It is amazing what useful tips one can pick up in life which then become second nature to your personality. My mother always talked about savings. “It is important to put aside some money in case something happens” she used to say. Of course, she was referring to instances when one faces a ‘rainy day’, but the advice stuck with me like glue.

When I started working, I remembered to regularly put aside a little money for any future emergencies but these little savings would invariably be spent on one thing or another deemed ‘emergency’ than I would start all over again with the next pay check. It became a kind of vicious cycle, but I still make an effort to save.
Similarly, my mother and aunties always kept their best night dresses for the hospital in case of a need for admission; the best cups for guests and the best chicken for Christmas. I am sure you get the drift of all this—it is all about being prepared.

All this was so normal in our family that if any of these treasured items came out for unexplained reasons I and my siblings would immediately question. Handling your treasured items is not easy. The Bible says ‘do not throw your pearls before swine. If you do, they may trample them…’

It takes a wise person to keep their treasure safe. However, my growing concern has been when you preserve this treasure for the sake of others’ or unforeseen circumstances, haven’t you also denied yourself the privilege of enjoying it? For example, fortunately there was never a time that my mother was admitted to hospital, nor the need for her to wear that precious nightdress.

The’ visitors’ cups’, as we called them, eventually went out of style, because they were so dainty and tiny! It would have taken three of them together to get a decent quantity of tea! Who wanted that kind of embarrassment?
My point is, all these things were demystified as we grew up, but the financial ‘blue print’ as author Moses Mukisa in his book, Straight Forward Financial Growth puts it was very real. It is important to save, but you also have to be smart about it by growing it!

The savings culture was inculcated early enough in my life, but I didn’t enjoy my savings because they were saved for a ‘rainy day’ which I could rationalize to myself even when not the case.
Like a chicken that brings forth an egg every day and the owner of the chicken waits to have it at every breakfast is what I got used to doing. There was the satisfaction of having an egg and it was put aside, but as soon as it was breakfast time it was eaten, and yet it could have been preserved further for a transformation which could have yielded more benefits. If it turned into a chicken then there would be more chickens giving eggs both for breakfast and for breeding.

What is your financial ‘blue print’ like?

About the Author: Primrose Kiberu

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