’s bank account?
Christmas is around the corner. What’s your budget like, even for a Christmas tree. What’s going into your child’s account this festive season- just think about it.
3. Talk Finances With Your Children
Oh yes, don’t buy the story of them being too young to understand anything about money. Talk to them about what is affordable and what you can’t afford for now and explain. Expose your children to the bank and ATM once you insert the PIN, wacha mtoto achukue Pesa akupatie.
You might think this is simple, but it is a great lesson for your child – I will tell you about this lesson someday. This is the stage where many families spend more on their children and have no thoughts for the other stages.
The morning stage is the most important stage for financial freedom. Once the parents or guardians get it right at this stage, their children will turn out to play life like a chase because that child will have gained the right understanding of finances. They will be able to buy the best for themselves and their parents BUT not the most expensive things.
2. Afternoon Stage
Stage 2 is the Afternoon stage. The afternoon stage is the stage from 26 -50 years of age.
This is the stage life reality checks kick in. Our little boys and girls have graduated from college and university. We are no longer spending on fees, but more is spent on food.
Parents and graduates share in the stress of getting jobs. Our young adults are in for job search, dating, getting married, and moving from our parents’ house. Peer pressure is at its peak, and the desire to succeed is overwhelming.
To some, this is the stage they make it in life for good. To others, this is the stage they throw in the towel and turn to drugs, alcohol, prostitution, mpango wa kando,..name it all.
In the afternoon, this is where classes and groups of people are well demarcated. The lower class, middle class, and upper class just fall in place. On FINANCIAL FREEDOM, the best you can do at this stage is to stay real and believe in yourself.
Here’s what to do and what not to do;
- Live within your means – don’t break your back to have a date in Java or dinner at Serena. If you can’t afford it, you can stay without it. This should be your driving principle.
- A car is not an asset – don’t borrow to buy a car to prove you have made it. It comes loaded with hidden costs.
- Get a true genuine mentor to walk with you in this stage, either in your career path or in your business path. A genuine person will help you learn from your own mistakes.
- Plan your finances well at this stage and try to be independent, i.e. move from the family house, whether a man or a lady. This is the first risk you need to take if you want to grow and gain financial freedom.
- Identify and get married to the person “you can’t live without” and not the person you “love” because love is blind. Ensure your union is sealed either customary, legally, or through religion. Otherwise, try, and error in marriage can ruin your finances or your life completely.
The afternoon stage is the stage names are made. The who is who in Kenya, Africa, and the entire world are in this stage. Don’t succumb to the pressure to do as the celebrities are doing. The majority of them live a lie. There is more than you see.
The basic to financial freedom in this stage is to ensure all your basic needs are met, including sexual needs. Extra funds need to be directed to own a plot, a house in the city, or the village once you stabilize in your job or business.
Agree where you will retire and start working towards your retirement home. In this stage, your life partner should understand and buy into each other’s dream. The support system from each partner should be felt; otherwise, marriage challenges can easily take a toll on this stage.
Banks love people at this stage and are willing to give you car loans, mortgages, plot loans, education loans, etc. Please weigh your options and calculate your risks well to avoid exposing your family to challenges.
Debts are stressful, and they are the main cause of most diseases. Try to avoid getting into the trap if you can. Lifestyle can easily be affected by job loss, business closure, sickness of a family member, or a pandemic like Corona. Always have a plan B for you and your family.
Flexibility should be accepted by all, including relocation to an unfinished house somewhere, turning the Prado into a grocery shop, or that personal car to Uber.
Don’t end your life with your last bad encounter. Always try something new, apply for jobs again, start that business again and stay optimistic.
Last but not least, the afternoon stage is like virgin land, and we all plant and harvest what we want. Most of the things that happen in this stage touch on financial freedom, and they are NEW, i.e. new job, new wife/husband, new child, new house, new car, a new challenge, etc.
The bottom line is to be HAPPY, and your happiness should not be tied to anything or anyone. Financial freedom is where your eyes are focused.
3. Evening Stage
This is the third stage in this life. It is the stage from 51 years to 75 years.
In this stage, many people have less than ten years to retire for those who are in formal employment.
Those in the business majority are happy to stay on. Parents are now getting relief from paying college and university fees. Those who got it right have a home house/village house and some even a city house.
Those who were lucky enough to get employed and remain in employment with a good employer can count their blessings because the pension savings look good. Those who got into the business and grew it during their afternoon stage can run their businesses well and even get their children to manage the business. This is how family businesses grow.
Banks fear to loan you in this stage, unlike in the afternoon stage. The best you can do for yourself and your loved ones in the evening stage, as far as your financial freedom is concerned, is, to tell the truth.
Maybe you pretended in the morning stage, especially in high school and campus, and made everyone believe “nyi ni masonko.” Maybe you “faked” it in the Afternoon stage and got ranked well. In the evening stage, truth counts – Big time!
The Financial mistakes one can make in this stage are;
- Get divorced from your youthful wife/husband because you feel they have hindered you from progressing. The court battle alone will cause serious financial scars.
- Incite your children against their mother or their father because you want to enjoy pension alone or be considered ” the better one.”
- Start to build a stately home. Money will be over before you finish. You will be stressed and die early.
- Get married to a younger second wife – This will not be ” blind love” but ” eyes closed” to squander your pension.
- Keep everything a secret, including pension savings, a title deed, kids born elsewhere during your morning or afternoon stage, etc. Transparency is key in this stage. The universe has a way of revealing secrets. Do the honors to yourself.
The evening stage comes with its challenges like
- Deteriorating health – so ensure you start and maintain a good healthy lifestyle. Children in their morning and afternoon stage can find themselves financially drained by their parents, who fall sick in this stage. Good to organize and get a medical cover, including active NHIF card membership.
- Financial reduction, especially if one depended on a monthly income or salary and it’s no more. Good to ensure another avenue or source of income is set up during your morning/afternoon stage. If you were a specialist or professional in any line, please keep going and undertake teaching, lecturing, clinical, veterinary officer, etc.
- Social demands like planning and attending weddings for your kids and family friends – thus more money going out.
- Relocation – To some, they decide to relocate to their village and do away with city life. Others opt to remain in the city. Whichever choice you make -Do whatever works best for you.
The evening stage can be a lonely stage so ensure you have age mates who are also your friends both in the city and in the village. They will serve as your support system when the going gets tough because, at some point, it will get too tough.
For those who earn their pension at 55 yrs and above, you can consider purchasing an Annuity and continue to receive your allowance monthly.
The evening stage makes many anxious. Read the Godly book (The Bible) and do as it says about “Do not be anxious….” Create a lasting relationship with your maker because the night is about to fall.
4. Night Stage
The bible says the days of man are numbered. The night stage is the final stage in this life. It’s the stage from 76 years going up. At this stage, there is little or nothing that can be done to change the status of Financial freedom.
If financial freedom was achieved, then results can be seen. If financial freedom was not achieved, this too remains a fact. This stage takes the majority back to childhood.
Some of the challenges experienced during this stage include and are not limited to;
- Poor eyesight
- Loss of teeth
- Poor sense of hearing
- Difficulty in walking and bending
- Poor memory.
In the night stage, one is likely to have grown-up children as well as grandchildren and some great-grandchildren.
The children and grandchildren of someone who is in the night stage are expected to;
- Ensure someone in this stage gets a helper.
- Ensure someone in this stage is provided with food, clothes, and shelter.
- Ensure a night stage person can access hospital and medical care.
- Ensure you frequently visit them
- Ensure you create good memories with someone who is at the night stage. It helps one feel satisfied with the inner man.
Someone in the night stage is ready to join the creator in the next world, so don’t burden them with your challenges.
As children and grandchildren of someone at the night stage, it is good to prepare to give them a good send-off when they rest because they will surely do so at this stage.
I hope that you now know which stage you belong to, and you will try to do all that you can to have a fulfilled life and Financial freedom in each stage.