What are you worth?

We have all googled famous people’s net worths, however, I wonder how many of us have ever calculated our own net worth’s? I have a degree in accounting and decided to use some of that stored information to do the books of NinaTladi (Pty) Ltd, income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement et al. I assessed my liquidity, solvency and the other ratios I could remember and it was not a pretty sight. I encourage each one to do this little exercise, and ask ourselves this question: would you invest in you if you saw your financial statements?
Every year we run pillar to post to prepare budgets for our employers, maintain records, prepare financial statements and other reports in respect of the financial performance of our organisations. We give great ideas on how to raise revenue, reduce costs and innovate on ways in which we can keep the wheels turning to ensure our organisations flourish such that we can live to receive another happy face text message. Some really smart people are able to assess companies and provide others with reasons as to why they should invest their hard earned money in organization A as opposed to organization B. We know how to give our best at work and are very intentional about our outputs in the workplace in order to score the next promotion, but when it comes to our own finances we are very non-chalant about things we are genuinely but secretly chalant about, leaving it to chance that we will attain the financial goals we have set, that’s if we set them at all.
A budget is a goal, a plan used to guide our efforts in terms of where our money should go and we track any variances throughout the months. I have recently started a weekly budget and I have found that I can live on far less than I thought. It is very difficult, as nowadays I have to pack lunch every day to avoid buying lunch which I noticed is very costly and I have curbed my excessive data purchases, so if my data runs out that week and I’m not in the comfort of a Wi-Fi spot, you will get a response the next day. If it’s really that important you will call me. There are a lot of things I have stopped purchasing toward my current goal of a fully funded emergency fund and being intentional about my finances and here are a few examples: I have not had a gel manicure in almost two months and I didn’t die, I don’t buy the cappuccinos everyday (I love coffee, this is huge for me), I stay home on weekends and find that when Monday comes around I am both well rested and did not waste money. If huge corporations see the importance of a budget, why do we think it is not important?
In her book, ‘Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich’, Dr Lois Frankel advises everyone to know their networth. She asserts that not knowing is a form of self-sabotage and an avoidable mistake that we make that keeps us from knowing the true state of our finances and taking corrective action. Imagine if companies did not prepare financial statements on an annual basis to report back to its stakeholders? This sounds absolutely absurd and the same is true for our finances. In the June (Youth month) of Destiny Magazine, Hulisani Ravele (former presenter on Yo-Tv) discusses her missteps with money and how she now makes very different decisions with respect to the money she earns. As an entrepreneur, her business pays her a salary which she consistently reviews. For those with a side hustle, they know the importance of budgets, periodic reviews, proper records, keeping debt to a minimum and investing back into that side hustle.
You can be intentional about your character and about your finances, know what you own (truly own-not the bank’s property) versus what you owe and ensure that the latter is not more than the former at a specific point in time. Keep that same energy that you have for work and ensuring you get the gold star or promotion in your personal finances. When I was a postgrad student studying auditing, there was a principle called, “the tone at the top” which basically translates to the fact that the attitude of those in charge trickles down to the juniors thus if the CEO was lax about all the above mentioned things, then it was inevitable that the same attitude would be the culture of the organization. Culture does not make people, people make culture and I believe we can start to establish a culture of transparency, accountability and freedom as it pertains to personal finance.
What is the saying? You are the CEO of your own life.
PS: You don’t have to be a hero, you just have to be what most people aren’t, consistent.