Since we’re celebrating the 61st anniversary of Ghana’s independence, I want to discuss a personal kind of independence which is relevant to a lot of Ghanaians – financial independence.
Financial independence means different things to different people but for the purpose of this post, I define it as the ability to meet all one’s expenses solely through one’s income and to do so sustainably. By sustainably, I mean the ability to do this continuously even in times of unemployment and finally retirement. This is clearly no easy feat.
So on this journey that I am on (and my readership stats tell me a lot of my readers are also on) here are a few things that I have learned.
- Track expenses and income.
For more than 2 years now I have been tracking my income and expenditure using a free android app. I got introduced to the concept by my friend, Terry, who blogs at economistaterry.com and it has been life changing. Imagine having information on what you spend money on, where your money comes from, how much you save and so on. It’s a wealth of data that you can analyse to optimize your earnings and spending.
2. Teach yourself valuable skills.
The internet is a wonderful place for self-learning. Almost everything about blogging and social media management I know, I taught myself from the internet. I can count at least 3 jobs I’ve had since 2012 which relied on those skills. Even though I have formal training in research, accounting, finance and economics, my level of knowledge has been immensely enhanced from learning on the web or reading books. You have no idea how much money you could be leaving off the table, how many job interviews you could have passed or how much better your CV could be if you take the time to add to your skillset by learning on your own.
3. When you’re spending money, keep the big picture in mind.
I do not like making judgements about what people spend their hard-earned money on. Who am I to say A or B is a waste of someone’s money? As long as you are able to meet your priorities, contribute to your retirement fund and your savings target, do what you want to with your money.
4. Invest in relationships.
Like it or not, the people around you play a part in your financial outcomes. For example, many people get recommended by friends or family for a job or gigs. Your persona, both offline and online, can get you hired or fired. Take time to reach out to people you admire and who could help you in life and in your career. It matters.
5. Start investing today.
In order not to bore you, I will just leave these links (1, 2, 3, and 4) to some of my several posts on investing and investment products. Remember that developing the habit of saving and investing is far more important at the beginning stage than finding the perfect investment product.
Happy Independence Day Ghana! 🇬🇭
Accountant | Economist-in-Training | Finance Blogger