By Sylvia Juuko
In recent weeks, there have been reports citing incidents where people have accumulated debts as a result of staking their money on football matches.
Interestingly, people who should know better borrow money to bet on football matches in the hope of hitting a jackpot.
Incidents of people losing huge amounts of money to get-rich-quick schemes after promises of unrealistically high levels of returns are common.
Anyone who falls for this ruse harbours a lottery mindset, which perpetuates the belief that you do not have to work hard to become wealthy.
Unknown to these ‘aspirants’ of overnight success, companies have figured out that because of greed and the tendency to favour low effort and high returns, they have gone ahead to launch facilities that propagate this ‘lottery mindset.’
The said companies or individuals know that all they need to do to convince the masses that the scheme works is to parade some ‘winners’.
Given the high number of people with a lottery mindset or approach to wealth creation, it is not difficult to get clients.
To put this in perspective, not everyone is a gambler, but some of your money habits probably do not differ from the aforementioned gamblers.
For example, if you have a habit of banking on windfall in future or an allowance to sort out your financial obligations, then you are playing lottery with your finances.
The habit of postponing sorting out your finances with the hope that some money in the future will be used to achieve this once and for all will condemn you to a life of financial struggle.
While there will always be incidents of people being careless to the extent that they are parted with their money, it’s incumbent upon you to avoid being a victim.
For a start, ensure that you never put money where all odds are stacked against you. For example, if you participate in these popular ‘participate and win schemes’, always remember that with every paraded winner, there are so many people who have lost and these are never given the limelight.
Whether you win or lose, the company that launched this scheme is raking in huge amounts because of the thousands or millions who have participated.
Further still, you can never accumulate finances through playing the lottery, or worse still, through handing over your hard-earned money to a ‘money magician’ to multiply it overnight.
Remember that even if you won a jackpot today and you lack a money mindset for this huge amount, it is very likely that in a few months, you will have lost all of it and returned to your previous financial status.
This is due to the fact that you lack the capacity to deal with and maintain huge amounts of money due to lack of financial education and business acumen.
The most practical thing to do is to avoid looking for a quick fix to sort out a financial mess that has been nurtured over a long period of time. One such example is getting a consumer loan as a quick fix to your extravagant lifestyle. You are instead piling up more debt on items that do not generate income.
You have to remember that if you have spent the last decade or less not deliberately planning and taking care of your finances, it would be unrealistic to expect quick returns from a dubious investment that you hope will sort you out for life.
The urgency with which you expect to make money overnight should be channeled into acquiring good money habits and financial education.
Once you are well grounded in these aspects, you can be able to streamline your finances, and at the same time, have the capacity to identify and avoid get-rich-quick scams.
The writer works with Bank of Uganda