OPINION: Simple ways to help you rule your finances in 2023

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By Jacqueline Kalembe

There is a popular jest among people who do not save that goes; “you can’t save what you don’t have”. True. They argue their income is barely enough to live.

They have dreams and ambitions but no savings or residual income to fuel them. So they live for the next day. Or like is the case for many corporate ‘middle class’, for the next weekend.

According to the Labor Force Report published by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, about 50 per cent of Ugandans in paid employment earn some Shs200,000 or less. This indicates that nearly 60 percent of the Ugandan households are in a dire condition. Only 2 per cent reported being well-off financially.

While it is true that a huge percentage of Ugandans do not earn well, the idea of not affording to save is merely a façade we sell ourselves to disguise our lack of discipline in most cases.

We try to justify a reckless lifestyle of ‘No Saving’ by glorifying the entertaining and pleasure avenues, while avoiding the hard-hitting questions. Certainly, because we are very much aware that the answers to these questions make it only logical for us to ditch the lifestyle we are so fond of.

Many of us have been trudging the treacherous road of financial stagnancy for the past 6 years or more of our working lives.

Every other day, they sling their bag of hope on their shoulder and head to work, anticipating a pay rise, promotion or miracle at best which are often inevitably futile. Hoping for any of the above to happen is only human, but impractical. If you are to rule your finances in 2023, you need to be as realistic and pragmatic about your actions.

Drop the lifestyle

Lifestyle is the biggest undoing for many of us, especially in the age of social media that is a ‘show and tell’.

The reality of a needed change in lifestyle applies across all tiers of society, regardless of how little one earns. If you are earning Shs600,000 a month, but somehow you have been able to pull of the famous Kampala miracle of staying in a Shs800, 000 house, the realization is that you are living beyond your means.

Adjusting the lifestyle would require that you plan for the Shs6200,000 save all the ‘miracle’ money, together with a percentage of the monthly wages, and live within the remainder. That certainly is not a rosy scenario with the current inflation rates, but you tip the odds in your favor for the long-term if you do the safe thing.

Change your leisure environment

We are influenced by a lot by the things we choose to pay attention to. A number of these we pick up from our favorite places for leisure and recreation.

Be very deliberate about the people, environments and conversations that engage your mind, because they determine your mindset and course of action. Rather than play Ludo with the extremely hilarious boda-boda friends in your home’s trading center or spend the day in a betting house, perhaps consider joining an investment club, learn another trade or sport.

Get a good insurance cover

The best way to achieve anything in life is by setting targets and devising a disciplined plan to hit them. We all know that with the ever-changing dynamics of life, you need a tool that supports you. That is where insurances comes into play. UAP Old Mutual recently introduced the ‘sure deal’ life cover; a savings and investment plan tailored to enable you meet your life aspirations that have financial cost.

With your goal in mind, sure deal offers flexible and easy payment installments to enable you accumulate funds over a period. Sure deal offers a tax-free guaranteed lump sum benefit at maturity of the plan. It is designed to help you to save in a disciplined manner over a period ranging between 5 years to 10 years to accumulate sufficient funds to enable you achieve your dreams.

Who is eligible to save with sure deal plan, you ask? Any person between the ages of 18 and 65 is eligible to take up Sure Deal.

There are so many other ideas that can help you that we could not exhaust here, but if you do not check the fundamentals mentioned above, the rest are useless. So, get in touch and let us talk more financial literacy.

Jacqueline Kalembe is the Communications Officer at UAP Old Mutual Life Assurance Uganda,

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