John is that ever amusing friend of mine; he has lived his fair share of life, as he frequently says. The things he does will make you believe him when he asserts to have lived his fair share of life. Today I single out an interesting tendency I observed in him; counting and recounting his money at the slightest opportunity. Every time he opens his wallet to draw out a note, John has to recount the remaining ones. One day I bumped into him in the gents; after I was done with my gents’ business I got curious what kept him standing there for that long, only to realize that he was counting his money! If a sound similar to that of a falling coin is heard as you walk with him, John will literally stop and begin peeping in his wallet just to confirm his money is intact. That is not to say that his wallet is always full of notes; he does this even when he has only one note. That’s John for you.
With time I realized that john’s story was not unique to him; it is a story of many of us. We all behave like John in one way or the other. It is highly likely that by the time you are reading this article, you know exactly how much you have in your wallet or your bank account. One interesting thing that I used to observe when working in the bank was the number of customers who would just come to check and confirm their account balances; some would make this a daily affair even when they have no money they expect. There is nothing wrong with that if it’s their version of tracking wealth. We do it in our fashions whether through mobile banking or other means.
I also like what the guys in business do to keep abreast with the goings on in the business. They often list down their sales, purchases and business expenses in a bid to gauge the profitability status of their businesses. Periodically, they do stock checking and often remember the list of people who owe them money and when such people ought to pay.
It is good to remember how much you have at any given point; it is good to write down your expected sources of income like many people frequently do; it is much better to remember and even write down a list of expenditure items but it is not enough to stop there. While certain things appear so easy and natural to remember and even write down, other very important ones are often forgotten and/or disregarded. One of such things in financial matters is your debt position. It is not enough to know who owes you.
Today, I write to cause unrest in your comfort; when last did you take a moment to enumerate the people you owe? Do you have a comprehensive list of them? Many people in debt will forget about them (especially if the lender is not exerting the shylock kind of pressure) even when they get money. In my debt clinic, many people get shocked with their indebtedness when I ask them to do a self-disclosure of their debt position. Often than not, many people are indebted than they can care to remember.
The danger of this approach is that one is likely to sink deeper into debt when he/she is not conscious about their debt situation. In most cases, the situation erupts when things have gotten to desperate levels. Do not sit and ignore your indebtedness, it is real with real ramifications; it is wrong to only remember of a debt when the creditor calls. Financial intelligence is incomplete without the consciousness of one’s indebtedness.
Therefore, take the challenge today and positively so; as you count your blessings one by one, count your debts as well. Think about your indebtedness and list down the people you or your business owes from the landlord to your siblings to your parents to your employees’ unpaid salaries to school fees balances and so on. List them together with their outstanding amounts. Writing them down awakens your consciousness and informs many of your other decisions. Be wise because YOU CAN DO BETTER!

Roy Okonji,
Debt Management Consultant, Motivational Speaker and Author.
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There are 3 comments
  1. Franciscar

    Wisdom there, but who wants to count debts!

  2. Thank you…Unfortunately…yet its the starting point in the journey of recovery

  3. Paul

    Totally agree with you, unless one keep truck of debt stock, its possible to find oneself in superficial comfort far from reality that will catch with you sooner than later

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