Biola Johnson was an upwardly mobile engineer climbing the career ladder steadily. One day his company became the victim of a hostile take-over and the next day, he was tossed out on his ear. Ijeoma Nwosu was a British-trained beautician ready to take the world of cosmetology by storm. When she was diagnosed with leukemia, her dreams came crashing down. Halima Abdul was a starry-eyed lady looking forward to relocating to the United States after wedding her heartthrob, Yusuf. When Yusuf lost his job in the stock-market crisis, the wedding had to be put on hold indefinitely.
What causes poverty? Only the naïve and insensitive think the only cause of poverty is laziness. In these days of stock market crashes, downsizing and bank failures, poverty strikes high-powered professionals, CEOs and other hard workers. The recent recession brought about by the subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S. impoverished many. How can you poverty-proof yourself so that when the tide of ‘’sudden disaster’’ comes in, you’re safe and sound?
There are a few tried-and-true habits which I’ll share with you this week.
- Pay Yourself First:
Since the ax can fall on anyone – illness, disability and layoffs – it’s best to be prepared rather than live in a bubble of invincibility. Before you cut a check for your transportation, dining or utilities, set aside 10% of your income in a savings account. The funds in this savings account should be kept frozen. This way, when tragedy falls, you’ll be cushioned from the huge blow.
- Release Yourself from Your Creditors:
What most people don’t know is that by paying the minimum monthly installments on your debts, you’re almost guaranteed to remain in debt for ages. Cut down on your indulgences and look for ways to write off huge chunks of your outstanding balance. Be proactive and find ways –even if it means calling your creditors and scheduling a meeting to discuss a rate reduction. Getting out of the debt noose is worth it.
- Think ‘’Multiple Streams of Income’’:
Having a primary source of income that pays all your living expenses and then some is a luxury few people are able to enjoy. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a business on the side. Job security is a joke, and there’s no loyalty in the corporate world. You can be your bosses’ right hand man today, and out on the streets tomorrow. Don’t let them get the last laugh.