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6 Africantrumpet-The voice of Africans


MONEY MATTERS with Ken Barnes


The aim for this column has always been to share with you; my esteemed reader, some tried and tested practi- cal Financial Principles, Rules, Practices, Ideas and common sense strategies which have stood the test of times; these are strategies I have come to know during my 23 years in the financial services industry.

Permit me to share with you some of these very practical principles in this maiden write up for the New Year, 2012. I call them “7 keys to success” The aim is to give you the heads- up you might need to start and end the New Year aright financially.

1. Put your finances Right: This year, do not neg-

lect the basic prudent finan- cial practices we have dis- cussed over the years in this column. Principles like “don’t spend more than you make”. Learn to budget and stick with it. Avoid emotional and impulsive purchases. Stay clear of credit cards unless it is very necessary. Guard your credit rating jealousy. Learn the habit of saving first before spending; do not gamble with the necessary insurance policies you need as a cushion for any eventu- alities, namely; life, health and auto insurance policies.

2. Put your relation-

ships Right- This year; determine to be a better Person, a better dad; mom, wife, husband, aunt, uncle,

neighbor, co-worker, boss etc. Seek to deepen your family life, mend your fences, repair burnt bridges, and learn to live peacefully with all persons. Dig deep within you to find that which repels people from you and correct that. Know that you cannot go it alone and that everybody needs somebody one way or the other to sur- vive in this life. Join social groups, professional associ- ations and institutions that build you up. Learn to net- work. This may be where your financial freedom lies.

3. Put your faith life

right: This New Year, pay particular attention to your faith. You cannot continue not to believe in nothing. You have to believe in something. Reality in life consists of the unseen. Work hard to deepen your commitment to your God. Everything going on around us proves that there is a God who rules over the affairs of men, including your financial life. I know this is not a politically cor- rect thing to write, but as I wrote in my introduction, it is what I have experienced in life and that of my clients and friend over the years; I

have experienced that Faith works!

4. Put your priorities

right: Get organized this year. Set your priorities right. Don’t be tossed about by every event in town. Don’t let the environment dictate to you and draw your sched- ules for you. Set your goals and systematically work to achieve it. Your child’s foot- ball game or a night out with your friends? Investing for your future retirement or buying the latest plasma 3D TV? Going back to school to better your lot or taking a second job? Be purposeful, focused, goal oriented, aim at something and seek to reach it!

5. Put your work cul-

ture right:-Determine to be a great employee this New Year. The Christian bible teaches that he who doesn’t work must not eat. This scripture isn’t talking about those who do not have a job; rather, it refers to those who adopt a lackadaisical attitude towards work. It refers to those who do not see the essence and privi- lege of having a job in an economy with an over 8% unemployment rate. It also

refers to those who can work but refuse to work. A Job is the main source of income in any economy! If you are doing a job search, do not relent in that effort. Press on and do not give up, don’t count the number of rejection letters you have received, look at the situa- tion from the angle that if “A” was able to find a job, I can also find one!

6. Put your physical

health right-Be mindful of your health and physical wellbeing; - exercise, plan a workout routine and learn to take power walks. Cultivate a habit of jogging; failure to do that can cost you finan- cially. Getting sick is expen- sive. Being hospitalized is even more expensive. Not only will you miss work, lose money and possibly be fired, those around you suffer a similar fate as well. Practice healthy eating and watch what you eat. Sacrifice some of the food varieties you have enjoyed so much in the past which are not helping your health. Do away with the high choles- terol, high saturated fat foods. ” Guard your heart”! Put a premium on rest, get enough sleep and take

pleasure trips and vacations. 7.

Be organized-

Learn to get organized in all you do this year. Do not live haphazardly; from your record keeping to your daily schedules. Get a to -do list and a plan of action in place. Learn to put the right things at the right places both at home and in your office. It saves you time and reduce stress. A highly organized office makes you appear to your peers and supervisors as a purposeful person.

These are principles which have helped many in the past and I recommend them to you! Position yourself for success this year and don’t repeat the same old things which didn’t work for you in the past. Explore new avenues, be adventurous but patient, objective yet optimistic, Change will come!! Happy New Year!!!

Ken Barnes- MBA is the President of Barnes and Barnes Financial Inc and Barnes Training and consulting,Santa Clarita,CA. You can reach him at

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