You seem to set out on a savings journey with so much zeal to save every extra cash, but “Boom”, some incident occurs and you jump off the next bus-stop. So how do you get to stay in the bus for the long haul till you get to your destination?
You can easily get frustrated along the way and drop off without achieving any returns on your savings. There are many things that make us frustrated and can lead to depression on our life’s journey and it is fair to say, the lack of money especially sends us down a quick rabbit hole. At Proshare Foundation, we hope that as we bring you these insights, it will force us to learn, unlearn and relearn everything about our Savings Culture.
Today, we will be looking at how to stay the long haul on this Savings journey. It is not enough to start saving, the intention is always there... but the key to success is in the consistency of it especially when it is aligned towards achieving a goal.
Let me quickly share with us the story of a young woman I happened to have met a long time ago. It was impossible to imagine just how much she was able to do with her meagre income. When I met her she was a hair stylist, not in some highbrow fancy store and location, but just that kind of regular shop you go to when you just want to get something done quickly. But over time, I literally came to study how this woman was able to stay focused on raising two boys, increasing her income streams and staying committed to the goal of reducing the financial pressure she had. The biggest lesson for me from her was that it is all in the “pot of consistency”. The singular importance of having a well thought out goal(s) and working steadily to achieving them.
My friend, Lola was always going about with a list. She was not overly educated and this was not the era of smart phones. However she would proudly show everyone her list and in fact tick off every milestone she had achieved in her financial goal. So it was impossible to see her spend frivolously. I remember she had a jar for every tip she got, she never mixed it up with her actual service /professional fees.
Lola's desire to be better and provide a better life for herself and children were her driving force, so you would often find her listening to tips on how to be better, where to shop and to keep the dream alive. I would see her struggle some days with not being able to splurge, but I admired her commitment to the dream.
A few tips to add to the lessons I learnt from Lola is to actively seek inspiration and set an achievable goal for yourself. Firstly, have a goal in mind. Secondly, what would it take you, how long will it take you and how much will it take you to achieve this goal. Thirdly, what is the right channel to help you save to achieve this set goal(s). Next, is to calculate how much you need to save,what percentage of your income you can afford to save and how long it would take you to achieve the goal. So for example, my dear friend Lola wants to buy a new hair dressing machine for her shop and it would cost her N250,000:00. She can conveniently save 20% of her profit monthly and that figure comes up to about N25,000:00 per month. It would take her 10months to achieve that goal. Now she needs to sought for the savings vehicle she can save with that is credible and can give you a good interest rate.
Having a Vision Board with a graphical representation of the things we want of the lives we want to live is also an absolute in providing the needed inspiration for achieving our short and long term goals. See yourself on a journey to a destination in a vehicle. Your destination is your goal, the bus is your savings account. Your eyes should be set on your destination and you do not have to jump off the bus at every bus-stop. Stay focused on your goal.
So, here is something for keeps too, we think it is important to have people around you with the same values or thought pattern regarding personal finance. It will be quite sad to be around people who feed your negative financial vibes. Like minds will work towards financial goals and encourage you when it seems like a difficult task. It definitely also helps to have friends and family around who understand how finance works and can help toe the line of your financial methodology.
Honestly, saving in this economy is hard, but be consistent regardless of how small. It will add up eventually.
Thank you for taking the time to read and be a part of our community and don’t forget to visit our social media pages, share your financial stories with us, but most importantly, be like my friend Lola...... be consistent!
Your Personal Finance Coach