MARILYN ANONA writes: Signs that you live above your income and solutions.

Marilyn Oma Anona
Marilyn Oma Anona

I  am back after what seems like a long break that was rather unplanned. I apologize for starving you for almost 2weeks. I had to take a break to attend to some issues.

I hope you all are very well? I have missed everyone of you. I also appreciate the emails I got from you asking why I have not published any article.

Today, I am writing on the sure ways to know you clearly live above your income (ie if you have any) or your means. I am writing on this because from everyday observations and interactions, I have discovered that most people especially the youths actually consume more than they earn. The ones with the least income are the ones who consume the most. Don’t get me wrong dear, I know its your life and you can do whatever it is you like and I am not judging you too but we all need a sense of direction at some point in our lives… Yes we all do because no one knows it all! I want to ask you a question, and I need an answer! IS LIVING ABOVE YOUR INCOME OF ANY ADVANTAGE?

I don’t want to deviate, so let me get down to letting you know that you the signs that you spend or consume more than you earn.

SIGN 1: You don’t have a saving. When you live above your income, Its hard to save money. You spend over 90% of what you are bringing in so where will the saving come from? Any money that you happen to get, you are running to the next boutique meanwhile you have clothes in your wardrobe that are new and you have obviously forgotten because you buy more than you actually need. How can you save when the 1st thing that comes to your mind on getting a credit alert is how to buy things that are not really relevant in order to impress folks that don’t really care.

SIGN 2: You are a habitual debtor. This is very common with people who spend above their means or beyond their income. They do not have self control when it comes to buying things. They live a false life and desperately want to be categorized among the “Happening” babes and guys. They will collect or buy everything on credit. I once knew a girl who doesn’t even have a job but will be the one to buy clothes the most. She ended up incurring so much debts and was disgraced at the end of the day.

SIGN 3: The money that is yet to come, has already been spent. Take a look at the first and second sign again and you will discover that these 3 signs are linked and related to one another. If you are a habitual debtor, it means every kobo you are yet to have has already been spent. That is because you have to pay the debts you owe. And if the money you are yet to receive is already spent, how do you have a saving?

SIGN 4: You can not differentiate between your needs and wants. Anyone who has this problem, is prone to spending to spending above their means. There is a great difference between what you need and what you want. Not knowing this is risky to your financial growth and security. That explains why you are all about trends. That explains why you must buy something because you like it.

SIGN 5: You live to impress people. When your life or existence on earth is all about impressing people… Then my dear, you will find your self spending above your means. You want them to say “Awwwwww, she is a big girl, don’t you see how she dresses?” You go about borrowing and owing just to always be up to date. You buy the latest and trending outfits, phones and so on because you want to be classified as rich or happening. But let me tell you something, we all know the ones who are DOING WELL, whether they use the poorest phones or repeat clothes.

These are just the few signs to know you live above your means or income. This problem like every problem has solutions.

SOLUTION 1: Be able to differentiate between your wants and needs.

SOLUTION 2: Be real with yourself and your life. Be particular about functionality and values instead of big names and wanting to belong.

SOLUTION 3: Put into practice the principle of “Opportunity Cost” in most of your dealings. I am sure most of us did economics at least in secondary school.

SOLUTION 4: Do it yourself (DIY) helps to some extent. Instead of going to that salon every week just to paint your nails, you can buy your nail polish and do it at home thereby saving your transport fare and workmanship fee.

SOLUTION 5: Start Saving.

SOLUTION 6: Have a budget and try to live by it. Occasional extra spending is natural but living by a budget will make you aware of all your spending.

SOLUTION 7: Pay off your debt, and if you must buy on credit, let it be just for that thing you badly need.

Most young people have this problem of living above their means. It boils down to displacement of priorities. But its not too late to retrace one’s steps.

Living within your income or means may not be very easy but I assure you that it is very beneficial and when you start to do so, you will face reality and be a step closer to achieving your goals and ambitions and enjoying a sweeter and less stressful life.Annapolis 




  1. This is a very important topic as most young Nigerians are guilty of this. Thanks Marilyn for bringing this into focus.

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