How can my household manage our finances better (Kassem)
Josephine Yoo-hoo! Annette! Kingsley! Oh -- you look cross. Am I interrupting?
Annette Hi Josephine. Well we are having a little argument. Kingsley wants to buy this motorbike. But I don't think we can afford it; we don't have much money, and we should be saving everything we can for our daughter!
Kingsley Of course I also want our daughter to be well taken care of! But with a motorbike, I will be able to get more work in other towns and eventually bring in more money for all of us.
Annette But you will also spend money on petrol and -- what, Josephine? Why are you making that face?
Josephine I am just surprised that you are trying to make big financial decisions out here on the street, right in front of a big purchase Kingsley wants to make!
Annette Why, where do you and your husband make these decisions?
Josephine We talk about big purchases and savings goals at home, when we are not distracted by other tasks. Every month, we sit together and look at our budget - both how much income we are bringing in and how much we are spending on essential purchases -- like food, my medicine, our children's clothing and school fees, and we always save some money in case of emergency. If we have extra income, then we talk about how to spend it. Right now we are saving to buy a cow. I only go to the hair salon when we are meeting our monthly savings goal.
Kingsley And your husband makes these decisions together with you? I know you have your vegetable garden, but doesn't he bring in most of the money?
Josephine Hey, Kingsley! My husband knows the value of all the work I do that is not paid! Cooking, taking care of the children and also his mother, helping on the farm... eh! We both work hard for our family's success - some of it is paid, some of it is unpaid, but all of it is work - so yes, we make decisions together.
Annette Josephine, you are lucky that you and your husband want the same things...
Josephine Oh, we often want different things. My husband would be happy if I never went to the hair salon again haha! But we agree to invest in our family's future first, and if there is money left over, we each take a little for our personal desires.
Kingsley Yes, I agree with that! Annette thinks I want this motorbike for my personal desires but it is to make more money for our family and for our future!
Annette I understand, Kingsley. I am still worried that we don't have enough money for you to buy it now. Let's go home and figure out our budget, like Josephine and her husband do. You can calculate how much additional money you expect to make with the motorbike, to check that it's a smart purchase. Then, we can decide how much to save every month - both for our family and for the motorbike. Maybe in a few months we will have enough money for you to buy the motorbike and petrol while still having enough food to eat!
Kingsley Okay, let's do that. I've decided I want a bigger motorbike than this one, anyway, haha.
Annette Ha oh Kingsley...