1. Why am I unable to save money?

It is not that you cannot save; the problem is what stories are running through your subconscious mind (background), which we call self-limiting beliefs. So let me explain what we mean. You may have been told that “you are not good enough”, “you are not worthy or deserving of good things in life,” and the story has been told so many times that it became “your normal,” in other words, you believed it as your own truth.

This creates conflict within you that you would like to save, but these feelings of ”not being worthy of taking care of yourself, keep creeping up on you. You experience this feeling of not wanting to do it for yourself, and you then keep postponing with good intentions, of course, because you do not realize that you are actually sabotaging yourself. Always go back and find out where you heard those stories from.

However, you do not realize that it hurts you and sets you back because you are not building anything of value, such as real wealth, in your life. Project it 15, 20, 30 years from now and ask yourself this pertinent question when you look back and ask yourself, “What did I do with my life? I have not built enough reserves or generated any wealth for myself, for my children, or my family”? What are you going to do when you get to that point?

You must start Today, this week, and this month, do not delay any further; challenge yourself, demand of yourself, and start holding self-talk and keep reminding yourself that you deserve this.

Start small instead of spending all your money on unnecessary, luxurious items. How about you put away as little as $10.00 a week and incentivize yourself? See it as “depositing goodwill and well-being” into your life. Pay yourself first before you pay others. Feel good about it and do not make it feel like a chore. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so try for 30 days and then extend it as far as you would like it to stretch and see where it gets you. Best wishes.

2. What is the best advice you would give to a person who is trying to get rid of an overspending habit?

We would say overspending doesn’t just happen in isolation; in most cases, it is an indication of an underlying void (emotion) that you are trying to hide or bury, and you cover it up with overspending.

It is a limiting belief that is buried deep in your subconscious, and you keep playing this song over and over again in your mind without being aware that it is playing in the background. It triggers a whole host of issues that you are trying to avoid and would rather overspend than deal with head-on

What do we mean? You have been overspending because:

  • You feel guilty (you want to impress your friends with something you can afford, even though deep down you know you cannot, so as to fit in) or
  • If you have high credit bills, you are embarrassed. You do not want people to know that perhaps when you grew up in your parent’s home, where there was never enough money to go around, there was always a fight about or punishment over money. You had to fend for yourself at a younger age, so now you want to show up amongst your peers as the one who can afford it even though you cannot.
  • You are filling a void (vacant esteem). You believe you are not good enough, or you are not worthy or deserving of good things in life, so you mask it by overspending so that it makes you feel good. At the end of the overspending exercise, you feel awful that you have overspent, and you cannot help yourself, and the cycle repeats all over again.

These are just a few examples of how it shows up, so you need to examine which one is it before we even begin to say look into creating a budget, which is an audit of your income or bank account on how each penny is spent and where exactly does the money go because you see it all starts in the mind before it manifests physically.

Have 1-on-1 self-talk in the mirror and ask yourself honestly, openly, and truthfully: Where exactly have I heard this story before?

Watch your thinking, words, actions, and behavior toward money, and then you would have unraveled your underlying overspending habit.

3. What is failure? What is the point where you should recognize the point of failure?

There is no such thing as failure; we have been taught or conditioned to always look at life and education in a negative light or connotation as compared to what we are experiencing right now.

All that we have been taught to call failure is a setup to prepare you for the next step in the ladder of life, or upward movement.

These obstacles are placed deliberately there for a reason so that you can make an effort and learn the lesson to keep moving forward; you can master yourself. It was never meant to cripple or stop the momentum that you already had going.

When things do not go according to plan or keep failing according to your definition, it simply means to adjust your sails or start all over again if you have to because you may have taken the wrong path or used the wrong tools. That is why you always need a mentor or a coach who will ask those difficult questions, guide you, nudge you, and show you various options that you may not be aware of so that you can finally reach your destiny.

4. Where can you learn good financial habits?

  1. You have to read financial books that empower you to understand how finances work. Here, I will recommend you start with just two: Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and George S. Clayson’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” to get your mind straight. You see, the education system does not and never will teach you financial literacy 101, and when you approach a bank asking for a loan or credit card, they never ask for your report card. They ask for your financial statement. It is important to read “Leaders are Readers and Readers are Leaders!”
  2. Set yourself a few practical financial goals, for example, if you want to have achieved a certain lifestyle by age 40, such as paying off your mortgage by age 40 and getting out of debt, and have invested X$$$$ in an investment account as a supplement to my retirement. State it exactly how you would like to see it, meaning write down your goals and keep referring to them every day as a reminder when the going gets tough.
  3. Apply your newly acquired information and knowledge to your life as a matter of course and live by it. What is the point of learning all this information and never applying it? Stick with or to your goals unless something major happens, tweak it, and adjust as you go. Life never moves in a straight line, it has twists and turns, accept and embrace what it gives you because always remember you are here to learn, teach, and share your experience with others. So, always have a vision for your life as to where exactly you want to go, be, have, and do. In the final analysis, you will be fine

5. What are simple ways to save money?

15 practical life-changing saving strategies you can use starting today!

  • Make savings fun: create a fun competition amongst family members or friends to keep the momentum going and lasting (stick to it)
  • Look into saving on bank charges and insurance – keep reviewing how much it costs you to have and keep the bank account you hold and insurance (contract terms and conditions)
  • Buy what you need: Plan and only buy food that you really need to avoid waste.
  • Buy in bulk—it helps to save in the long run, especially goods with a long shelf life like toilet paper, washing powder, dishwashing liquid, and washing powder.
  • Avoid buying convenience food. How much would you save if you cooked food at home? Also, consider preparing fresh ingredients that will enhance your lifestyle, as you can control both costs and what goes into your body to keep it healthy and resilient. A healthy mind equals a wealthy pocket.
  • Take your lunchbox to work: take leftover meals to work, and this will help avoid unnecessary spending, force you to be realistic about your money, and help with your priorities.
  • Eat before you go out shopping: This goes for children too, as well as adults because you spend more money when you’re hungry (to fill the void) instead of when you’re full. It is also expensive to eat out; now you are spending more than you initially budgeted for.
  • Make a shopping list of the required items and stick to it, even if there are ongoing specials (if it is not on the list, ignore or avoid it, be disciplined, and move right along)
  • Compare prices: we live in an internet age (information is freely available), so it has made our lives easier to compare and save time, e.g., updating and reviewing needs (cellphone upgrade packages), where and when to shop (have you noticed that at the end of the month, the food prices jump up more than during the course of the month?). Be ninja-wise!
  • Do not be a slave to retail therapy; it has its good and bad ways; delay the immediate (instant gratification) by buying on impulse, take time to do research, compare prices or items, and read reviews of what other people think of the items, consider all available options before committing your hard-earned cash to a purchase, especially big-ticket items such as fancy car, expensive furniture, or the latest fashion fad Stop being a fashion victim; be a finance victor
  • Use electricity sparingly: switch off lights in rooms that are not occupied, so it goes for the appliance as well; save energy and last longer; use light bulbs and appliances that are energy efficient.
  • Be smart in how and when to shop for clothes. Familiarize yourself with seasonal sales, e.g., buy your clothes when the season changes. At the end of winter, buy winter fashion clothing, which is when retail shops get rid of their stocks to make way for the summer cycle. So at the end of summer, you buy summer clothes; in that way, you buy items at reduced prices and it is still good quality clothing that lasts forever.
  • Rather, withdraw enough cash that is required and you also save on bank charges (it psychologically registers how much you are withdrawing or spending. Just keep the receipts or use an App, so as to track and trace where the money went, to cover your weekly, living expenses such as transportation, petrol, fruit and vegetables, bread, and milk;
  • Avoid swiping your plastic card. It is always easy and convenient to use our credit, check, and debit cards as there are no charges when you swipe, right? However, we do not stop to think when we use the card that as much as the cash leaves the bank account, it surely leaves our hands. You wonder what happened to your money.
  • This will help you avoid swiping your card on unplanned impulse buying fashion, e.g., a pair of shoes, jeans, or a nice shirt, just to impress people whom you do not know with money you don’t have at a party or wedding for a brief moment—that was not in the budget, to begin with. Is it worth it?
  • Work together as a team (family, partnership, collaboration); there is no point in trying to save in a case where there’s no communication within the family structure (get buy-in from family members) to gain support and work together; this is a recipe for financial victory. Together, you move much farther than when you work alone.
  • Check your budget and track your money regularly. – continuously review your budget (keep receipts, check your transactions online, and update your budget as regularly as possible weekly, monthly, and quarterly) checking to spend vs earnings; keep on cutting costs, spending less, and saving money
  • Once you get comfortable with repeating these steps, you’ll be in a place where you start building wealth, and the next step (the big question) is what you are going to do with the money you saved. Maybe reward yourself by taking that long, overdue vacation you promised yourself.
  • Change the money habits that are not serving you, and change your lifestyle. Imagine having a clean bill of health, a healthy bank balance, and leaving the life that you always dreamed of your whole life, and now you have it. Can you imagine how that will change your life forever?

6. Who wrote the book that inspired you to become who you are Today?

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, was not very popular when he wrote that book, as his peers saw him opening up Pandora’s box to wake up the sleeping masses when we really did not understand how money, the Federal Reserve, commercials, retail banks, and the economy work.

He also opened up my mind about how the banks never ask you for your report card but ask you for your financial statements of your assets (own) and liabilities (owe).

How NOT to get confused about assets that we hold so dear, like a car the house that it is not an asset until you have fully paid it up, AND if it keeps taking money out of your pocket.

While you are still paying for it, it belongs to the bank, and that is why they (banks) can “re-possess your assets” if you fail or cannot pay back the mortgage or car payments.

I suggest you grab this book if you have not already read it; it will open up your eyes

7. Why is money hard to get but easy to spend?

The world, earth, and universe that we live in are abundant in their nature; there is no scarcity. Look to nature to observe how abundant it is to the extent of being wasteful. Scarcity is created by human beings and the harsh environment that they find themselves in and the thinking that got them into it.

It all begins in the mind, where everything is created. You see, you were probably taught at a much younger, tender age that money is in short supply, and this was drummed into you until you accepted it as truth.

There is an abundance of money, life, health, and wealth everywhere, and they are available for picking or taking; the only limitation is one residing in your mind. If you change the way you look at things (perceptions), things will change the way they look. Put on new lenses about how you perceive life and the environment around you; do not look at money physically; look at money as your talent, your gifts, your skill sets, your knowledge, your wisdom that you have gained over time that you can share with others, the value you bring or offer, and turn that into money; just claim it. It is available to you, and no one ever told you that you could not have it. Where did that all come from? t is all in the mind

8. Does being wealthy guarantee fulfillment in life?

Nothing in life is guaranteed; even your life is not guaranteed because you do not know when you will depart from this earth or, better still if you will wake up the next day. There is a Higher Power who controls it all and we are not in full control per se. Try controlling the weather and see where that gets you?

The same goes for any product that you use; the guarantee (warranty) is always limited because the manufacturer does not really know how you will take care of the product concerned. That is why it comes with a manual that gives you precautions and instructions on how to take care of it step by step. What I have noticed is that when you follow the instructions, the product performs better and lasts a little longer than normal.

The same goes for wealth; it is not a guarantee that you will live a better-fulfilled life. There are so many multiple dynamic factors that you should consider, as you should know by now that life does not move in a straight line; it has twists and turns, up’s and down’s, valleys and peaks.

When you think you have arrived and conquered one obstacle (a valley), you begin to realize that there are so many upcoming peaks and valleys you still need to go through and ride them out, just like the sea with its ebbs and flows.

9. Is money all there is to live on?

Money should be seen as a resource or a tool, not an end in itself, to advance and achieve both your financial and life goals in your lifetime in some instances, but it should not define or be limited to being the be-all and the end-all.

For it to work, you must cultivate and use your mind, have a vision for your life, have a purpose for what you will use it for, have the right education, and have the necessary skills set to take you forward, just to mention a few.

Be cautious; we were not born here on earth to live for money, yet we have made it sound and look like it is the ONLY important thing in our lives that we cannot live without, as compared to the air that we breathe, just because our priorities are not aligned with what we came here to do.

It should not become the primary focus of our lives; there is so much more to life than money. Yet we also understand that money makes the world go around.

Find your purpose, either create or find a vision and passion for your life, and serve others, and the money will come or will follow

10. How do you “see” money in your mind? How do you understand?

I see it as a tool that must be used to achieve your goals and gain financial freedom to live your life on your own terms. Not to be confused with wanting or demanding to be respected or boasting or controlling people. In fact, it is the exact opposite; once it has been generated and accumulated, it must help those who are less fortunate.

Having said that, money is not the only tool; you still need your mental and physical faculties and other people to help you make it happen. Life is definitely not just about money; it is also one of the tools in your toolkit

11. What’s the single most important life lesson you’ve learned?

Money is not as important as we might think it is. Yes, we do need it to pay some bills. When you are self-sufficient, you can; it is all in your mind. There are people out there who are happily fulfilled, have minimalistic needs, and yet live full-out. What is the difference? It is the perspective they have on life and the values and principles on which they define their lives.

12. How do I know my debit card account number?

When you open an account at the bank, which nowadays is done in the comfort of your own home, a unique number is generated after you have been asked to fill out or complete a form and then be asked to sign the agreement that states that you understand the terms and conditions, benefits, and charges. The bank generates a contract or agreement with a unique number called an account number, which will be highlighted in the Agreement that you sign.

Your account number, the name that the account has been opened in, and the branch code [some are specific to a particular branch you dealt with when you opened the account, others are universal, meaning it does not matter where the account is held; it is the same wherever you interact anywhere with that bank] all constitute your banking details. When someone asks you for your banking details, this is what they are asking you for.

A word of caution: never share your banking details with someone you do not trust.

When you open your account, the bank will also give you a bank card (check or debit) along with a PIN (Personal Identification Number), which you will need to withdraw cash from your account at the ATM. I trust that helps.

13. What is the wisest financial advice you have heard from the richest person?

  1. Understand how the game of money is played
  2. Learn before you earn
  3. Master the language of money
  4. Never gamble your hard-earned money, be it in the stock market or in investment schemes. Be sure you know what you are doing. If you don’t understand or don’t know how it works, stay far away from it, or alternatively, dedicate your time and effort to learning it until you understand it
  5. Become a humble diligent dedicated student in order to become a master

14. What makes people tend to forget God when they have achieved their goals?

Because they think they are bulletproof, think that they are in control, and think they know it all and have figured out what works and what does not. They forget that their view is limited, and God’s view has the overall advantage of an overview where He can see, hear, listen, and change anything at any time because He can. He owns and controls the universe with all of its galaxies, so we, the feeble and fickle humans, think we can second-guess what the outcome will be (very sad indeed). Fancy, before the goals were achieved, the people sought Him, but when things go well, they forget almost immediately how they got out of a sticky situation.

15. As a 20-year-old, what can I read to be more financially literate?

Great question! I am in favor of teenagers who ask empowering questions that will move them forward quicker than their peers.

Financial literacy is your ability to make financially smart decisions. It is even better when you learn these lessons at a younger age.

Reading books is no longer an excuse; if you want to be financially literate, you have to bury yourself in books, and there are plenty of places where you can glean from: the library, the internet (both free and paid books), blog posts, articles on budgeting, savings and investments, debt management, money management habits, tools, and action guides.

Just as a start, read Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, and a short timeless classic by George S. Clayson, “The Richest Man in Babylon.”

Look for advice from people who are already experts and participating in their chosen field that you would like to model, but more importantly, observe what others are doing, but do not learn their bad financial habits; rather, glean and observe and have no part in it as you will fall into the trap of making the same mistakes again.

It is part of the learning process to avoid repeating others’ mistakes.

It is important for you to take this financial literacy journey seriously, as it affects every aspect of your life, as you will see when you grow up. Best wishes.

If you want to read more about improving your financial literacy, go to www.royaltyark.com

16. If you and your partner come from different financial backgrounds, how do you come to an understanding of how to spend money and money habits?

I consider those difficult conversations that must be held as a matter of urgency; otherwise, it will ruin the very beautiful and awesome relationship you have. As we all know by now, money puts a lot of strain on or destroys relationships if these challenges are not addressed and resolved in time. As you may well know by now, it also causes most divorces, and you really do not want to be part of that statistic.

Here is what I suggest you do:

11 Practical ways to resolve and improve your finances, starting in small steps

  • Set your mindset to WIN and stop telling yourself that you are bad at handling money. Being financially savvy is a skill like any other that can be learned, and the first step is to change your Mindset. So stop the story lies that you have been told and what you continue telling and feeding yourself, and start making the changes to improve your finances step-by-step.
  • Continuously improve your financial knowledge. The internet is filled with free resources to help you improve your financial skills and wisdom, so there are no more excuses that you can’t afford to learn or cannot dedicate time to keeping up to date with financial trends, even if you don’t use them now. Be aware of them and their influence on the current economy and how it affects your life and your finances, and never stop learning.
  • Hang out with people who share the same financial goals as you—the one’s who will encourage you to make your life better. Please do not misunderstand; we’re not saying leave your friends, but choose wisely.
  • Live within your means, and this might sound cliche, but next time you buy organic foods (perhaps think of starting your own home gardening), not only is it healthier, but it costs you a lot less. Just start small, and you’ll see how it filters down to the bigger unnecessary expenses in your budget. Healthy minds have wealthier pockets, so no leaks!
  • To start with, get into the habit of checking your bank statement (transaction history) every time by tracing all the transactions taking place every month. By knowing exactly where your money goes, you might know exactly where each cent is going every month, but you’d be pleasantly surprised at how many people struggling financially have no idea where their money goes.
  • Budget for your life, for some reason people get really defensive and offended when they hear the word budget they cringe like it’s something bad and they avoid it like the plague yet it is a very helpful tool.
  • Save with an end purpose in mind for the sake of saving money that will beat inflation (less buying power) and provide for emergency situations in the short term.
  • Appoint a financial advisor to map out your retirement plan. People are living longer these days, especially women.
  • Use technology instead to help improve your finances by using apps that track your income and expenditure that can be downloaded onto smartphones that have become many financial coaches in the pockets and on-the-go, such as a mobile banking app that performs many functions and can alert users when they’re maxing out their check or debit card and credit card limits or overdraft facility, and it helps those who struggle to budget.
  • Remember that money has energy and carries a vibration, so give your money meaning right from the get-go. What do we mean by this? Let’s say you have a goal that by the end of next year you want to have saved enough money to take a vacation to Brazil. The next minute you find yourself buying unnecessary or non-essential items that waste money that should have been channeled toward your vacation, so be disciplined and focused with your money; as they say, what you focus on grows!
  • Finally, please familiarize yourself with financial tools as they relate to how taxes work, how interest works, how capital works, and so on. Even a basic understanding of these tools and how to negotiate them can make a huge difference for you in the long run, and even if you’re not using them right now, be aware of how they’ll work to get your money working for you and put you in a better position to make better decisions down the line.

I trust that those practical ways will go a long way toward starting the conversation. You’ve got this, and you can do it! Best wishes