It is high time that individuals look deeper into their financial wellbeing. We are experiencing major increases in the cost of living which is coupled by other economic challenges imposed at countries’ economical level. Banks are increasing interest rates, Governments have inadequate financial muscle to take care of their budgets, Private sector is facing financial and economic struggle brought by increasing cost of inputs as a result having forced to retrench and let go of their employees as a cost cutting measure (We have seen companies like Google, Microsoft, Twitter and other multimillion rand/maloti companies having to reduce their workforce in response to the above.
Lesotho is not or might not be an exception to the above-mentioned challenges and we therefore need to take remedies at individual level. Turning Liabilities into Assets and taking control of our income and expenditures will be a breakthrough. We are in an era where we have to commit ourselves into the kind of debts which will lead to us having surplus cash to subsidise our increased cost of living. Interest rates on borrowings continue to spike even though the Reserve Bank of US announced a stable interest rate in the month of June 2023. This means as Basotho we should make good use of our debts (Liabilities) to acquire assets that will generate us cash flow into the future, that’s what we call turning Liabilities into Assets which is normally called ‘Good Debt’. The profits generated by our assets should surpass the interest paid on our personal debts.
Apart from that, we have to be looking into an in-depth structure of our income vs Expenditures in order to compensate a major increase in personal expenditure over a minor increase in disposable income. There is roughly 2 – 3% increase in government employees’ salaries as of fiscal year 2024. It is with pity that the 2 – 3% will be matched to roughly 7-10% increase in the cost of living. How are we going to cover that extra 5-7%? People living in every sphere are now responsible for generating extra cash in order to maintain their current lifestyle. Other options might be taking a deeper look into our personal spending, implementing cost cutting measures in order to have a bigger residual income to cover priority obligations and commitments like children’s tuition, Rental fees, bus fares and other personal expenses.
Winter is one of the critical times for us in terms of expenditure. We are bound to increase the cost of utilities, Expensive winter clothing maybe increased medical bills considering our children’s health issues. All this should be covered by that 2% increase and that should not mean the government did not give enough but should mean that we have to take action on individual budgets and spend according to our projected cash flow.
Empower yourself with better knowledge to elevate your financial awareness. Read books and business articles in order to be aware of what’s trending in the market. That will allow us to act on time and understand each time the market announcements changes in the interest rates what it means for us individuals.
Major question to ask yourself: What if I lose my job today, will I be able to maintain my lifestyle for the next six months?