It’s nice to know that International Men’s Day is marked on November 19. “It celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities”. Here are 12 money tips for single men:
1. Set SMART Goals
It is so easy when you are young and single to be “foot loose and fancy-free.” The truth is that without a plan, you are going nowhere, rather like a ship without a rudder. Look at your life; how do you want it to be? It takes focus, effort and a plan to make those big dreams come true.
2. Live on a budget
Budgeting sounds boring, but a budget is an invaluable tool that helps you prioritize your spending and manage your money no matter how much or how little you have. Can you account for where your money goes? Are you spending all that you earn, and more? The truth is that if you stick to a budget and redirect part of your income to long-term financial goals you will have financial freedom before long.
Do you have to eat out every single day? Learning to cook is a great money-saving skill. Have your mother teach you! The costs of eating out might seem affordable but it really adds up to much.
3. Start to save
Saving as a single man is easier said than done. Social expectations tend to be to spend excessively to keep up. Without being disciplined and focusing on your own goals as opposed to what society expects, it is easy to get lost in a cycle of debt and end up broke.
Those that start saving in their 20s and 30s have a great opportunity to achieve early financial security. Automate your savings and try to save at least 20% of your income. Set aside enough money in an Emergency Fund to pay for at least 6 to 12 months of your expenses in an easy access savings or money market account or fund.
4. Don’t let debt consume you
We all have to borrow from time to time. But if you borrow, plan to pay back. Particularly when you are young and starting out it might be difficult to get a loan from your bank. The primary source of credit will tend to be family and friends. Many people abuse this opportunity. Don’t be that friend who doesn’t pay back loans.
Credit can be a powerful tool that can help you to create wealth. It can also be devastating to your finances. Use credit judiciously and mainly for things that should appreciate in value and add value to your life; property, education etc.
5. Where will you live?
One of the largest costs of living is housing. Even though it might seem somewhat undignified to continue to live at home, it makes sense as you build your independence and save towards your own accommodation. Rather than rent alone, consider sharing an apartment with roommates. Splitting costs between two or three people can save you huge sums each year.
Transport costs can be another bummer. Explore opportunities for carpooling, remote working etc. that can significantly reduce your transport costs.
6. Talk about money early
The choice of a life partner is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. You need to get this right; it has huge implications for your attaining your full potential. When you are in a serious relationship, money talk doesn’t have to wait for marriage. Money conversations should start before you walk down the aisle, and then continue as your relationship evolves, and your lives and finances change.
Paying attention to how someone manages their money will give you some insights as to what kind of money personality they have, and if this is what you wish to move forward with for the rest of your life. Lookout for those opportunities that come from time to time, when you are dating.
Be observant; perhaps she insists that you pay for her designer bags on your meager salary, or insists on eating out every day. Perhaps you are forced to pay for her aso-ebi every weekend. If this is an issue for you, look for a partner that believes in you and your prospects and is not overly impressed by short-term excesses and outward appearances. [Read: Handling love and money matters]
7. Club life
Naturally for a young single man, it’s fun to socialize with friends every evening at the club or bar, but just imagine what you can save if you cut back on going out with the boys to bars, restaurants, night clubs etc. You have the cash, and you want to flaunt it. But regularly running up huge bar tabs, and always buying the latest gadget without considering your income and expenses, will eventually make you broke. Skip a few perhaps, and invite friends over with each person bringing something. If home is not a place that you can confidently entertain in, there are cheap options such as the beach for lots of fun if everyone contributes.
8. Invest in yourself
You are your greatest asset. Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Each of us has unique gifts, marketable skills or talents. Discover yourself. What are you passionate about? What are you exceptionally good at? It is your responsibility to identify, cultivate, nurture and use your talent. Tap into the potential for these effortless skills to earn income.
9. Take care of your health
Health is wealth; the choices that you make today regarding how you treat your body from now can have a significant impact on your future health and financial security. Be careful of some the pressures of the excesses of your generation: cigarettes, alcohol, prescription drugs, hard drugs, unprotected sex etc.
10. Invest for the future
It may seem absurd to talk about retirement when you are young and starting out. Even though the future seems so far away now, if you save and invest when you are young, you have an exciting opportunity to build significant wealth. It is tempting to take a huge risk. Overconfident and inexperienced young investors sometimes approach investing much like gambling and often get caught out in scams.
Invest rather than speculate; carefully consider the risk and create a diversified investment portfolio that includes cash, bonds, mutual funds, stocks, real estate, and business interests. Get on that property ladder as early as possible.
11. Protect your assets with insurance
Do you have adequate insurance in place for your car, home, health, or your life? As an adult, you are responsible for protecting yourself and your possessions. Don’t wait for an accident, a fire, a flood or a serious illness before you realize the importance of considering insurance.
12. Mind the company that you keep
“It is better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior are better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction”. – Warren Buffett
The saying that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with is scary but true.
Now is the time to establish the foundation for your financial future. You are young and have the advantage of time. Don’t waste it. Seek professional advice and remember that you are in the right place at the right time.
Nimi Akinkugbe has extensive experience in private wealth management.
She seeks to empower people regarding their finances and offers frank,
practical insights to create a greater awareness and understanding of
For more personal finance tips, contact Nimi:
Email: [email protected]