Just before the end of last year, Harrysong’s hit song –After the Reggae play the Blues trended on twitter. Just like the Christmas season and the month of January, the hit song reminded me of the fact that some things are just meant to follow each other in succession. If you eat a lot of eggs and beans for instance, I don’t need a prophet to tell me who to suspect if I suddenly perceive a foul stench around you.
To borrow from our dear senator, it is just common sense. It is common sense for example, to expect that you will be asked to pay after eating in a restaurant. It is common sense to expect failure if you write an examination without preparation. It is equally common sense to expect pregnancy if one has unprotected sex.
As a boarding school student for instance, we knew that after ‘the dinner comes the prep’. We knew that a compulsory siesta comes after lunch. We all knew the time table. We therefore planned our days with the school time table in mind. That too, was common sense.
My current landlord is a very nice man, and most of his tenants love him for that. The only place wey many people dey vex with am na for the area of house rent. No, it is not about the amount, but the timing. Of all the months in the year, Oga landlord chose the ‘worst’ time to ask for his rent. His policy is that every rent expires in December, so we all have to renew our rent the first week of January.
A lot of people are already complaining, “This is January naa, things are hard. Which kain winch be this? Em no know say everywhere tight?”
I am sure you must have heard a lot of people say that January is the driest month in the year. It is a bit understandable since the rainy season starts in March. The one I don’t understand is when people say that January is the longest month of the year, while December is the shortest. This logic beats my imagination since both months have 31 days in them.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand totally if you coincidentally happen to be in a tight corner in January, or just at the same time an inevitable financial responsibility comes knocking.
Let’s assume that your close relative was just rushed for an emergency surgery, and the bill wiped your savings. It will be exasperating to have your landlord come knocking at the same time, especially if you are still trying to pay off the car loan you took.
I totally understand that. We are in an imperfect world, and sh*t does happen at times. What I don’t understand, however, is why you now make it a habit to always be the one grumbling every year or month when NEPA or LAWMA officials come knocking.
Of course I know that all fingers are not equal. And this is not an attempt to look down on those who may not have everything they need at the moment. What I am trying to advocate for rather is for proper planning and intelligent budgeting.
Why must a man spend his year’s savings partying, eating, drinking and chopping life in December, when he knows he has school fees to pay in January? Also, why cry foul in January if you chopped six months’ salary in December?
January is just a month in the year friends. I don’t think there is any organization that chooses not to pay their staff for January. The bitter truth is that no matter how small your income is, if you plan enough, whatever you have will be enough.
I remember my mentor telling me some time ago, “Don’t ever live in a house where you need to pray and fast for the house rent. And don’t ever put your children in a school where you need to ‘believe’ God for the fees. Sew your coat not according to your size, but according to the size of material you have”.
That to me is one of the wisest counsels I have ever gotten as a young man that is still starting life. It helps me plan my days, weeks, months and years properly, to avoid any form of crunch.
It reminds me of one of the most powerful laws on earth – the law of cause and effect. To paraphrase it, whatever effect we see was caused. Unfortunately, this law is one of the things we are not taught in school.
How do I mean? Let’s assume that Oga Titus lives in a flat where his rent is #360-400k per annum, and he earns #180k a month. He should be astute enough to know that #35k out of his monthly income must be kept aside for rent.
Let’s equally assume that he has three children, and the school fee for each person is #35k a term. It means he should spend about #315k per annum on school fees. Without being told, Oga Titus should set aside roughly #30k a month for school fees and books.
In this situation, I don’t see why he should be crying whenever the children need to return to school. Neither do I see why he should be dodging his landlord. All he needs is proper financial planning and budgeting. And if the bills seem too much, he should either aim at increasing his income, or look for more affordable alternatives.
Whether we like it or not friends, January must come after December. And while some people are crying, some are rejoicing. According to the law of cause and effect, if you are crying, it’s a pity but na you cause am. If you are rejoicing, na you cause am too.
If you are crying this January, don’t worry. All you need is to make better financial choices this year. But if you choose not to, get prepared to cry again next January, because after every December, you must pay the dues.
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