The burden of debt is inescapable. You are born into debt courtesy of your government or your family. Maybe that’s why politicians have taken to bribing voters-paying their debt in advance. We cannot escape debt anyway.

We are indebted to someone in some way or another. If not you are indebted to Jesus for washing away thy sins, aren’t you? But the commonest of all is money.

<ul><li><b>The festive season is here and we are bound to spend money unnecessarily, leading us to a broke January</b></li><li><b>Most people hate being in debts but do not work hard to avoid them</b></li><li><b>There are several rules one should follow in order to avoid incurring unwanted bills</b></li></ul>

Here are some of the rules that shall help you navigate the murky waters of debt through the festivities, amidst trying to show off to your village that you have a job in the city after all.

Thou shall not borrow money you do not need

There is discomfort in walking around without a single shilling in your pocket. It is common for people to just make a call or text (usually text) to borrow money that they probably never needed. They just want the comfort of knowing they have money with them.

But then that’s a problem. You begin spending carelessly, buying stuff you don’t need to impress people who really don’t care about what you do with your money.

Thou shall take responsibility for thy debts

Some people have this line of thinking whenever the date of paying a debt is due; ‘kuna mtu ako na deni yangu nangoja anilipe.’ Well, what if that person you are waiting for is also waiting for me to pay his debt so he can pay you, and so you can pay me and we all don’t about that cycle that would save us a whole lot of trouble?

Troubles aside, it is irresponsible to tell someone that someone else has your money and that you will pay the money once he does so. Take responsibility. Say I do not have the money at the moment, but on such and such a date, I will be able to clear with you. Simple.

Thou shall not gamble borrowed money

With all these gambling and betting adverts being thrown in our faces nowadays, it is easy to succumb to the temptation of throwing in a few shillings, hoping that you could be the next Abisai.

Chances are one in a million. You will have to try a million times before you can be lucky. Do not be tempted to ever gamble in borrowed money. Nature abhors such kind of a move.

Though shall be considered poor until you settle your debts

You are poor, in fact very poor until you settle your debts. There’s no honour in walking around with someone’s money that you promised to pay, money that you even went down on your knee before someone could agree to lend you.

 You have no right in front or in the eyes of the person you owe money. Matter of fact, given a chance, they would not allow you to vote- your voice doesn’t matter at all here and in the world hereafter.

Though shall not call someone you haven’t talked to in ages to ask for money

It’s always a new number that rings in the odd hours of the night, like when you are dreaming of a mega jackpot that you’ve just won. Or worse still when sleep has just ‘hit the road’.

He begins with introductions. You gather that he was your desk mate years ago, almost a decade. Or maybe you just bumped into each other along those crowded streets, exchanged numbers and the next thing you know he is asking for money.

That’s not cool at all. Begin anticipating your financial troubles like a year in advance, and keep in touch with the right people through that period so that you don’t ambush them with money problems and sound all too weird.

Though shall not offer financial advice to anyone until you can settle your debts

Do not be quick to offer financial advice to others, for if they are sound, you wouldn’t be knee deep in debt. Keep to yourself that advice until you can settle them. Why offer advice that is not useful to you? Do not be like teachers who tell students that they can make it yet they themselves never made it.

Have a debt-free festive season.