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Home / Health & Science

After Plan B, also consider Plans C-Z

By VERONICA CHEROP | Sun,Oct 02 2016 17:48:24 EAT

 Photo; Courtesy

Sometimes I wonder how a woman can spend all her money and depend on fate and faith for the next meal. I have never believed that someone can ‘finish’ everything without thinking of tomorrow.

Perhaps it is my upbringing that set me up for this ‘wrong’ belief. My mother always sprang surprises on us even when we knew she had reached the end of the road.

There was that money tied in an old handkerchief that was hidden somewhere in the house and ‘forgotten’ until such time when there was a problem. I voiced this thought of my incredulity at ladies who get completely broke and I got exposed to financial woes beyond my imagination.

The most astonishing was about this woman who went on her knees and cried as she begged her father to give her the title deed to a parcel of land he had promised to give to his grandchildren (this woman’s children).

As soon as she got the document, she sold the parcel of land and used the money to offset rent arrears that had accrued to Sh350,000. After that, she did not know what to do if the rent accrued once more or there was a serious medical challenge in the family.

I know of many people who are disabled but are engaged in economically beneficial activities. Why, may I ask, should a brainy woman with all limbs and knowledge intact sink this low? To start with, there is no job that is beneath anyone.

The color of money is the same, as my mother likes putting it. It doesn’t announce that you earned the money after slaving for someone or selling onions in the market.

Some tips on how to get yourself out of such a mess:

Marshall your abilities: Don’t give up on life once you lose your job or you are unable to find one. A job does not define you; your ability to make use of your talents does. It is actually criminal to sit on the couch helplessly from morning to evening just because you lost a job.

 Can you sing? Get your talent out there and start making money. Get into real estate. Start small and grow. Aim at becoming an employer too.

Don’t live beyond your means: There are women who continue to put up faces just to impress fellow women and lie to themselves that all is well. If it is not working out, do not pretend. Sit down and draw a budget that is within your current income.

If your income was, say Sh150,000 per month and now you are making on average Sh50,000, scale down your expenditure and lower your lifestyle. Move houses if you must. Keep in mind that there are people who live on a budget of less that Sh20,000 and afford a smile every day.

Think of the future now: When you get that well-paying job or that generous consultancy, do not just think of the now, but give serious consideration for that time when the job can ‘disappear’. What happens then?

Cushion yourself from such an eventuality. Experts advise that you should have some savings to maintain your lifestyle for at least six months after loss of job. Therefore, save and save.

Develop networks: Do not look down upon anyone you meet in the course of your career and life in general. Some of these people will hold your hand when life gives you a beating.

 They are the ones who will call you and ask: “Are you available to do such and such a consultancy?” They will link you up with prospective employers.

Give it your best shot: Don’t be the whining type whereby people dismiss you as ‘complaining Jane’. Your commitment to work will sure earn you your next posting. People will recommend you easily without fearing that you will be a letdown.

Chris Gardner, a philanthropist, and one of America’s greatest entrepreneurs was once a desperate and homeless man who never gave up on his dream to become something in society. You too, despite your situation, can make it. If you don’t know Gardner, check him out on the Internet.

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