We hope you have been taking the time to read our posts and put to practice some of the things you have learnt...
As with everything, there is always the many reasons why it should not be, or why it may be difficult. But it is important to note that life is a culmination of the decisions we take per time. One of the key factors that determines how we will live our lives is our state of finances. This is in no way to say that finance or having money is everything, but it is impossible to not take cognizance of the fact that our finance is directly tied with most decisions that will affect the way we live our lives.
So today, we would be discussing some tips and tricks on how to cultivate a savings habit, be consistent at it and enjoy the many benefits it offers.
1. Have and Follow your Budget - We cannot overemphasize the need to always have a budget. While the best laid plans can always go wrong, we must give ourselves wriggle room that will ensure that we are free from pressures especially money pressure. It has sent many to early graves. A budget ensures that you have an idea what your average spend and income is per time, and gives the opportunity to appropriately prioritize what needs to be done and when. With this plan, you are able to judiciously manage what you have. Also with a budget, it is easy to make a life style change that allows you to plug the leaks that may be draining your funds.
Too many times, we are left in denial of just how frivolous we are with our spending habits. We are quick to say that, we work too hard to not indulge. Indulging is all well and good, but then ask yourself... the benefits of today, do they outweigh the benefits of a tomorrow when you are no longer able to command the earning power that you have now? Don't procrastinate! Be intentional and this starts with a budget!
2. Automate Your Savings - Now, it is safe to say that we have technology to thank for bringing innovative and easier ways of being intentional about our lives especially our finances. There are of course pros and cons, but I remember the time when we had to take a heap of thousands of naira to the bank and perhaps join a very long queue just to be able to save your money. I imagine how tedious the very idea of this is. In fact, I think it was exhausting. The baby boomers and some millennial can bear true testament to this. But guess what? Now with the click of buttons and without too much physical effort you are able to move your funds from point A to point B. Hence it is easy to follow through with your financial plan.
We advise, find a digital bank that affords you the kind of benefits you are looking for and automate your savings. We can guarantee that so long you are earning, you will be able to save more with commitment and a viable plan.
3. Avoid or Minimize Impulse Buying - For people like us, this is a lesson we are still trying to learn. But people, let’s face it, it serves no purpose to just be buying and buying and buying things that are absolutely not necessary. If we can control that impulse, we get to have so much more to actually afford the very necessary things we will need.
4. Learn to do more with less - the art of doing more with less speaks to our lifestyle spend. To achieve some semblance of financial freedom, we must be intentional about truly making a change to how we relate with our finances, which includes our saving and spend habits. Being able to do more with less is being able to prioritize between wants and needs, learning to do without, understanding delayed gratification, taking advantage of DIY tricks and more… At the end of the day we will discover sometimes things could get done for less, we just need to put on our thinking caps.
5. Set Savings Goals - There are no viable plans without goals. Goals are the true benchmark for the measure of success or failures. If you do not have a goal to save towards, it becomes more difficult to be consistent with the Savings habit. The only people who may find no difficulty with this will be 'stingy people' lol... There are too many things to do with money, so why not make it easy on ourselves by having goals and working towards achieving those? Let’s try!
6. Save First, Not Last - There is no better rule, no better way of cultivating the habit of making intentional plans towards savings rather than it being an afterthought.
7. Be a smart Shopper - in a city like Lagos, trust me, you want to be smart about how you shop. There are bargains to be had, discounts and all. You only need to be on the lookout.
We end this by saying, ask yourself, ‘is it easy or tough to save?’ Whether easy or tough, remember that it may be easy because you have imbibed a culture that makes it appear so, or difficult because of your lifestyle, commitments and other factors that are the realities in this present times. Still, it is doable. Commit to it!
Your Personal Finance Coach