Money is a tricky prospective. Nobody is born with innate capabilities to handle money, but a proper money sense is fostered by learnt habit. Financial education is lacking in the formal education system but abounds in the informal sector – in homes, schools, on the streets and on the internet. So lack of available information is no excuse for financial failure.
However, in this generation, a multitude of fence sitters who know but do not believe or believe but do not act also abound. A simple riddle from the book, Make Sense of Your Money, by James Abola and Philip Karugaba puts it plainly. It goes that, “Five birds are sitting on a fence and they all decide to fly away, how many birds remain?”
As you procrastinate over that answer, keenly scrutinizing the mathematics of the riddle, remember that the things you chose to do someday may never be done because in the seven days of a week, no day is called ‘someday’.
Many of us talk about this financial project or side business they have been thinking about for the better part of their lives as a way of improving their financial status. The problem is they spend all their time thinking about it and never doing anything about it.
Remember that talk is cheap. In financial planning, you need to walk the talk towards financial freedom or take a walk to financial ruin. As one Olin Miller put it, if you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.
Back to our riddle, think about how many answers you have cooked up with all the imaginative mathematics you can cook up, yet the answer is simple – all the birds remained – because all the five birds decided to fly away but they did not fly away, at least within the content of that riddle.
Many people live with riches in their mind, some day, that same someday that does not exist, ‘I will buy car, start a business, save money, or buy a house by the beach or on a hill, just some day.’ These people conveniently live on a fence between what they are and what they want to be. They unconsciously fear the jump into the unknown, of what they want to be, but are comfortable in wish talking about it, hence escaping from what they are. They are exactly like the bird that decides to fly but never flies away.