Yes, You Can Buy it, But Can You Actually Afford it?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that you can afford anything as long as you can purchase it. But that’s not correct. Being able to purchase or acquire a commodity is very different from being able to afford it.

Let me use a few examples. If you have $1000, you can buy a plane ticket from Nigeria to America, perhaps even a return ticket, but does this mean you can afford a trip to America? (I’ll answer below). Again, if you have about $5,000 you can buy a vehicle, a very clean car and show off to your friends, but does it mean you are able to afford the car?

One Of my professional colleagues sent me a text message a while back to spare him some cash. His car had broken down and he needed some money from me to repair it. His car is actually cool, he purchased it money down, but now…he’s asking for under 20k to repair it.

Can he buy the car, yes! Can he afford the car? No.

Affordability is the capability to acquire and maintain anything you have bought. When you purchase a product, most of the time, the item will require some recurring expenditure to maintain it fully running. If you do not have a way to fund this, you can’t afford the item. Simple.

About the American excursion analogy I used. $1000 can take you to America, quite okay. But can it see you through? Where would you sleep while you are there? What would you eat while you are there? If you don’t have the money to sort all that out, you simply can not afford the trip to America.

I see a lot of people using Iphone 6’s with cracked screens. Could they buy it, yes! Can they manage it, No! If you could manage it, you’d be able to repair the screen when it got broken.

When next someone asks you if you can afford something, don’t answer the way you used to answer before, because now you know better.


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