I have a problem with spending money before I physically have it. I do not own a purse or wallet. I am not sure what I would do with a purse, do I store receipts in it? Maybe I can collect coins and store it in a purse. Have you ever calculated how much money you require daily to survive? This is where a budget will assist you. You will make a list of your expenses and any monies that you have to collect. The trick is to limit your expenses. Brian Tracy, in his infinite wisdom, discussed Parkinson‘s Law . This law states that your expenditure will rise to meet your income throughout your earning years. The unfortunate result is that many will retire poor. To promote wealth accumulation,we must resist the urge to incur additional expenses to keep up appearances. According to Brian Tracy, it matters not how much we earn, instead,the amount we save and eventually invest will separate the masses. As young professionals,launching our career, it is tempting to create the impression that we are succeeding. However, seasoned business veterans will know that to be successful , you must lose before you win. It alarmed me that many of my colleagues with no experience in running a business ,started their law practices. I think that within the next ten years they will see the fruits of their labour. At this juncture,the market is saturated with established law firms, specialist lawyers and unscrupulous persons pretending to be lawyers. Clients are not willing to pay lawyer fees yet they all want lawyers to do their matters. I see the plight of my colleagues as their purposes are being frustrated by a lack of cash flow from low clients. For this reason, I have found that it is not yet profitable to practice law as a young sole practitioner in Trinidad. The clients have no respect for the lawyers’ time,advice or expertise. When the lawyers are not paid by clients ,we cannot pay the rent for our decorated offices, we cannot pay our insurance, our vehicles may be repossessed for failure to make the monthly installments. Imagine that all of this is coupled with a young attorney trying to get a start on life after at least five years of intense studying. In an effort to appear to be successful imagine if this attorney takes a loan to purchase a car. After paying rent for an office that free loading clients visit and after making the car payments,the young hungry attorney eats salt biscuits and sardines regularly. This is quintessential of Parkinson’s law applied to young lawyers. There are also young lawyers who are employed by firms but they are underpaid and overworked.They are extremely unhappy and I lament that they are subject to such treatment.These same young professionals post pictures on social media that creates an illusion of grandeur. I pity their need for self aggrandizement as I know the true state of facts. I am yet to see snaps or stories of supermarket shopping or the preparation of a decent meal. Maybe food is prepared for my hungry friends at an unknown location. The effect of all of this showing off online is a new class of the young broke professionals. We go to dinners at restaurants that we cannot afford then order the cheapest appetizer on the menu.We go to events that we cannot pay for upfront and incur additional expenses by buying clothes and shoes . All of this we do to impress our equally broke friends . As we grow in our professions and we age we will be doing the same thing. We will take mortgages in areas that are above our salary. We will resent our career ,go to a job that we hate, to pay for a car that was not in our pay grade from day one. Not to mention children will be added to the equation and of course they will be sent to private schools. We will have spouses who are struggling to show off just as much as we are…then of course comes the divorce and the battle for custody of the kids… naturally. By this time our lives will be in shambles. Our houses will be foreclosed upon and we will return to live with our parents. Then we will have mid life crises and realise that we wasted our lives keeping up appearances. We will regret failing to work on our relationships and marriages instead of posting pictures that made us appear to be happy and successful online.
The author is an attorney at law based in Trinidad. she specializes in Anti Money Laundering Consulting. Please see her website http://asydneygroup.com