Personal finance tips: The ABCs of managing your money with ease

One does not have to be a financial genius to manage his money wisely. We only have to take certain basic principles into account.

It is true that, managing your money can get complex at times, but it basically comes down to answering 3 simple questions:

A) Where does all my money go?

B) How much can I keep?

C) What will it take to make the amount of money I keep be more than the amount I spend?

A. Start by knowing where you are financially—today

First, grab a snapshot of your debts and expenses. Look up what you owe on credit cards, home loans, student loans and other types of debt.

Then, for one solid month, write down every dollar you spend out of pocket. Think of it as keeping a personal money-management diary. Instead of your innermost secrets, you’ll be writing down every out-of-pocket expense from new clothes to candy bars. Here’s a sample spending journal that can get you started.

Also size up your fixed expenses. These include things like rent and car payments.

Then, categorize all your spending. For example, your categories might include groceries, transportation and housing.

Congratulations, you just performed a cost analysis.

B. Let’s get down to your personal finance basics: What do you want most, and how much money do you need to get it?

You need to save up for things you’ll buy soon, perhaps a used car or a new fridge. It’s not a bad idea to separate these short-term goals into “must-have” and “wish” lists. If your old fridge is kaput, a new one would be a must-have. That cool new gadget you’ve been eyeing? It probably belongs on your wish list.

You also need to plan for the future: Want to buy a house? Send kids to college? Retire someday?

Write down your longer-term financial goals and put them in order of how important they are to you. Then think about what it would take to actually achieve the goals at the top of your list. Not sure how much your goals might cost? You can find all kinds of estimating tools online, like this one to calculate how much you’ll need to retire.

Add up how much money you’ll need for your top short-term and long-range goals.

You just made a capital expenditures projection. (Are you sure you’ve never done this before?)

C. Take another look at your monthly spending

Go over every category and cut back as much as you can. Remember, every dollar you don’t spend now is another dollar toward the things you want most. Need a little inspiration? Watch this short video full of easy ways to save on everyday expenses.

Once you’re done, write down your new category-by-category spending totals.

Know what? You just built a budget for achieving your financial goals.

(Wait, maybe you are a financial guru.)

Extra credit: Jump-start your savings plan with 4 more personal finance tips

  • Put money aside: Set up a savings account and ask your bank to set up automatic savings transfers every month
  • Pay yourself first: Use direct deposit to move some of your paycheck straight into savings
  • Establish an Learn more about our IRA and save for tax-deferred retirement savings
  • If your workplace offers a 401(k) plan, take advantage of it
  • Calculate how much money you’ll need to save for retirement by using the Merrill Edge retirement calculator

Source: US | Bank of America


Parliament bribery case: Ayariga to apologize again to Members

The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has reportedly written an apology letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Michael Oquaye.

The apology letter comes a day after disagreements over the Joe Ghartey committee report that found the MP to be in contempt of Parliament.

Close sources indicate that, Mr. Ayariga submitted the apology letter through the Speaker’s Deputy.In his supposed apology statement, he is also expected to apologize to Energy Minister, Boakye, Agyarko, for his comments which sought to link him to his allegation of bribery in Parliament. He’s also to apologize to the Speaker, and the entire leadership of Parliament.

The Speaker has subsequently approved Mahama Ayariga’s apology statement.

The Bawku MP is thus expected to officially apologize on the floor of parliament, when the House resumes sitting today, and the apology statement is read.

In the statement, Mr. Ayariga will also apologize to the First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei-Owusu, and the Minority Chief Whip, Mutanka Mubarak for the bribery claims he made against them.

The Bawku Central MP, who made the bribery claims against Members of the Appointments Committee and Minister of Energy Boakye Agyarko, was found guilty of contempt of Parliament, following investigations by the committee which concluded that “Mr. Mahama Ayariga is in Contempt of Parliament on the strength of Article 122 of the 1992 Constitution, Section 32 of the Parliament Act, 1965 (Act 300) and Orders 28 and 30 (2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament.”


Parliament bribery scandal; Ayariga issues conditional apology to Speaker

NAPO triggered anger in Parliament, called Suhuyini a ‘fool’ – Sam George

The committee, after rubbishing Mr. Ayariga’s bribery allegation on Thursday, asked him to render an unqualified apology to purge himself of contempt.

But Mr. Ayariga, who appeared unhappy with the work of the committee, reluctantly rendered the apology, saying : “Mr. Speaker, if you say I should apologize, I have apologized.”

Before this apology, he said the committee’s recommendations were problematic, especially when it failed to conduct due diligence by cross examining the “other sides” to arrive at a fair conclusion.

He also said the committee did not have the mandate to declare him in contempt of the court.

Source: Ghana | Mpactglobal | Magdalene Ntiamoah

(Citi News Contributed to this Story)

Coach Bashiru Hayford submits resignation letter to AshGold

Head coach of struggling premier league side, Obuasi Ashgold, Bashiru Hayford has tendered his resignation letter to the club.

This comes after serving the club for four years.

Coach Hayford, in his resignation letter said, “this is the day the lord has made for me to hand the technical baton of Ashanti Gold Sporting club to another person to steer the technical affairs of the club.

“My best has not been enough for the club and the most honourable thing, is to resign without any prejudice.

“I thank management although it might be a bitter pill to some, I sincerely apologize for that. The opportunity given to me to win five more trophies including the league trophy for 19 years is well appreciated

“I wish the team all the best because the future is bright for these 19 new players who were brought together two weeks before the league started.” He said.

The former league champions have amassed only seven points out of a possible 24 after match day eight of the 2016/2017Ghana premier league.

Source: Ghana | GNA

MTN Ghana customers to enjoy free Uber rides

MTN- Ghana, has announced a partnership agreement with Uber Ghana to offer free rides for its cherish customers.

Through the partnership, MTN subscribers will enjoy two free rides with Uber, with each ride capped at GH¢15.00.

A statement issued in Accra by Mrs Cynthia Lumor, the Corporate Services Executive, MTN, said MTN subscribers would be notified to download the Uber App onto their phones and register.

It said a special code would be provided by MTN to enable the subscriber access these free rides from Uber and customers would be required to add the promotion code in the payment section of the App to enjoy the service.

Mr Asher Khan, the Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Ghana, expressed excitement at the opportunity MTN was offering to its customers.

He indicated that the services provided by Uber Ghana, epitomized the bold new digital world MTN seeks to enable for subscribers.

“In the very near future, technology will drive every aspect of our lives through the introduction of Internet Of Things, where with a click of a button, one can undertake domestic activities, financial transactions, and manage security at their convenience.

“Uber App is just a tip of the many big things to be made available to all through technology,” he said.

Meanwhile, MTN has renewed its partnership with Emirates Airlines for another year to offer special discounts to MTN subscribers.

Subscribers travelling to Dubai will enjoy 20 per cent and 25 per cent discounts on economy and business class tickets respectively to Dubai.

The statement said subscribers would enjoy 15 per cent and 20 per cent off economy and business class tickets to 82 other destinations across Africa, Europe, Asia, Middle East and the US.

It said tickets of Emirates Airlines can be purchased using the MTN Mobile Money payment option.

Free rides on Uber and discounted fares on Emirates Airlines follow other loyalty reward schemes instituted by MTN to reward its customers.

It said MTN remained committed to making the lives of its customers a whole lot brighter, hence its quest to partner organizations providing essential services to add more value to customer experience.

Source: Ghana | GNA

NAPO triggered anger in Parliament, called Suhuyini a ‘fool’ – Sam George

The Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh has been accused of igniting the confusion that broke out in Parliament on Thursday evening after the Joe Ghartey committee presented its report on the bribery allegations.

According to the Member of Parliament for the Ningo Prampram Constituency, Sam George, Opoku Prempeh who is also the MP for Manhyia South called Alhassan Suhuyini “a fool” hence the near-fight.

“…Napo had called him [Alhassan Suyuhini] a fool. During the proceedings he called him ‘kwasia’ and that is what triggered the whole thing. And this is not the first time Napo was calling somebody a fool. Four weeks ago he called me a fool on the Floor of the House simply because I’d asked the Speaker to ask him if he was wearing a school uniform or was properly attired to Parliament,” Sam George explained.


The five-member Joe Ghartey committee investigating the bribery allegations leveled against the Appointments Committee by the MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, presented its report to Parliament and recommended sanctions for Mr. Ayariga.

The committee found Ayariga guilty of contempt of Parliament and aside the sanctions also asked that he apologises to the House.

Although Mr. Ayariga apologized, the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, adjourned sitting and said he will rule on the matter today, Friday.

But after the adjournment some minority and majority MPs nearly traded blows in the House.

Sam George explained on the Citi Breakfast Show on Friday that, tempers rose in Parliament because some majority MPs earlier during sitting called for the removal of Mr. Ayariga and a by-election held.

“In the course of the conversation and the debates that went on yesterday, there were calls for by-elections. These are things that get any MP on edge because you were hearing that another colleague is pushing for one of you to be sacked from Parliament for by-elections. It’s not something that anyone will be comfortable with.”

“In the course of the conversation also there appeared to have been an exchange of words between the Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh and Alhassan Suhuyini. And so that stoke the fire. However, as soon as we finished the sitting and Speaker walked out, we stepped out to talk to our leader and all you could see was a barrage of majority MPs storming the minority side,” Sam George added while questioning the rationale for the majority moving to the minority side.

Source: Ghana |Citi News

Court orders IGP to reinstate DSP Gifty Tehoda

The Human Rights Division of the High Court has ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to reinstate a former senior Police Officer, DSP Gifty Tehoda following her wrongful dismissal from the Police Service five years ago.

The Court further ordered that Gifty Tehoda be given all salaries and promotions owed her since her wrongful dismissal in August 2012.

She was also given a compensation of Ghc23,000.

According to the Judgment delivered by Justice Gifty Adjei Addo, DSP Tehoda was unlawfully detained by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) in 2012, when she was picked up following the cocaine-turned-baking soda saga at the Police Headquarters.

The judge also held that the police breached the rule of natural justice for a fair hearing, as DSP Tehoda was not given an opportunity to be heard during the service enquiry by the police leading to her dismissal.

The case involving DSP Tehoda began on September 27, 2011, when one Nana Ama Martins was arrested for possessing large parcels suspected to be cocaine, which later turned into bicarbonate or baking soda.

DSP Tehoda was linked to the disappearance of the cocaine and was interdicted and subsequently dismissed from the Police Service.

She was then the Deputy Commander in-charge of the Commercial Crimes Unit.

But three years after her acquittal, the Police Service did not reinstate her, forcing her to go to the Human Rights High Court to challenge the wrongful dismissal by the Ghana Police Service.

Source: Ghana | Enoch Yeboah

OccupyGhana joins anti-galamsey campaign with ‘#RedApril’

Pressure group, OccupyGhana has joined the movement to fight against the destruction of water bodies and the environment by small-scale illegal mining activities.

The group has declared the month of April as #RedApril, encouraging all well-meaning and concerned Ghanaians, throughout the month, to create awareness and speak out against Galamsey.

A release from OccupyGhana is asking Ghanaians to “observe each Friday in April as a #RedFriday and wear some red apparel to reflect the sorry, new colour of our hitherto pristine water bodies, caused by Galamsey”.

Their action adds up to government’s planned intervention in the fight against the increasing destructive phenomenon.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Peter Amewu has consequently charged illegal miners within the country to put an end to their activities, giving them a three week ultimatum.

Below is the full statement from OccupyGhana.

OccupyGhana® has studied the Galamsey phenomenon from all possible angles (social, economic, medical, legal etc.), and has concluded that there is and can be no conceivable justification for illegal mining to persist in Ghana. OccupyGhana®, therefore, calls on the Government to take immediate steps to,

(i) stop, prevent and then regulate all currently unlicensed and unregulated mining,

(ii) explore the provision of gainful, alternative employment to persons engaged in Galamsey,

(iii) support mass education on the Galamsey menace, particularly through local civil society, and

(iv) be mindful of the potential national security threat that Galamsey poses.

In October 2016, OccupyGhana® sent a team to the Tarkwa area to study and report on Galamsey activities. The OG Team’s report paints a dire picture of the dangerous mix of a vibrant ‘Galamsey Economy’ that exists unrestrained and unchecked and in blatant disregard of the law, a huge industry organised through collusive effort between chiefs, other influential people in society such as politicians, law enforcement officers, farmers and the unemployed (now financed and equipped by Chinese operators and their Ghanaian front-men or competitors), the ruthless excavation of riverbeds and farms in the search for gold, the ruin of large rivers and streams, lakes and other water bodies (possibly permanently), the creation of gaping holes and concealed residue of mining activity left behind as death-traps, chemical residue that poison the earth and water, and the severe health challenges caused by Galamsey to its actors and others. Ghana is thus, not only being cursed with a future of thirst but also, exposure to cancerous diseases caused by the consumption of food grown on toxic land.

Before our very eyes, we are seeing a time-bomb that is waiting to explode – the desertification, deforestation and degradation of our land, erosion, pollution of rivers and other water bodies, and poor waste management. This cannot be allowed to continue for even a day more.

As we conclude our Report for submission to the relevant authorities, we hereby declare the entire month of April as #RedApril. We encourage all well-meaning and concerned Ghanaians, throughout the month, to create awareness and speak out against Galamsey. Let us then observe each Friday in April as a #RedFriday and wear some red apparel to reflect the sorry, new colour of our hitherto pristine water bodies, caused by Galamsey and as an optical and visual reminder to the Government that “our eyes are red” in our demand for immediate steps to reverse this trend.

#RedApril #RedFriday #StopGalamsey #GalawayGalamsey

Source: Ghana | GN