TIPS ON FINANCIAL PRUDENCE FOR MUSLIMS
Hey you! Yes, you. You spend money all the time, but have you thought of saving some for emergencies or for investment opportunities? Before you make more excuses about your financial condition, I agree that managing finances can be very overwhelming. However, this is something that we must begin to talk about, especially as Muslims.
As you might have noticed, the concept of wealth (money) and its management surfaces quite a number of times in the Qur’an. This is an indication that money management is highly encouraged in Islam.
Money is often described as a scarce commodity and of course, it comes and goes. Therefore, it is very important to preserve and add value to it in line with the best Islamic practices. Here are some tips I hope you would find useful.
- Paradigm Shift
I think we find ourselves in a bad financial state because of the kind of mindset we have about money. Most of us have this ‘’all or nothing” type of thinking because we have not actually taken time to understand money and how it works. Hence, we have issues with its management. Those with the all or nothing kind of mindset believe that they need a lump sum of money before they can start saving or investing. The actual reality, however, is that every dime is worthy and capable of changing your overall financial picture on the long run. Most household names or brands started from almost nothing, but you know what changed their game? Consistency did it!
I guess we have got this sorted. What next?
- Create a budget
I am sure I am not the only one who is familiar with the “Where did all my money go” line. Cultivating the habit of budgeting brings you a step closer to solving that mystery because by creating a budget of your monthly expenses (compared to your income), you can easily see if you are in the positive or negative. Budgeting can really help you in your path towards proper money management, you can get an app or any other online tool to better organise the process.
- Spend less than you earn
We just arrived at one of the difficult points, right? But, you know, sometimes, the best things to do are often the hardest. Really, this is the proper thing you do. Spending more than you earn means that you might find yourself in that awful situation of constantly being in debt. Worst still, it leaves you broke even on payday. If you are always running out of money before your next pay, this might be a sign that you spend more than you earn.
- Have a change of lifestyle
This is about cutting out those extra expenses such as eating out (when it is not extremely important), expensive data plan, excess clothes, movie dates and all those things. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of self-care. Of course, you should spend money on yourself because why not? Plus, you only live once right? However, to enable you reach a stable financial condition, you should cut down on these things and find cheaper alternatives. For instance, rather than go on a date with your friends at a time when your finances are not stable, why not plan indoor hangout? You don’t even have to attend every party or buy every ‘’aso-ebi’’. You can go choose an amala (sorry, if you don’t eat amala, you should try it though) date over an ice-cream date and so on.
This requires a whole lot of discipline, but you will be so proud of yourself when you realize how much you have saved, just by cutting down on the extras. I will leave you with these verses from the Qur’an.
‘’And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively nor sparingly, but between that, [justly] moderate. (Qur’an 25 verse 67)
‘’And do not squander wastefully. Surely the squanderers are the fellows of the Shaytan and the Shaytan is ever ungrateful to his Lord. (Qur’an 17 verse 26-27)
Read and digest them before moving on to the next tip.
- Save for emergencies
Now, this is one habit we really have to imbibe. Nobody prays for unforeseen circumstances, but they happen. Simply put, life happens and this is not a matter of saying ‘’God forbid’’ without doing the needful. Dear breadwinner, have you ever thought of what might become of your beloved family members when death calls? We really need to encourage money talks within the Muslim community. Yes, we can seek the assistance of friends and relatives when things go south, but for how long?
- Invest your money
Nothing is sweeter than having your money in one investment deal or the other. It could be real estate, stock, treasury bills, bonds and other profitable ventures. Investment helps your money grow. Be careful of Ponzi schemes and remember to keep it Halal!