MEN & MONEY:10 Financial Mistakes That Millennial Men Make

By Amike Omuba

Published on 26/05/2022

We live in an era of financial errors. And the errors have ruined so many men, who with a bit of discipline, patience, and vision, would have avoided their awful fate.  

Men must be leaders at all levels of their lives. They must take full responsibility for any or all failures in their families and societies. Many men are damned when they fail to take responsibility. It doesn’t matter if it is their day of duty or not.  

One of the areas where men must take full control is their finances. They must understand the financial terrain of the environment where they are operating. In the Art of War, Lao Tzu says that “to understand your terrain in the battlefield is half victory”. 

The Terrain includes.

  1. Financial Skills

Systemic and deliberate misguided actions in our education system removed the teaching of financial skills, entrepreneurship, business studies, and other skill-based subjects like woodwork, metalwork, art and craft, agriculture, music, and drama from the school curriculum. 

You will be surprised to meet graduates who don’t understand simple skills like budgeting, opportunity costing, saving, investing, cashflow management, costs management, profits and loss, assets, and liabilities. They are lazy to invest in understanding and they would rather pay someone to invest for them. In the process of seeking advice, some fall into the hand of wash wash cons and lose their savings.

  1. The allure of Quick Bucks

The fact that we have microwaves and gas cookers in the houses has kinda inculcated a sense of immediacy. Growing up, if you needed to cook or warm food, you knew that you would have to light the firewood or charcoal jiko. It was a process that required some skill. It taught us patience and precision. Today, you just press a button and your food is cooking or warming.

We have transferred immediacy to making money. No wonder most of us fall in the wrong hands. Gambling, network marketing, Ponzi, pyramid schemes, greenhouse farming managed by others, you name them.

My advice remains; If you don’t understand the process your money is going through to multiply, RUN!!!

  1. False Arrival

In the last few years before the advent of Corona, there was a high uptake of young brains in the ICT, Engineering, and Medical fields. There were others who took to business while others excelled in other fields as well. Especially during the Kibakonomics. Most of these young graduates would start off at middle level or management trainees, hence a good starting salary. The moment their first salary hit the account, they went crazy. Spending sprees and frenzies. You see, they knew that in another 30 days, a similar chunk would hit their account. Their personal chi’s and their childish id went crazy. They remembered their childhood fetishes and all the crazy stuff they wished they could do. YOLO kicked off. Oftentimes YOLO has no brake pedals, it only doubles down on the gas pedal.

  1. Permanence

They wanted a job with KDF or the Police forces. Or a posting from TSC. Better still the civil service. Best, parastatals. The main reason we all wanted to join these jobs was permanence. The security of tenure and financial security.

This security is sometimes a comforting bait. You get complacent. So, you think of your retirement age, and it looks centuries away. Only to realize you are 49 with nothing to show for it.

  1. Fun Bills| Expensive Toys

Even the insurance industry has refused to cover comprehensively some models of Subaru associated with the 25–40-year-olds. They are the bunch of guys who want the curved 65-inch branded android TV complete with WiFi and premium DSTV, and Netflix subscriptions yet they rave all night every weekend, with no time to watch. 

If you add their postpaid telephone account, plus rent, electricity, and water bills; their monthly bills far exceed their income. Soon they register for Fuliza and all other mobile loan apps to get through the month.

  1. Consumer Loans| Expensive Loans| Debt

When you take up any loan without a solid investment plan and project, most likely you will use this money for the wrong purposes. Then you realize the banks have top-ups. So, you take a top-up to clear another top-up then top up again just to top up……Debts. And thus, the vicious cycle begins. 

Mobile app loans and shylock loans charge sometimes upwards of 100% of the principle amount in the middle terms. Unless you are using them for short-term business finance, you have to be prudent. Or else, RUN!!

  1. Lack of Insurance

It may look expensive but why would you insure your car and not insure your health or house. It is said that sickness and health-related cases are the fastest ways to wipe away your wealth. Insurance comes in handy to deal with disease, especially inpatient hospitalization.

Fires can raze down your millions in a minute. Insure.

  1. Belongingness 

If you stay in that estate, you drive that guzzler, you take your kids to that school just to keep up with the Joneses, then you have an underlying low self-esteem issue that needs a counselor.

Try minimalism. Simplified living. Live below your means. A lean life. Free yourself the pressure of “things as a showoff of your means”. Being simple isn’t synonymous with being a miser.

  1. Saviour Mentality

We know that “black tax” in Kenya is almost mandatory if you weren’t born at the right address. I have always advocated for kids to help their parents and siblings but in a sustainable way. Instead of fish, buy them fish rods. Instead of jumping into the pit to get them out, get a rope, tie it to some support and throw it in and let them climb out.

Emotions don’t mix with finances. Don’t EAT your SEED. SOW it. Don’t give your seed to anybody to eat. I always say, if it’s not enough to eat for a season, THEN it’s a seed.

  1. Right Saving

Saving is important. But some savings can melt the value of your man money over time. Saving in a bank is not going to ever make you rich. In fact, no saving can make you rich. Wise saving MUST have an element of prudent investment in it. You must justify the time value of money against its appreciation.

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