I wrote this back in 2016 as part of 2017 resolution but never got to publish. I am publishing it now with an update to how that has progressed.
—— This is what I had in my drafts since 2016 ——
If everything goes according to plan, starting 2017 I’ll be able to lead a pre-paid life. When I say prepaid, it means settling all the bills and also paying extra for the next month as well (at least as much as you can afford) to make your way into a debt-free life and build more confidence in your financial choices since you have already taken care of things that can affect you immediately. In simple terms the inverse of “fake it till you make it”.
I got the inspiration for this concept from a lecture conducted by Yoosuf Mufthi at a funeral sermon a few months back. Being in debt in any form is troublesome to a Muslim because even prophet Mohammed SAW refused to attend funerals until someone in the family volunteered to take responsibility to settle all the debts on behalf of the person who passed away.
The goal is not to have a huge bank balance but to live with a peace of mind that even if I die today. My family will go on for at last 1 month until they figure things out. It can start with small things like utility bills, credit cards, bank loans (make sure that you have something that you can sell and settle loans without downgrading your current lifestyle). The last thing you want when you are gone is to leave a family who curses you for leaving them in debts.
If everyone starts to implement this, it will lead to something bigger than all of us. It will lead almost all the service providers in the country to cover their costs, help them get rid of loans taken at high interest to improve infrastructure, run their operations, etc. Ultimately leading to provide a better service to their customers.
—– and 2 years later —–
It felt impossible for a couple of months but It wasn’t hard once you continue to do it. One of the hardest things to do was to pay the credit card bill up front. It felt foolish to pay upfront but it took a while to make up my mind to do the mature thing and teach myself the lesson that I’ve already spent the money that I don’t have and all I’m trying to do is payback.
I started with a portion but now I have managed to settle it before I get the statement so that it shows a positive balance. My 2019 resolution was to take it another step further. What I do now is settling everything by Friday before I leave for prayers and all praise to God, I have been successful so far.
What i have noticed lately is that it has been so easy to make my purchase decisions and also it has silently encouraged me to spend more on hobbies and charities for the simple reason that all that’s left in my bank account is the money that I can spend with no string attached.