When I was little, say around the age 14, I was my mum’s savings account, she did give me some amount of money every night to keep for her and then collect all at the end of each month. Yorubas in Nigeria call this “AJO” and Ghanaians “SUSU”. Thanks to my sister, I started saving at the early age of 18. Throughout these years I have learnt that one of the best ways to start saving is to be more aware of your income, where your money is going and your spendings. The way I did that was going to the extent of writing my expenses on a paper but now I have upgraded to having a jotter for keeping track of my spendings.
Ps: I am not a financial expert, but I hope my strategies for this habit development helps.
Don’t feel bad if you have difficulties saving, people learnt what they know today. Jackie Aina once said, “it takes money to save money”. You can’t save if you don’t have sufficient or adequate income. To start saving you need to have paid your debt if you have any. Now below are the survival kits to help you save:
What are you saving for?
Define what you’re saving for, to help you stay on track so as to avoid unnecessary purchases like buying an item on sale which you won’t buy if it were full price.
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went”.
Find a way that works for you, saving monthly or weekly or yearly depending on your income. Consider using the 50/20/30 rule which says 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and socking away 20% to savings. For me, I first take out my constant expenses then savings and miscellaneous.
Take note of your finances / financial planning:
Make a list or keep a record of your monthly expense by using excel, or traditionally writing them in a specified book and keep miscellaneous. You may think buying groceries or fast-foods every week won’t make a dent in your savings, but summing it up, you may want to have a change of mind. Now you know why people cook in bulk or do monthly shopping.
Division of savings:
Break your savings into different fields. Have an idea of what you need to do long or short term, then you can plan how much you need to save. Having a plan also motivates you to stay on track. Saving is a saviour especially for unexpected expenses like medical, gadget, book or emergency expenses.
Create a multiple stream of income:
The side hustle: find something you are known by and to be good at. You could sell products, cut or make hair, sew clothes, model, do photography, bake/cook, make people up, be a blogger or YouTuber, teach people something you learnt and get paid for it. Hire yourself, you could be a tourist or Airbnb. You could use this side income to your advantage by saving this extra money you are getting.
Live within your means / Minimal living:
Don’t go buying stuff you can’t afford or things you would get broke after purchasing. There are different ways to look expensive without buying expensive stuff. Why buy a $100 shoe when you don’t have $100 saved up already. Utilize your money, you could split Netflix subscription between friends and spend less.
It’s going to take you some hard work, discipline, planning and sacrifices to get there. Although sometimes it seems there is nothing left from your salary to save after you cover your monthly expenses, you could start small by saving that chocolate money to ensure that you can live the life you always wanted.
Guess what; this period (lockdown) is the best time to start saving, Why? because I believe you ain’t going out and you don’t need the clothes that are on sales. Trust me brands know what they are doing.
I hope you guys are not yet getting bored of self-isolation, this is something to help distract you from the boredom
“Don’t save what is left after spending. Spend what is left after saving”
Thanks for taking time to read, I hope it helps you develop the act of saving.