Author of ‘Practical Steps to Financial Independence’ and personal finance coach, Mr. Usiere Uko, writes about how to overcome barriers to cultivating saving culture
Knowing what you are supposed to do and that you’re actually doing it is often a different ball game. Virtually everyone has seen the memo on the need to save and invest consistently if they want your money to work for them. Everyone desires that. I am yet to meet anyone who dislikes the idea of making money while sleeping. So how come many try to save but still end up with no savings?
I have met many who desire to save. They actually start saving but a need always comes up and their savings is gone. They start to feel as if they are wasting time because they know the money they are trying to save will soon be gone. At some point, they give up.
For some, the issue is that they have not realised the need to have a savings account for future expenses and to keep savings for investment separately. Hence, when a need arises, both categories of savings suffer the same fate. Actually, the amount set aside for investment should not linger, but be sent to work immediately it comes in.
For others, they have invested time in researching what they could invest their money in, so they leave the money hanging around until a need shows up and take them back to square one. Many do not even see the need to invest at their current income level. They believe their issue is more money rather than better money management skills.
The challenge in cultivating saving culture mostly arises from the conflict between the conscious mind trying to act on new information and the subconscious mind that is still running on an old programme. There is a self-sabotage process going on. The conscious mind wants to invest but the subconscious mind is still running on consumption mode. The subconscious mind where our habits and paradigms reside controls our everyday actions. When we attempt to take actions while bypassing the subconscious, we get temporary results until our subconscious regains control and takes us back to our comfort zone.
It is like keeping banana with a monkey. That banana will soon become history. The banana is not safe unless you first of all wean the monkey off banana. Until you change your habits and paradigms, the ‘monkey’ will keep eating the banana. You have to first of all change your subconscious programming. You receive the programming through repeated input of wrong data. You can re-programme yourself through consistent input of the right data. That is why it is crucial to invest your spare time in learning and development, rather than spend time on social media and TV watching of others live their dreams.
For anything to change, you have to change. If you give a hunter a male and a female goat, he will simply slaughter them for meat. It happens automatically. He does not have to think about it. His mind is wired that way. More goats simply mean more meat, even if he has to store some in the freezer for future consumption. It will not occur to him that he can delay gratification and grow them into a flock of goats.
You may be able to convince this hunter to delay killing the goats by making him see what can happen if the she goat gets pregnant and gives birth to kids. He can only hold on for so long until hunger strikes, his existing paradigm kicks in and he goes for the kill, automatically. He is not thinking. It is his paradigm that is running the show.
His paradigm has to shift for real change to happen.
It starts from changing the way you see. This means migrating from the hunter’s mindset to a farmer’s mindset. This migration commences when you start seeing your income as seed to plant rather than money to spend. You start asking yourself how to grow the money you have rather than what to buy with it. Having a financial goal helps the process.
Having a clear vision
You need to have a clear picture of where you want to be financially in the future. The sharper the image, the stronger your desire and focus. See it in 3D, take a walk round it in your imagination. Hear the sound, perceive the smell and feel the sense of fulfilment as your dreams finally come true. Set your imagination free and pre-play your desired future. Don’t worry about how you are going to get there. Make up your mind you are going to get there no matter what it takes.
For questions, comments or enquiries you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.financialfreedominspiration.com . Follow me on twitter @usiere
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