The fools in life want things fast and easy — money, success, attention.

29/07/2019
Posted in Blog
29/07/2019 Mduduzi Luthuli

What can “reverse engineering” my bank statement tell me about myself?

What am I earning? What am I spending? What are my priorities in life, and is my behaviour aiding or abating my financial vision? Do I even have a big-picture plan? If so, is it broken up into actual attainable tactics?

e.g. “I need to save R100,000. Let me start by saving R2, 500 per month. To save R2, 500 pm, I must only spend R3, 000 on food per month” — or whatever it is.

You see what I’m doing with this fancy term “reverse engineering”? It just means working backwards to solve for a goal. Now and again we need to zoom out a little, see the big picture, and remember the promises we made to ourselves.

Do I have a detailed plan or am I just winging it? Do I even want a plan as it might enforce restrictions on my spending habits? Are restrictions a bad thing? And if so, why?

Do I actually want to be financially independent?

I’m not saying practice frugality or minimalism. That’s not sustainable. I do appreciate the mentality, but I just feel like an all-or-nothing approach is hard to stick to in practice, and when we start to fail, we gain momentum in that failure.

What you should realise though is that it is a great luxury to be able to make money mistakes, to splurge. Is that a luxury you have earned, or can even afford?

Have you lost perspective? Or never had it to begin with?

I spent a lot of money on booze, birds, and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.” – George Best