The kind of savings that will screw your life: Saving at the cost of your basic needs.


There is a friend of mine, he lives in Mbarara. This guy works and gets about 100,000 shillings daily as allowance and about 500,000 shillings monthly salary. I really don’t know if he keeps his money in the bank but I doubt that for he always had about a million in his pocket. He lives in a small old room where he pays about 40,000 shillings as rent. I lived in his room for 3 weeks and I am telling what I observed with my eyes. There are only 3 small plates, about 2 spoons. No radio, television or any good phone inside his house so he can read or get access to news or music. He works Monday to Sunday and comes home at 5pm with waragi (the cheap and yet strong alcohol) as his drink. The daily meal is matooke and beans (from Monday to Sunday).

 
The last time I was there, his wife was caught up with labor at night and we rushed her to Ruharo hospital where they referred us to Mbarara hospital. When we reached in Mbarara hospital, we were requested to prepare everything, including baby clothes and other necessities. This family had no baby clothes, no food or liquid flask and oh how we got ashamed. But the truth is that his pockets were full of notes of 50,000 only. Anyway, we maneuvered around and finally made it and they were discharged home. The first thing I told him when we reached home was that he works to live well and so must fulfill that by satisfying his home and family with the basics they need. After 3 weeks, I left but I am sure he didn’t change. What I know is that he is saving for something in future for he doesn’t have any enterprise or asset yet. But I ask again, “Which kind of saving is that?”

Every entrepreneur who gets a microphone and climbs up the stage will emphasize the value of saving in accumulation of wealth. However, many people have lost control and are doing saving at the cost of their lives and I am wondering what else they are saving for if it is not for their lives and their families or the people they love. Accumulation of riches and property has blinded the eyes of the world and people can’t fathom who is more important between person’s life and property. Like my friend in the above example, you find a person has a lot of land yet he doesn’t know what a good meal is. There are many people who own cars and Lorries yet they only walk on foot. There are those who are saving at the expense of missing meals. Some people would rather die but not spend money on health care bills. Some of you are allowing children to sleep on empty stomach that you are saving for their future yet those savings will be eaten by their uncles after your death. Look back and ask yourself if you are really living abundant life?

What am I saying today? To save is to spare something for another day. But, in real terms, this means after you have had the basics and then you decide to save the remnants. Savings is not the real objective for your work or profession, it is a secondary thing. The main objective for your job or career or profession is to find life, to live well, to eat well, dress well, walk well and have the life you want. Don’t get mesmerized with saving for the future and starve your wife or children or fail to give offertories in church or help a friend. By the way, what is the value of wealth if it can’t make your life comfortable? Some of you are trying to save at the expense of your life health, who is poisoning the water that you drink? This is madness, stop it.

I am not saying that exercising saving is bad, far from that; I am emphasizing that it should be done and well. The future is today, enjoy it. The first step of accumulating wealth is saving a part of what you earn, but not at the expense of your basic needs like food, water, housing, health care, transport and clothing, then information, helping hand and other important areas of your life. Yeah, it is a point to plan for the future but it isn’t wise at all to miss today’s life in preparing for the future you are not even sure of. Enjoy today like there is no tomorrow and plan for the future like you won’t die away, that is the irony.

So look around your room, does it really give a meaning to the kind of person you are or the kind of job you do? Are there seats? Do you have a phone or radio? How about your bed? By the way, do you eat 3 times in a day? Are your children eating fairly well? In which kind of house do you live? It has reminded me of these immigrants to the city who like houses that are cheap and after they have worked out themselves and achieving some assets, they are stolen since the rooms they pay for are so much weak and vulnerable to thieves or are exposed. Of course, strong houses do not guarantee your safety, but they reduce the risk maybe. Okay, what I am simply saying is that saving is not what you are called to do; you are called to find life and live it with the people you love. And, please, don’t ignore to save for the future but do it in the right way. Otherwise you are going to struggle with savings and when they have accumulated enough, you will be disappointed that you don’t have time or life to enjoy it, neither do your children, your friends nor your country.

God bless you. The Complete You Project


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