Book review: Take charge of your money


With the effects of Corona Virus pandemic lockdown still looming large, John Ntende’s “Take Charge of Your Money,” book can help uplift people from their financial predicament. There is no doubt that the pandemic has put people in more debt than ever before. Even those who didn’t lose jobs are choking under the heavyweight of dependents.

Rescue yourself from debt
Ntende’s book says no matter the situation, you can rescue yourself and break loose from the chains of debt. He was once there and he chose to raise his head above and was freed from the debt trap.   The book says you are the captain of your sailing financial ship and you have all the capabilities in the world to redeem it.

Like many people, the money engineer was heavily in debt.   “I couldn’t explain to anyone how I spent the money,” he intimates. “I was constantly struggling to finish the month with some cash left behind.”

Moreover, Ntende did not have any savings or any investment strategy and records of expenditure, no wonder his balance sheet was lacking.

Be your own personal Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
While analyzing his financial life and thinking that he would die in poverty one day if he continued in that path,   the author decided to do something. He became his own personal Chief Financial Officer (CFO).   “I decided to start recording each and everything relating to my finances,” he says.
Ntende had to reconstruct his balance sheet and find out what his liabilities and assets were. Having figured that out, he then embarked on the journey of cutting his expenditures with the sole aim of paying debts and saving a percentage of his salary. This helped him to pay the numerous small debts he had accumulated with individuals, banks and salary loans over some period.  Currently he is debt free and his book is a practical guide on how to leave a debt free life.

Live below your income and get a better paying job
The book advises that the only way people can live out of debt and thrive is by living below their income. Not only that, they can also get well paying jobs by  being  excellent in what they do such that they are merely sought after.

“The easiest way to stand out from the crowd is to consistently deliver results in your line of work,” the book reveals. “Be the staff who does not have to be chased around to deliver assignments.”

Besides that, one can go for further education and also change careers if they want to get better pay, which can later translate into financial independence.

Having gotten out of debts, it is imperative that you commence saving immediately. In his book, Ntende avers that the best way you can save is the automatic debiting from your account and joining staff SACCOS.  It is always imperative to have an emergency fund account so that you always have finances to deal with your everyday expenditures like fuel, medication and transport.  Having figured out where your money goes and mastered the saving culture, Ntende says it is now time to invest.   “Invest in things you understand,” he says, “don’t speculate and waste your little hard earned money on things you don’t understand.”

For busy professionals, Ntende stirs up your brain by offering you a variety of   business ideas (109) you can do on the side in order to get that extra income. Remember as you execute your daily activities, your main objective should be: financial independence. No wonder so many people were hit hard in the three months lockdown because no one ever anticipated living without working.

So, Ntende is nudging you to work more towards how many years you can exist comfortably without worrying about money. This requires starting thinking about it now.

For anyone who wants to   be out of debt, get a pay rise, have a better paying job , be financially independent and thrive, Ntende’s book guides you on that. Not only that, the book teaches you to cut unnecessary expenses that can help you save that extra coin and how to involve your partner and family members in the journey of financial independence. The book is simply timely for this season.

Who is Ntende?
Ntende has over 12 years’ professional business experience in Strategy development, Stakeholder Management, Customer Relationship Management, Corporate Communication, Monitoring and Evaluation, Change Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Media Relations, ISO Quality Management Systems Certification, Business Process Management, Corporate Reporting, Public Relations, Project Management, Financial Management, Enterprise Risk Management and Audit.

Ntende also runs “The Money Engineer” online platform. This platform leverages social media to promote financial literacy and entrepreneurship in Uganda. The platform has a following of about 17,000 people.

Ntende is currently the Manager Corporate Planning at Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA). Before joining ERA John worked with Umeme in various roles including Manager Business Process Reengineering, Manager Corporate Strategy, Regional Manager – Eastern Uganda, Head of Internal Audit, and Internal Audit Supervisor.

Ntende is a Professional Accountant (ACCA) and is a 1st class graduate of BSc. Civil Engineering from Makerere University. He holds an MBA with distinction from Edinburgh Business School – Heriot Watt University and is an alumni of the prestigious CEO Apprenticeship Program at Strathmore Business School.

He has been recognised among the Top 40 Professionals under 40 by the New Vision. He has been a member of the Energy Technical Working Group of the Presidential Investors Round Table.

You can get a copy of Ntende’s book online here or grab a copy from the Uganda Bookshop in Kampala.

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