Ever heard of the phrase “Save for a rainy day”? With the on-going economic challenges, the rainy day does not seem so far off. It is hard work to earn the money but an even harder one to save. Seriously it takes a lot of discipline, focus and mental maturity to pull it off and here are nine incredible albeit not so easy habits to develop for the efficient saver.
- Open a Savings Only account
Open a target account dedicated to savings alone. With a view and a standing order to periodical investments. When the amount hits a certain figure transfer it to a fixed deposit account to be renewed (Roll-Over) every 30 – 90 days, a guaranteed fund or treasury bills.
- Regular Timely Deposits
Make a habit of depositing into your savings account at least twice a week, the amounts need not be fixed or large. This ensures that you get used to idea and process and before you know it you sub-consciously remind yourself that you haven’t saved when you miss out on a week. Furthermore, the Nairas add up at the end of the day.
- Always Put Away Cash Gifts and Tips
Believe it or not, paying it forward is a blessing in disguise, whatever cash gifts and tips you receive from friends, family, clients, colleagues or even strangers from your home, neighbourhood or workplace put away in the bank because it usually is not something you expect or budget for thus an added income that will prove useful tomorrow.
- Budget! Budget! Budget!
You need to plan out your expenses carefully and judiciously in direct proportion to your income, it is not about cutting your cloth according to your size it’s about cutting your cloth according to the yards available
- Put your Needs in Perspective
It is not about what you want anymore but what you need, so if you can do without it is a luxury good or service which shouldn’t have to eat into your income. Put your needs and the absolute necessary first.
- Try Group Savings/Donations
There are always cooperative schemes (Esusu) in most work places, clubs and societies. It is both an effective way to get bulk cash and it encourages good saving habits especially for the previous two habits mentioned.
- Tighten Your Purse Strings
Sometimes simple things like waking up early and making your own lunch to take to the office or eating breakfast before you leave home, or purchasing fuel before your tank runs out preferably in the early mornings or evenings, taking bus or ‘keke’ instead of taxi or driving, texting or using whatsapp to call goes a long way to helping you save.
- Bulk Buying
Buying in bulk helps you save in the long run especially in between holiday/celebratory seasons because it’s cheaper and in the case of provisions lasts longer and frees up your budget if its already stocked up.
- Invest in You and Your Future
Keep realistic goals with a view to your future, there should always be a focal point to what you are saving for. Keeping this at the forefront of your mind will ensure that you stay on track. Be it the property you need to free up the rent money, a higher education to get a better job, the fish farm to retire well whatever rows your boat.
Remember we do the hard work and suffer now so we can relax and enjoy tomorrow. We determine the nature of our lifestyles so the onus is on you live your dreams.