The Silent Money Drain

Apr 6 , 2024
By Kidist Yidnekachew

Offering help without expecting something in return is a genuine act. However, while well-meaning, these kind souls can unintentionally lead the recipient down a path of financial trouble. My friend experienced this firsthand.

She relied on a trusted Bajaj driver for everything, from errands to picking up her niece from school. He went above and beyond, lending her money in a pinch, like the time he gave her 1,000 Br. Because of his generosity, my friend used his services regularly, planning to repay him at month's end. The driver never pressured her, despite his financial limitations.

However, as days turned into weeks, my friend grew increasingly anxious. Finally, the bill arrived. The total amount was a staggering blow. It was mind-boggling that the combined cost of rides and groceries could balloon to several thousands of Birr – equivalent to her entire salary! Disbelief forced her to double-check, meticulously reviewing each expense with the driver. Yet, the sum remained a near-unbelievable 20,000 Br. Settling the debt took a significant amount of time, but more importantly, it taught her a valuable lesson.

She realised the importance of tracking all expenses, no matter how small. They can silently accumulate and become overwhelming. This revelation struck a chord with me too. I can be careless with spending, neglecting minor expenses that snowball into significant amounts. As the saying goes, a small pebble can tip a barrel.

In the fast-paced world, it is easy to lose track of spending. We tap our phones, and see receipts dwindle, but lack a clear picture of where the money goes. This lack of awareness blocks financial goals. That is where the humble expense journal comes in – a superhero for finances.

Diligently recording daily expenses reveals valuable insights into spending habits. This paves the way for a stable and secure financial future. It is astonishing how easily individuals overlook seemingly insignificant expenses that quietly drain their bank accounts. Whether it is daily coffees or impulsive purchases, they all add up. Holding oneself accountable and uncovering hidden money leaks is essential. Imagine the shock of realising that a seemingly harmless coffee indulgence amounts to a substantial sum over time. Keeping an expense journal cultivates mindfulness when it comes to budgeting.

Categorising expenses into groceries, rent, and clothes provides a crystal-clear understanding of where income goes. This breakdown allows us to compare spending against the budget, highlighting areas for adjustment.

Expense journals also develop financial responsibility. Recording every expense forces taking ownership of finances and compels us to confront spending head-on. It shifts the person from a passive spender to an active decision-maker. This newfound awareness empowers making conscious choices about allocating hard-earned money, leading to better financial outcomes.

These journals are not only about tracking money; they are allies in achieving financial goals. Monitoring monthly savings can be incredibly motivating. Seeing the numbers climb fuels a sense of accomplishment. Even in the face of setbacks, flipping through the journal serves as a powerful reminder of past successes which reignites commitment and propels forward.

PUBLISHED ON Apr 06,2024 [ VOL 25 , NO 1249]

Kidist Yidnekachew is interested in art, human nature and behaviour. She has studied psychology, journalism and communications and can be reached at (

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