Segun is currently in his early thirties and has been working for about 10 years now. He is considering getting married very soon and feels this might just be the right time for him. However, he faces one huge problem. He has no money in the bank to fund the wedding ceremonies let alone sustain a family. He is even more appalled when he realizes that he has earned over N30million combined in his last 10 years as a salaried worker, yet he had nothing in term of savings in the bank or investments to show for it. What could be the problem?
A lot young bachelors I know face serious issues with finances despite relatively having little responsibilities when compared to their married counterparts. This can be a real problem for an economy that is fast transforming as more and more graduates churn out to replace our ageing work force. Why is being broke such a problem for bachelors? Here are some of the reasons I can point out.
Cars and Houses – A familiar characteristics of a young thriving bachelor is owning a nice car and living in a rented apartment. These require huge outlay of cash as landlords collect a minimum one year rent upfront and cost of good cars are also not cheap. They end up borrowing from their offices or banks at very high rates to pay back over time. The loan repayment including interest leaves them with little or no money to save. Whereas if they had saved first, they would have had enough money to at least fund either of a car or a house.
Poor disposition towards saving – Most bachelors I know hardly cultivate the habit of saving. This could be because they do not feel any level of responsibility to a spouse or even children. Therefore, every income they receive they channel towards maintaining their lifestyle leaving them with little or no disposable income not to talk of savings. One other reason could be that there is this deceptive belief that there is no goal. As a Bachelor, you must inculcate the habit of saving at all times. Rather than think you have no goals that warrant savings, you should save towards, Marriage, your unborn kids education, welfare, house, and even Insurance.
Reckless Lifestyle – Some Bachelors also live a reckless lifestyle of partying, drinking, traveling and being a spend thrift. Whilst it’s not so bad partying or drinking there is every likelihood that this can be done excessively as a bachelor. These habits are inimical to a good savings culture as they are hardly compatible. When you save, you have little disposable income and limits your ability to fund some of these lifestyles.
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Family Pressure – Young bachelors also feel this intense need to give back soon after they are employed. They have parents, younger ones and even relatives who now rely on them for some source of income. This puts immense pressures on their finances making them seldom save or even invest for themselves. In fact, some cultures in Nigeria require that a newly employed give their complete first month salary to their parents. Whilst it is good to give back, wouldn’t saving your entire first month salary be a good head start in life?
Peer group influence – Peer group influence is another strong factor affecting savings culture of Bachelors. Young bachelors often have friends who are also not married and in most cases are simply excited with the newly found freedom of life to even bother to save. There is this unannounced competition to out do each other in terms of spending. They often misplace their priorities choosing to chase more materials aspects of life than meaningful ones. Whilst belonging to a peer group is human nature in itself, joining one with a better focus in life can be a very useful tool for saving. This is why groups such as an investment club or a cooperative are very wonderful forms of peer group influence that can aid the culture of saving.
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Women and Fashion – This needs to introduction as most bachelors I know indulge in womanizing and trying to look good. Both habits are very expensive to maintain and these days the price is even much higher than it used to be. Women are wiser and more demanding of their men both financially and physically. They want you to dress really nice and lavish some of your money on them. Whilst these are not bad demands in its totality, they can be quite expensive for a young bachelor. It is very possible for this behavior to not only stop you from saving but to even make you borrow chronically and keep you indebted
Education – Acquiring further education is very encouraging, however they do come at a huge cost. A master’s degree locally cost between N500,000 and N2million , whilst same abroad can be between N5million to N10million. Young bachelors have identified the advantage post graduate degrees can bring for their careers in future thus making them want to spend every money they have acquiring it. The risk here is that, they take up these degrees full time thus resigning from their jobs. Upon graduating they are mostly broke with most not even having enough money to pay off the balance of school fees. Student debts is a crisis even in developed worlds