- Published on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 02:00
- Written by Jagjit Singh
- Hits: 1229
IT is just the beginning of the third week for the month and Joseph is almost broke, which he realized after peeping into his purse, as there is hardly any money left into it to spend.
Joseph usually gets his monthly salary on the last day of the month and there are still 9 more days to go before he can expect any money into his bank account. This is not the first time Joseph has landed into such a precarious situation as nowadays it is quite a routine affair for him.
The only way out which Joseph can contemplate is to borrow money from some of his office colleagues at an exorbitant interest. But it is no more an easy option for Joseph as he has borrowed from majority of his colleagues in office at one or the other occasion.
The moment he gets his monthly salary he is supposed to repay the borrowed money (with interest) to his colleagues and often there are instances when Joseph had failed in his commitment to repay in time, as promised. So among his colleagues, Joseph is no more a credit worthy person and this makes further borrowing difficult for him to come.
It is a universal fact that when a person gets a lower score on his credit worthiness, the first casualty is the applicable ‘cost of borrowing’ which slowly escalates to an unbearable level. This is the case for any ordinary borrower whether the corresponding borrower happens to be an individual, company or even a country, as this is quite common in the financial world.
As a result, Joseph is in a complete debt trap wherein he is required to borrow money in order to service the existing debt. This is a very dangerous situation for any human being and immediate concerted efforts are required to break this shackle. So, is there a ray of hope for Joseph? On the face of it this appears difficult, however let us try hard to analyse the situation and suggest some workable solutions.
To start with it is important to study and analyse the daily routine of Joseph’s lifestyle in order to ascertain the possible leakages of his money on day-in and day-out basis. While on the subject, it is also important to highlight certain lifestyle practices followed by some of Joseph’s colleagues. First observation: Joseph travels to his office in a car and never uses the public transport system, which luckily is quite efficient in the city where he resides.
The level at which Joseph is working falls in lower management cadre and a person of his stature can’t afford to travel across the month to his office in a car. Many of his colleagues use their respective cars to travel to the office once in a while only i.e. once a week or say 4 to 5 times a month and rest of the days they prefer to travel by the usual public transport.
Second observation: Due to late rising in the morning, on most occasions Joseph misses to take breakfast at his home, which he supplements by ordering some eatables from the office canteen. This for sure comes at a cost, which again is far higher than what it would cost him if he had prepared the breakfast at his home.
The matter does not stop here but Joseph even visits a nearby restaurant to take his daily intake of lunch during break hours. Conversely, most of his colleagues follow a different lifestyle as they prefer to take their breakfast as well as lunch at their home instead of hotels. Third Observation: Joseph is not only a chain smoker but also a regular drinker.
This alone constitutes at least 25 per cent of his day’s total expenses on an average. In other words we can say that a quarter of his monthly income is spent on smoking and drinking alone. This on one side is a costly habit to maintain, while on the other hand it is equally damaging to his health.
Fourth Observation: Joseph believes in buying majority foodstuff items, fruits and vegetables in bulk in order to avoid visiting super markets every now and then. However there is one important point which Joseph is missing, which is about perish-ability of some of these items. At the end of each month, around 15 per cent of the goods bought by Joseph turn bad and thus not suitable for human consumption.
As a result these items have to be thrown in the garbage, but mind it Joseph had already paid for all these items when they were initially bought as fresh. On similar lines there are many observations which are leading to leakages of Joseph’s money on day-to-day basis.
And mind it; there is no other way to improve Joseph’s financial condition without controlling such petty leakages of money. It is also important to extend this corollary to many more people whose lifestyle is quite similar to that of Joseph. It happens to the best of us: mysteriously falling short on cash when we could’ve sworn we’d just hit the ATM.
Where did all that money go? On any given day, there are a number of ways we leak money - knowingly or unknowingly. Therefore, need of the hour is to stop such leakages of money whether it is the case of Joseph or any other human being. I can’t see any reprieve from such leakages if one is not serious in tackling them head-on. The mirror is right in front of us; let us see how many of us will learn the right lesson.