Stonebwoy has a new single out, Tomorrow, which includes the lyrics:
Somebody e dey sweat for the air condition e be loan e dey owe.
Now that is sure to ruffle a few feathers among members of the corporate class, who are not used to being included in songs about hustling. Even more interesting is Stonebwoy’s decision to address one of the most underrated issues in personal finance in this part of the world – personal debt.
Nobody likes to talk about the debt they have.
Debt is too often viewed as an indication that one is unable to save, unable to live within his/her means or impatient in acquiring the finer things in life. Debt is therefore viewed as a failure in financial planning instead of an essential part of financial planning. It is not difficult to understand this perception.
In Ghana, structured debt for housing, education and automobiles is not as common as in other parts of the world. Also, debt is very expensive. The average lending rate as at March 2018 was 29.3%. It is therefore not surprising that many financial advisers warn about the dangers of debt.
Nevertheless, debt does not have to be a dirty word in personal finance. Taking on debt in order to go to school or learn a trade can be a way to invest in your future earnings capacity.
It allows for smoothing of one’s consumption i.e. having funds to spend when you are earning little and paying it off as you earn more. Debt also allows one to acquire things which they could not have had the discipline to save for. For example, it would be easier to pay off a mortgage in 20 years than save for 20 years to buy a house.
Like many other things in life, it’s not having the debt that is the issue, it is why you have it and how you manage it. And it is way too common for us to avoid talking about it.
This post was edited by iGhanaian Editors for correctness, however, all views expressed herein remain that of the author, Jerome Kuseh and solely his. You can contact the author via firstname.lastname@example.org