I was looking for a quote on Saving Money when I came across this one by Benjamin Franklin.
“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”
I paused and pondered on it for a while before deciding to write a post about it. I quickly recalled how one small mosquito was singing unpleasant melodies in my ears the night before therefore causing me to lose sleep. If one tiny mosquito can spoil my whole night? Think about the harm those small expenses do your financial life.
You see, we’ve been told that little drops of water make an ocean and that is very valid but we only remember this when talking about the positive things like saving, patience et al. How about little drops of spendings make huge expenses?
How often do you take account of the little expenses that leave our pockets every single day?
They look insignificant but at the end of the day, make up such huge expenses that sink can your finance ship.
When I was growing up, my mum used to tell me not to buy perfumes. I told her I needed to smell good and she replied, who says you’re smelling bad? She told me, Robor, it’s not time yet. Use the small money we manage to give you on better things that will give you value. I remember how she will frown when she sees me buy something she perceives is not of great value. She always wanted me to spend rightly.
You may say she was right or wrong but I never forget that day. It was like a microchip that filters expenses was installed in my brain. I started to filter the valuable expenses from the not so valuable and the ones can wait till later. Today, I now understand she was teaching me delayed gratification.
See, it is not everything you can afford that you should buy else you sink your finance ship. I know people who cannot do without a bottle of drink a day. An average soft drink is now N100 and beer N170. If you consume one bottle a day for one month, that will total N3,000 or N5,100 and at the end of the year, you would have spent N36,000 on soft drinks or N61,500 on beer.
Now pause and think for a minute, do you know that if you invested the same amount in bitcoin, it will appreciate in value? How about buying some bags of cement for your mum to build her house or supporting someone who needs to pay school fees.
The most painful part is seeing people spend on things that are dangerous to their health. How on earth will a man be losing money and plotting his death at the same time? Tragic! Very Tragic.
Again I say, Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.
I’m not by chance saying you should not look or smell good or have your favourite drink but exercise moderation in your spending and if you can, do away with some of them. Make those your regular expenses that don’t add much value to your life periodic and make the value driven expenditures more regular.
Once upon a time, I used to buy Suya every night on my way from work. My wife and I will devour the roasted meat over a movie but stopped after the day I calculated how much I was spending every week. Guess what we’ve been told red meat ain’t good for our health. But I only realized it when I felt how much was leaving my purse. I now only buy that when there’s a long longing.
When was the last time you bought a book and read it apart from when you were in school? What personal development course(s) have you taken lately? What trip have you made to spend time with people that add value to your life?
It’s not every time you should go shopping for your stomach. I dare you, go shopping for your mental development. Take a course, see a consultant for those ideas.
But how can you know those little expenses if you don’t keep track of your spendings?
You can start by getting my free petty-cash manager, an excel sheet that helps you record your daily expenses and track every single kobo that leaves your purse.
Bottom line, do not spend all your income on things that have little or no lasting value; block all the leakages you have right now before they sink your finance ship.
Founder, Getting Smarter With Money