They say nothing is certain in life but two things: death and taxes. For a long time, I didn’t really understand the meaning behind it, until now. This summer I’ve had to prepare my expenses to file my accounts for the tax year and I’ve also had to prepare for my father’s funeral.
Although I work in banking and finance, I’m a contractor so I have my own limited company. This means that I pay myself and I pay my own taxes. There is no payroll, in fact, I am my own payroll. So around this time every year, I have to make a spreadsheet of all my expenses for the whole year. It’s only when I see how much I spend on food on certain days that I wince and tell myself, “There’s rice at home.”
Doing my taxes reminds me that I could be saving a lot more but it also teaches me that I should be tracking my spending a lot more. If I checked my expenses each month instead of the end of the year, I’m likely to make changes for the better in a quicker fashion. Being organised as an adult can be hard when you’re trying to hold down a job, potentially hold down a relationship, eat (somewhat) healthy, get some exercise and manage a social life. However, one of the best feelings in the world is when I know exactly where I am financially. It pays well to be in your business and that cost is peace of mind.
While I won’t talk about the emotional side of losing a parent, I will definitely talk about the financial side. I had a 10k saving goal I planned to hit by the end of summer along with booking a trip to Bali at the end of the year. Both of these goals have been postponed as a result of my father passing. When I used to see Go Fund Me accounts for funerals, I always questioned it but the average funeral costs are about £4,078 in the U.K. My fathers was over £10,000 and that didn’t include my flying out to Nigeria to bury him nor did it include my accommodation once I arrived. Imagine if I had no savings? Imagine if I didn’t have that 10k goal? Imagine if I had bad credit and I couldn’t book my flight on my credit card? Money matters don’t just matter in life, they matter in death too. It’s so key to have your money situation right even if there’s nothing seemingly urgent on the horizon. I made up that £10k goal just to challenge myself and I’m so grateful I did because nothing would have felt worse than knowing I couldn’t be there financially so that my dad could get the best send off possible. Some people think you should only save for a house but I urge you to think bigger. Think of you potentially getting married in a few years (even if you’re single right now), think of you having a potential gap in employment and whilst I don’t wish this feeling on anyone, think of you having to pay for a funeral for someone you love.
Nothing is certain in life but two things: death and taxes; so prepare for the times you anticipate and the times you didn’t expect. You’ll be grateful that you were proactive.
This post was an insert from our newsletter, written by Bola