The effect of the Global Economic Crises is closing in on Nigeria gradually. A recent report predicted that 18 percent of Nigerians would further be classified as being poor in 2009. That mean the gap between the poor and the rich will get wider still. But then, it is said that if the riches of the world were shared between the rich and the poor, in 30 years, those rich would still be rich and the poor would have returned to their normal position. Apparently, the poor and the rich seem to have habits that consistently make them remain in the same position. These habits would be analysed based on assets and liabilities. What is an asset? An asset is whatever you acquire that gives you money to maintain you and your purpose on earth, while liabilities are things you have that require more money to maintain them.
Those called rich are the people whose assets are more than their liabilities, while poor people have more liabilities than assets. What do the poor do so exceptionally well?
1. Value liabilities more than assets.
If you value liabilities more than assets, it is likely you would be poor if you are not already. If all you seek or aspire to have are all liabilities instead of assets, you are most likely poor. It is notable that more students and poor people use more good looking phones than rich people. Cars, clothes, phones are all liabilities and these are things most poor people aspire to have as a status of being rich.
2. Acquire liabilities with income.
Supposing you use your hard earned cash to purchase a car, don’t doubt it- a car is a liability, if we follow our previous definition above- except if you have a mobile shop. If income is directed at obtaining liabilities which requires more money to maintain them, then you have just bought a pipe through which all your hard-earned income would be drained. The issue with rich people is that they earn faster than they spend.
3. Spend income maintaining liabilities.
Definitely once the money is spent on acquiring liabilities, you would require more money to maintain or continue to use them. Poor people spend a large part of their earning maintaining the liabilities they have. Imagine having four cars, it requires more money to maintain the four cars, while assets make more money for you.
4. Spend and try to save leftover.
The spending pattern of the poor is also evident in the fact that once they earn some money they spend them on liabilities and save the left over. After expending all the money on liabilities, the little money saved would be used to settle the debts or costs incurred on maintaining the liabilities they have bought.
5. Save to expend on liabilities.
Poor people may have excellent saving culture, but they may spend it on liabilities. Imagine spending time and life going to work, and saving only to buy a car to use to go to work. A car may not be bad when you have assets in excess of the money you earn in a year.
When saving towards anything, be sure it is towards an asset that may bring more money into your pocket, rather than a liability that would take more from you.
6. Play today, pay tomorrow.
The mindset of delaying gratification is only found in the dictionary of the rich. A poor man/woman would prefer to enjoy the pleasantries of life as soon as some cash enters into their pocket, only for them to regret those decisions in years to come.
If you find a seventy year old woman begging on the streets, what readily comes to mind is to ask what she has been doing? There are too many cases of “have beens” in the earth, who are worth nothing today.
7. Their children inherit debt.
The thirst to acquire more and more might even drive some people to take loans from banks. Other people love to admire such; flashy cars, houses, glamorous clothes and accessories only for them to die and put their children in line for paying back debts owed or for credit card abuse
This is intended to x-ray our behaviours as we position ourselves on the way to the future. We should look at our habits and choices and have no doubt where we hope to end up.