Lifestyle and Money Habits To Improve Your Financial Situation

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija

On July 8, 2016, Bank of Uganda (BoU) and GIZ held a financial literacy training workshop at Silver Springs Hotel, Bugolobi. These workshops have been held in various parts of the country as part of the activities to mark 50 years of BoU’s existence. Zainab Asiimwe, the Executive Director at Pal Consults International Ltd, was the main facilitator of the day. In the following article Bloom Magazine brings you excerpts of her presentation. In her presentation; Zainab notes that Uganda has many financially illiterate people considering the lavish expenditures they engage in. “Many Ugandans are financially challenged; some not only spend on liabilities (things that don’t bring in money) but they spend beyond their earnings,”

Asiimwe notes that for one to have a financially successful life, they should have a purpose driven life. Saving and budgeting are key for one to realize the dream of becoming financially successful.
Asiimwe advises everyone to set up goals that can motivate them to save. “The first step to taking control of your finances is doing a budget. It will take a little effort, but it’s a great way to get a quick snapshot of the money you have coming in and going out,”.

Asiimwe says that people should write down their budget plans. “If you’re spending more than you have coming in, you need to work out where you can cut back. You could also keep a spending diary and keep a note of everything you buy in a day, a week or a month,” she explains.

Secondly, Asiimwe says that in order to successfully implement your budget, everyone in the home should be involved with the budget. “Sit down together and make a plan that you can all stick to. Work out how much spending money is available and agree between you what you’ll each have.” It’s advisable to review your budget and spending at least every couple of months.” She advises that people should learn to cut down household bills.

Asiimwe also advises that If one doesn’t trust that they will remember to pay their quarterly taxes or periodically pull a credit report, they should think about setting appointment reminders for these important money to-dos. A financial calendar is crucial in managing our finances. Asiimwe advises that people should always pay off first loans with the highest interest rate and should open savings accounts with the best interest rate.

On the other hand, Asiimwe teaches that your net worth—the difference between your assets and debt—is the big-picture number that can tell you where you stand financially. You should keep an eye on it and it can help keep you apprised of the progress you’re making toward your financial goals—or warn you if you’re backsliding.

She warns that setting a Budget should be the starting point for every other goal in one’s life. For example people should take a Daily Money Minute. This requires setting aside one minute each day to check on one’s financial transactions. This 60-second act helps identify problems immediately, keep track of goal progress—and sets our spending tone for the rest of the day!