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Encouragements on Money from the Bible

Many of us probably have goals for 2018 and, since you’re reading this, I imagine some of them revolve around finances. Pursuing new goals can be difficult, so I wanted to encourage you with what I think is a huge game-changer in our ability to focus on the target and keep momentum.

My friend and I were recently discussing how habits don’t typically stick unless they’re rooted in Godly conviction. I’ve noticed whatever I’m working on must be important enough to internally motivate me and keep me driven when things get tough.

 

So, with this in mind, today is about prayerfully considering God’s Word on how we view resources, seeking to be rooted in Godly conviction.

I plan on sharing practical tips on how to create and follow a budget in the coming weeks, but the goal of this post is to create the underlying motivation before pursuing the tactical suggestions. You might say this is post is about your “why.”

3 Encouragements on Money from the Bible

1. The Ant

“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:6-11

Ouch. Sluggard? I wouldn’t typically consider myself a “sluggard,” but  this passage recently convicted me in certain areas and habits. My constant struggle is sticking to a workout routine. My goal is very reasonable: exercise daily for 30 minutes. However, too often I make excuses or don’t prioritize my time well.

As I was reading this passage and realizing I do have “sluggard” tendencies, the last part of the passage really sunk in, “A little sleep, a little slumber… and poverty will sneak up on you” (paraphrased). Essentially, little by little I’m not exercising and the long-term result is likely to sneak up on me.

I also think this passage teaches us about delayed gratification and wise planning. In order to hibernate, the ant “prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.” Many ant species  hibernate in the winter, storing food and preparing their nest in warmer seasons.  Ants work hard and plan for a reward that isn’t immediate.

Can you relate in the areas of finances or something else? Just like in my exercise example, little by little small choices in our money management can have a huge impact (positive or negative).

In a culture that constantly advertises immediate gratification, I believe we need an internal motivation and conviction to help us “swim upstream” and pursue a different strategy.

2. The Rich Young Man

And behold, a man came up to him, saying, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?’… Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

“And Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.’ When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, ‘Who then can be saved?’  But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19: 16, 21-26 (I trimmed verses; get full context here)

The rich young man went away sad, unable to give all head had to follow Jesus; I think there’s something here. What if we intentionally pursue a modest lifestyle with the intent that, by God’s grace and strength (Matthew 19:26), we’re ready to go wherever He sends us?

I don’t think this is necessarily the stereotypical thought that God will ask us to give everything away and go to a third world country, though He might. What if it’s paying off debts so we’re prepared to take a pay cut to go where He calls? Or ready to give to someone unexpectedly because we’re not slaves to the lender (Proverbs 22:7)? Or not in a lifestyle that’s hard to give up?

Let’s slow down to consider this before moving on too quickly, thinking we don’t idolize money.

For me, I can idolize money for the perceived security it brings. I’d much rather have tons in savings vs. a nice home or car. I could be perceived as being a good steward and not loving money, when my heart is in the same place as the rich young man in Matthew 19.

Or maybe it’s quick to say, “well, I’m not rich.” Maybe not by our surrounding culture.

3. Laying Up Treasures in Heaven

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6:19-21

Many people practice “Americanism.” Spending money you haven’t earned, to buy things you don’t like, to plese people you dont love.

When was the last time you didn’t know what you would eat, on a regular, recurring basis? When have you not had a roof over your head or shelter? When have you looked around and been surrounded by literal poverty with little hope?

As I referenced above, I idolize money for the perception of security. While I think there’s wisdom in preparing for the future, like the ant, I want to guard against laying up “treasures” on this earth (namely in my bank account). Perhaps for you it’s “treasures” in outward appearance, status, etc. Maybe you’re spending more than you make or is financially wise to “keep up with the Joneses.”

May we each consider how we can build treasures in Heaven rather than “treasures” on earth.

 

How we view and spend money is often deeply rooted in idols of security, status, and being focused on building our kingdom over God’s kingdom.

I hope we can each prayerfully consider these verses and ask God to give us compelling convictions to steward our resources according to His plan and purpose.

If these didn’t resonate with you, do some scripture studying on your own to see what the Bible teaches about money. Ask God to provide Christ-centered wisdom, conviction, and even excitement to pursue what He may lay on your heart.

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24

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In the wake of all dawns

This is the post excerpt.

Every new day looks promising. A chance to make the corrections of past wrongs.

It welcomes every soul to life with the encouragement to keep pressing on, towards goals and ambitions, towards pledges and broken promises. to make a new turn and reconsider half baked previous thoughts and most importantly, beseech all souls “don’t give up.”

YOUTH, AGE AND LIFE

“I am writing to you, young men…” because you need to overcome all the test of time. Well, even the Holy Book recognizes how much strength is kept with the young age.

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Young, ambitious and determined

That strength is your potential; to break through in all the endeavors you so desire. So before we get confused and start debating gender, allow me to clarify that “men” in this case means both male and female sexes and that the line was somehow borrowed as it is. Thank you, we now move on.

What happens if someone offers you  a blank sheet of paper and asks you to write down your destiny on it? You probably write great things to happen to you, right? You dream of fancy and opulence, with abundance of all the good things and scarcity of all the negatives. Abomination is when the paper requires you to estimate when you would like to close your history as a human being ever existed on the face of the planet earth. No one ever wants to imagine death catches up with us at the end of this movie called life. But why is it important that I should write to “young men” and the aged about life?

Times are rosy no more. Believe me all the roses have withered, nothing is coming easy, but life continues to reward all of us equally and generously like it has always done since the beginning of history. What does it mean? “Time and chance happens to them all…” Time goes on to distribute rewards to everyone who utilizes the time factor effectively, efficiently and patiently thus creating gaps in what we own, or can show for the opportunity bequeathed to us by time. One wise head once inferred, “If you take all the money in the world and distribute them equally among people, after a while all the money will go back to their original owners.” Really, wise man?

Let us have a little insight into this thought.  Picture time as an investment, and that as an investor, you fall under any of these three categories;

  1. Those who do not invest at all
  2. Those who invest to win
  3. Those who invest to stay safe (defense)

So you can use your time to do nothing and still be counted among those who invest? Point number 1 baffles me; like it has done to you, right? Regarding number one, allow me to introduce you to someone who is not a good friend of mine but very important in this article for educational purposes. The person is, POVERTY. The only tendon I can use to join this friend of mine with time is that, poverty syndromes are noticeable when time is not given the valuable consideration it deserves. You forfeit opportunities, you befriend poverty.

YOUTHS, YOUNGISH, likewise the AGED possess the ability to change their fortunes with time. Abilities notwithstanding, there is power in a willing heart. In fact, so much power that they say, where there is a will there is a way. POVERTY does not border on money alone. Frustrated and wasted talents make the category even wider. Talents can help every one of us reach to the skies and change people’s lives. If your talents and abilities make you someone people can look up to, be sure you can use the talent as your bargain to brighter future and good days ahead.

EDUCATION can never be underestimated. It is the one key that greatest-of-all-times have used to unlock their bright fortunes. Time gives chance to all youths and the youngish to use the knowledge acquired through education to shape their future. What an opportunity!! We are not going to waste it, are we? The crucial factor on what the future will pans out is the choices we make while we still have multiple opportunities to pick from. Bad or good, ‘annuities’ are guaranteed for every opportunity you forsake or nurture. Even past the youthful stages, time factor and the rewards of its good use remain. In fact, it follows us till death. GOOD news is, you can repair your future however late you realize you have been wasted!

 

”How To Stop The War In Your Head And Find Peace”

 

”It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”

Buddha

One of the main things I’ve learned about life is that before you conquer the external world, you have to master the inner world of your mind.

You might have all kinds of awesome goals.
•“I want to buy a Lambo.”
•“I want to feed starving people.”
•“I want to fly to the moon.”

No problem. The enemy lies not in the outside world. It’s not money, people, or opportunity that’s holding you back. It’s you.

Legendary surfer, Laird Hamilton said it best:

 

“Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.”

Self-doubt creeps into your system at the weirdest moments. At times you don’t expect it at all.

And all of a sudden, you have a true inner war on your hands:
•“What am I doing this for?”
•“Is it really worth it?”
•“Why, why, why?”

There’s a war going on inside your head. And you’re not even aware of it.

Here are 10 war strategies that will help you to win your inner battles.

  • See Yourself As A Warrior :-

First things first: You have to start looking at yourself as a warrior.

You’re in constant battle with yourself.

You have to realize that you’re the person who’s in control of your life. It’s not the economy, your family, spouse, boss, or anything else that you can possibly blame.

That means one simple thing: This is your life. Own it.

Robert Greene said it best :

“When something goes wrong, look deep into yourself — not in an emotional way, to blame yourself or indulge your feelings of guilt, but to make sure that you start your next campaign with a firmer step and greater vision.”

Never blame yourself. That’s not what a warrior does. Instead, fight your inner enemy by not giving up.

  • Know Yourself:-

What makes you angry, sad, fearful? How do you make decisions? What’s most important in your life?

If you want to win your inner battles, it’s obvious that you have to know your enemy.

  • Have Zero Expectations:-

One of the biggest causes of inner conflict is that we have too high expectations.

We expect a lot from our spouse, family members, friends, colleagues, boss, etc.

But that’s not the way the world works. You don’t control people. You only control yourself.

Never have high expectations. You will only be disappointed.

Instead, expect nothing.

Stop expecting that:
•Your friends will always be there for you.
•You will always stay healthy.
•Your family will always be with you.
•You will always make money.

Now, you’re free. Everything you get is a gift.

  • You’re Not Perfect: Accept It:-

Never beat yourself up for making mistakes.

This is life. It’s unpredictable. It makes no sense. Shit happens.

When you try to be perfect, you’re always at war with yourself. You’re never at peace. Nothing is good enough.

You will never get to enjoy life for what it is. Even though it makes no sense; there’s still enough beauty in life.

You just have to take off your tunnel vision goggles and see it.

Never Burn Yourself Out

Sun Tzu, the most famous war strategist in history, once said:

“In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.”

Always keep in mind that you’re worth more when you’re at full strength.

You might want to achieve something so bad that you put all your energy into it. You work hard. Don’t sleep.

But here’s the thing: You might win a hard fought battle, but not the war.

Life is long. Don’t burn out before you reach the end. That’s pure self-sabotage. Instead, save yourself.

* Never Question Life:-

I get it. You work hard, hard, hard. But nothing happens. No results.

You ask: “What Am I Doing This For?”

  • No one reads your work.
  • You’re never promoted at work.
  • No one buys your product.
  • No one hires you.
  • No one cares.

Once you have one negative thought like that, the floodgates will open.

It’s the same as binge eating: “Ah fuck it, I’ve had one spoon of ice cream, I might as well eat the whole jar.”

Don’t get all existential on yourself. There’s no point in doing that. It’s not helping you.

Never question life. Never think about it. It’s a discussion you will never win.

It’s best to avoid this war. Not all wars can be won.

  •  Believe In Yourself :-

How do you believe in yourself?

“Affirmations,” says the ignorant self-help guru aka life coach.

“I’m the best. I’m the best. I’m the best.”

That stuff makes me laugh. It’s not the 80s anymore. You can’t tell that to people.

You also can’t say things like that to yourself if you don’t truly believe it. Deep down we always know that we’re full of shit.

  • Lying to yourself will not help.
  • Lying to others will also not help.

Work, practice, see results, and believe in your abilities.

Not putting in the work? You develop no skills. Hence, no belief.

So go and work. That’s where it all starts.

* Pick The Slow Road To Success:-

“Get rich quick.”

We love fake promises because they distract us from reality.

You know better. There’s no such thing as overnight success.

Even if someone promises you the quick road, opt out, and pick the longer, and harder road to your destination.

I promise you this: You will feel 10X more fulfilled when you get there.

The lazy person is always looking for the next best thing.

You don’t care about the destination; you love the journey. No matter how hard it is.

* Stop Making Assumptions:-

Never make conclusions based on assumptions.

Always look at facts. Don’t have the facts? Don’t make assumptions.

Also, ignore conventional wisdom. Most stuff you hear and read around you is not true or very subjective.

Avoid inner conflict by looking at facts. Always.

* Keep Moving:-

The Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that movement was the main thing to life.

No matter what you do, never stand still. Staying still is the same as moving backward. Because life doesn’t wait.

Mental toughness is created by always plowing forward. By facing your adversity head on.

“What does not move is dead.”
– Robert Greene

You don’t become mentally strong by ignoring your inner troubles and looking at your Instagram feed.

No, your battles are not fought on your smartphone. You fight by looking in the mirror.

* Win or Die:-

The battles you fight with yourself are very real. And if you arm yourself with the right strategies, you will win.

Why should you always fight? Napoleon Bonaparte said it best:

“Death is nothing, but to live defeated is to die every day.”

You will never be defeated as long as you keep fighting.It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.

Mind your finances.

 

To start, there are no investment hacks and shortcuts. Investing requires time, research, and maintenance. Effort? Depends on the instrument. Stocks, for instance, would need more vigilance than bonds, which is mostly a ‘buy and wait for maturity’ affair. Overall, however, there are no instafix to get you high investment returns.

For beginners and those who want to refresh the main principles of investing, we’ve collected 8 crucial tenets.

1. Know that investing is a commitment

Investing can be compared to quality relationships. Both require patience and its close kin, time. There are more investment options available than ever on the market, with new ones like cryptocurrencies and P2P lending entering the mainstream. But before you choose “the one”, you must first determine your investment profile. Then, you need to mull over the pros and cons of various instruments before selecting those that best fit your purposes.

Time also applies to the investments themselves. Some investments allow you to cash out by a relatively quick maturity date. Others take longer. It also pays to take time and review your investments regularly. Depending on how the markets have moved, you may have to rebalance your investment portfolio to fit your personal risk tolerance.

2. Invest when you have enough savings

Everyone has a benchmark for how much savings is “enough”. But it’s essential to have several months’ worth of monthly expenses before you invest your money. Three months’ worth is a good minimum amount, six months’ worth is safer.

If your savings account is stable, you have something to turn back to if you have an emergency and need funds immediately. When all your money is tied up in investments during unexpected times, you may have to withdraw funds when the markets aren’t optimum or when your investments haven’t reached maturity – exposing you to hefty penalty fees.

3. Watch the inflation rate

The interest we get on our savings is insignificant and when you factor in banks’ admin fees, our savings usually stay flat over time. What doesn’t stay flat, unfortunately, is the price of goods thanks to inflation.

Inflation is why we invest; we want to stabilize our purchasing power in the long term. To do so, our investments must beat the national inflation rate. To solve this, balance an investment portfolio that delivers overall returns above the inflation rate.

4. Know your personal risk tolerance

Thereby, know the risk and return principle, which declares that the higher the potential returns, the higher the risk – and vice versa. Because of the risk and return principle, everyone’s investment portfolio will look different as every investor balances risk and reward according to his personal risk tolerance and future goals.

Aggressive investors will aim for instruments with the highest returns, no matter how risky. Their portfolio can consist of 80-90% high-risk instruments. Meanwhile, investors with a low stomach for risk will veer towards safer products.

Age is often, but not always, a factor in determining risk tolerance. Rationally speaking, someone young and healthy, with enough savings and a long period of productivity ahead of him can afford to take more risks.

The idea of establishing your personal risk profile is to support you in building your perfect portfolio – one that reflects your personal preferences.

5. Remember the risk and return principle: anyone promising extremely high returns either requires you to take an equally extreme risk or is selling an investment fraud

Certain instruments can be stable while offering higher returns relative to other instruments, but there is no magic instrument with high profit and no risk. It simply does not exist. Be instantly wary of suspicious offers. Investment scams tend to have several things in common: high and unsustainable returns (think monthly returns above 10%), lack of transparency, general product claims (gold, foreign exchange, etc), and no operational license.

6. Diversify, diversify, diversify

How do you mitigate risk? You diversify your investments. Diversification means allocating your funds among a variety of investments. The more diversified your portfolio, the more protected you are. Even if an investment fails, your overall returns stay positive.

Diversification is how you build your unique investment portfolio. Remember personal risk profile? Maybe you are risk-averse. You may want to compile a portfolio of 70% bonds and fixed deposits, 10% in cash and equivalents, and 20% in stocks. If I’m risk-averse, why not spend 100% of my funds on fixed deposits, you ask? Even “safe” instruments have risks. What happens when fixed deposit interests fall? Your portfolio value will be diminished. Spreading your investment across various assets will prevent this problem.

7. Reinvestment is essential

When your investments generate earnings, you have several options. You can withdraw and cash out. But if you want long-term benefits, you should reinvest those earnings so they generate more earnings.

Say you invest SGD 10,000 into bonds with 7% annual interest. After a year, you have earned SGD 700 in interest. You decide to reinvest the total SGD 10,700 into the same bonds in year 2. SGD 10,700 now reaps SGD 749 in interest earnings rather than SGD 700 and you didn’t do anything.  Over time, you would double your starting principal or more. The key is in diligence and frequency.

8. Invest early because time matters

The reinvestment principle especially shines when you start investing early. Let’s say person A invests in an instrument with 5-6% annual interest at age 25 and reinvests every year. Then there’s person B who does exactly the same with the same initial amount starting age 35. Various graphs show that when they are both 60, person A would have nearly double the money of person B.

Remember: start early, commit over the long term, have enough savings, know your risk profile, be wary of suspicious offers, diversify to build an optimum portfolio, and reinvest your earnings.

That’s all for now  beloved  ones. Until next time.

Behaviors to Avoid On Facebook

 

There are rules to driving in Rome, it’s just that those rules aren’t the published ones. You have to be there for awhile to get a feel for the real rules.

Social media is kind of like that. There aren’t really published rules. Or if they are, they are the terms of use and not really the rules of how to engage well. But there are rules for how to engage in social media, unwritten rules that ought to govern our conduct to make social media work. In my experience, social media reflects real life but it multiplies exponentially the sense in which some people feel like the whole world is theirs to take up space in and to explain to others, while working to limit the degree to which other people can feel like that. Social media then becomes a mechanism by which what Robin James has called multiracial white supremacist patriarchy (MrWaSP) perpetuates itself. That’s not going to stop unless we actively resist it.

I think there are people out there who troll by virtue of their character. But other people just seem oblivious. This post is for those people. I like the idea that we should think about people’s Facebook walls as their virtual home (ok, I say social media, but chiefly I mean Facebook – I spend time on Twitter, but I’m much less active there). You are a guest, you should act like a guest. If you don’t know someone IRL, you should be more reserved and not assume you are welcome until further encouraged. But this rule, like the others, should be contextualized–some people will always be made to feel less welcome and you should think about that as you moderate your own wall. Also, the host-guest metaphor might be insufficient because I think some people who behave poorly on Facebook would treat me like this in my house, too. In any case…

Here are 6 things to avoid doing on social media to make it a better place.

Going on people’s walls and settling in. Unless you are really friends with someone IRL taking up a lot of space on their comment threads is not a thing you should be doing. It’s like man spreading on the internet. If what they posted provokes strong thoughts, take it to your own wall with a reference to the thread that inspired you.
Commenting on people’s walls without some sense of who they are. Take some time to get to know them. Read what they post. Don’t just show up one day and tell them that they should really recognize that you are right about x when they’ve been posting about how x is right for the last six months. If your response to that is well, we just became friends, I don’t know what they’ve been posting for the last six months, then maybe you shouldn’t be posting on their wall yet.
Telling people not to overreact when they ask you not to treat them the way you are treating them on Facebook. It’s their house! You don’t get to be rude and then get mad at them for not liking it. Their wall isn’t for you. Also, that’s called gas lighting. Also, they have no responsibility to engage with you, don’t demand it. Corollary: if someone accuses you of gas lighting because you are denying that they should have any reason to feel like you are being rude on their wall, do not, under any circumstances, accuse them of gas lighting on the basis of accusing you of gas lighting. That is unacceptable and really, it should get you blocked.
Explaining the joke. One thing that happens to me is that I say something ironically or make a joking reference and people explain the irony or the joke to me. OMG. Give people some credit. I find it really interesting how some people are granted the space for the irony and humor and others are not. Pay attention to who you let be ironic.
Explaining anything. Consider this the anti-Ezra Klein rule. I think there should be less explaining on social media when that means explaining to people what the thing they said really means. The number of people who explain things to me that I already know because I post something that in one way or another touches upon their expertise or even something they read once is, well, high. Assume people have not exhibited the entirety of their knowledge on Facebook but have more knowledge in reserve. Other people’s walls are not the occasion for you to show the world how much you know. Let me say that again. Other people’s walls are not the occasion for you to show the world how much you know. Even if you know those people IRL. Especially if you do not know those people IRL. Heck maybe especially if you know them! If it is something you really want to show the world you know, take it back to your own wall.
My Facebook wall has a certain light and airy feeling that can be serious without being overwrought. Not everyone treats it that way, but I do and most of the people I interact with most on Facebook do as well. One of my frustrations with social media can be how people seem to misread what the situation calls for. I often feel refused the space to be light and airy, and envious of those who are allowed it. I’m sure that who is permitted the lightness and who is permitted to set the tone whatever it may be has all kinds of things to do with social positioning. I think people should work on better reading the space they are in and adapting to it. This requires what Aristotle called ethical perception, phronêsis, judging what is required of a situation. It takes lots of practice, it requires ethical imagination — seeing the world from another perspective and considering how they might feel and respond to your action — but it is well worth cultivating.

One more thing, attribution is a funny thing on social media. People are sharing things. My general position on this is to share without attributing unless I’m borrowing the pull quote or the thing I am sharing was written by a friend on Facebook. But there are judgments to be made here. Sharing on Facebook accumulates cred for you. If you are regularly sharing from a graduate student or someone with less cred than you have without attributing, you might start thinking of attributing to them.

Social media lays open the world in a way that our in-person social engagements might better conceal. People accrue cred in all sorts of ways that reproduce the social world as we know it. Just as in our in-person interactions, we should strive to make those more marginalized included and involved, we should work on social media to make those whose social positions already make the world difficult to navigate feel like the world is less difficult.

If you read all this and you say no, I have no desire to avoid these behaviors and we are friends, go ahead and unfriend me. If you read all this and you think, I’m fine, I never do any of that. Well, let’s be honest, most of us could probably work on these things. You’re probably not fine.

 

JUST SO YOU CAN FEEL THE BLESSINGS

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A certain guy walked into a hotel and after perusing through the menu, ordered for some food. After about 20 minutes a group of guys walked in and ordered for their food too.
To the dismay of the guy, these guys got served first. He watched as they began to eat and laugh heartily. He even overheard one of them brag about how he knew everyone at that hotel and how things moved fast for him there. He felt he was being mocked. He contemplated leaving. But he had waited so long. Unable to take it anymore, he called a waiter.
The waiter calmly told him: “yours sir is a special order, being prepared by the chief chef himself. Their orders were prepared hurriedly by students on attachment because the top chefs are busy with yours. That’s why they came first. Please have some juice as you wait”.
He calmed down and waited. Shortly after, his meal was served by 6 waiters.
Unknown to him, the owner of the hotel (who happened to be an old long lost friend of his) had seen him coming and wanted to surprise him and had made changes to his simple meal to make it a five star meal.
The party at the other table were shocked. They couldn’t stop staring. Suddenly they were the ones murmuring, asking why they didn’t get that kind of service and meal.
So it is with this life!! Some people are ahead of you and eating now, laughing at you about how they know people, how they are well connected and how they’re blessed, have money and how they’re enjoying life because of it.
You have been waiting long wondering why its taking so long to get your breakthrough, enduring mockery and humiliation. Maybe you have contemplated suicide, gone through depression or suffered severe mental anxiety.
Do not worry!! The owner of the world has seen you and doesn’t want to give you a simple meal like those laughing at you. You’re waiting long because yours is a special meal. It takes time to prepare. And only chief chefs prepare them.
Take heart today!! Wait for your meal and relax. When it comes that your blessing is right at hand, no one can stop you.
Be blessed.

On my write up about debt management, someone commented with reference to a friend who earns 25k per month but has loans everywhere, one even at 300k. That is serious, because if something miraculous doesn’t change in that young woman’s life she will pay loans into her octogenarian years . . . that is if stress and/or depression do not kick in earlier.

I would be peddling deceit to say I know how she got herself into such murky waters, but something tells me there is an element of what I call The Middle Class Syndrome that 80% of us on this group, myself included, suffer from, only that some have worse effects than others. The Middle Class Syndrome is the feeling of wanting to be, to build and protect an image that in most cases doesn’t exactly exist. It is the elder brother to Peer Pressure.
The problem with this syndrome is that it is an expensive hobby, one that sometimes stagnates people financially.

1) Unwarranted events. Let me start here because I have been a victim, don’t just say ooh, yours truly only talks about the mistakes of others. In 2015 when my son turned 1 (ONE) I threw a mega birthday bash for him. My mom was furious at me, because at the time I was building and in her calculations I had blown cash enough to install my entire roof on a one-day event. I thought through it and yes, she made sense, because in all honesty a 1 year old doesn’t even know what’s going on. It is the mature kids who attend that will enjoy the bouncing castles and trampolines then adults become a nuisance to those same kids in the evening with noise and music after they’ve taken those drinks you bought. To the actual birthday boy, that was just another day with many kids around and noise. Was it worth all that expenditure? You do the math.
NB: If you have to shelve a basic need to raise a budget to attend Blankets and Wine you are making a mistake. Unless in your monthly budget there’s that allocation then you won’t be less a human being by not attending.

2) Every parent wants his or her child educated in an institution with ‘Group of Schools’ or ‘International School’ at the end. Picked in a yellow school bus with minders in neat uniform and a smiling driver. Those are beautiful dreams, but you see, some of the reasons parents take children to some schools are not exactly educational, especially the very high end ones. They are usually weird like ‘I want a school which allows kids with dreadlocks, or without uniform, or because the teachers don’t punish students.’ So you find us leaving a good but affordable school nearby and enrolling our little ones in probably more expensive but less educational outfits because they accept the standards we have set, then you have to keep waking up your little one at 4 to be in time for the bus at 5 then sleep through traffic to get to school at 7. By the time the kid is in class 5 he is exhausted like someone who goes to Industrial Area to hustle.

3) If you have to call on 2 friends every Tuesday to raise some cash, rush to the Pizza Inn to be counted in the offer know you are another victim. You crowd  that little green and white box like liquor patrons I usually witness in the natives. 7 minutes later box empty, 300 gone. You only took three pieces of Hawaiian and four pieces of Periperi. You begin to look desperate like chicks abandoned by mother duck. Where’s value for money in that equation surely. If you can comfortably afford some of these bourgeoisie eats without telling yourself later that you messed your budget go for it, but if every time you contribute for the same you go home troubled know you are suffering from M.C.S.

4) Church. Let us be honest; it does not make sense to be living in Kitengela and attending church in Ngara, unless there’s some special attachment to it that you can lay down with a flow chart and bar graph. Most of the new generation churches have members who come from so far every Sunday to attend service, members who have probably passed 15 churches on the way there. Trust me, if you comb your hood well you will find one church among the many which is in line with your doctrines. Going to  church 200kms away because you saw the Bishop on TV proclaiming 18 Mercedes Benzes amongst members and congregants calling his wife Mom. So every Sunday you use 500 bob on fuel to church, then to Burger King for your kids’ snacks on your way home. By evening you’ve spent 2k, making it 8k at the end of every month, and that is the same 8k you can’t use to service your loan.

5) Social Media. This is a syndrome in ladies, and mostly those that don’t exactly have the money. They live for social media. You took her to Mombasa 2015,  she was taking selfies and storing in some high security volt. 3 years later she keeps releasing them one by one, like a track in a music album. So you think this young lady is having the time of her life while she’s at Zimmerman in her bedsitter going through the vault and releasing new ‘singles’. Others pose next to every unattended to good-looking car in their way. YOU scroll through her photos one might wonder if she is a car dealer, how come her photos have her next to 126 different cars on different days? Lo! Those times she has only a hundred shilling note for survival . Why does this happen? Because such people have built a certain image around them that needs to be fed, it’s like what PR and Branding are to a company.

6) The debate on whether cars are assets or liabilities especially in a fast town like Nairobi will never end, even I don’t have a conclusive answer, but what I know is that some people buy at ill advised times. You may reap the benefits of convenience and drama-free drives to and from work, but if your dashboard has a check-engine sign, or your fuel gauge pointer is always leaning left (Empty) like a cab driver you may reconsider that decision. Due diligence shows that some people save more by driving to work compared to using public means, but its not a one-fits-all idea. So even if you see on the employee notice board that Toyota have partnered with your company to give people cars on hire purchase, do your calculations well before putting pen to paper.

 

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Hillary Lisimba Ambani