Have you ever wished you could have more money to spend on projects at the end of each year? Year in year out you try but to no avail. Like the saying goes if wishes are horses, even beggars will ride. You can wish all you can but to actually get it right you have to rise up and start doing something. It all starts with you. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, the truth remains that you can save if you are determined. Here are a few tips to help you on the journey to a better saving culture on your meager income.
WORK ON YOUR SAVINGS HABIT/MINDSET
Saving starts in the mind, you have to make it an incurable habit. It is not a function of how much you earn; if you cannot save when you earn a little it is doubtful if you would be able to save when you start earning big. Once you are able to change your mindset and configure yourself to saving, you will be able to do so without thinking about for long. To start, keep aside between 5% and 10% of your income as a means of paying yourself first before others. Paying yourself here doesn’t mean buying stuffs, it means saving for yourself. If you buy stuffs for yourself you are not paying yourself but you are enriching the shop owners and manufacturers of those products. Therefore save for a project or something tangible in the future.
DO IT YOURSELF
There are some chores about the house that you can do yourself that will help keep the money you are supposed to pay the technicians in your pocket. For example painting your apartment, changing your plug, servicing your generator, doing your laundry instead of going to the dry cleaner etc. Read our DIY (Do It Yourself) section of our site.
TARGET YOUR SAVINGS
Imagine football match without goal posts? Yes, that is the way it looks like when you are saving without a target. You must define what you are saving towards and the targeted amount for you to have the zeal to continue without getting demoralize along the line. For example you may be saving towards buying a car, building your house, in case of emergency etc.
KEEP A BUDGET
Maintain daily, weekly, monthly budget and even annual budget. Be sure to budget for everything you need to buy (make a list) and do not buy outside the budget no matter the temptation. Calculate your expenses on a daily basis after each day as a means of checking your spending habit.
MAINTAIN A SPECIAL SAVINGS ACCOUNT, INSURANCE SAVINGS OR MUTUAL FUNDS
Saving means you have to leave your money to grow without spending it before time. Open a savings account that you will not withdraw from, this can be done easily by deliberately refusing to have a Debit/Credit Card linked to that account. If you discovered that you are not disciplined enough not to withdraw from the account, then consider insurance or mutual fund investment option. For both of these options you will be paying monthly into account but you will not have access to the money until after a year or two. One thing that is good about these options is that the money will grow above bank interest rate.
AVOID THE BAND WAGON EFFECT
The band wagon effect is used in Marketing to attract people to buy a particular product by showing them how many people of their age, sex, demography etc are using the product. If you want to save out of your little income, ignore such adverts and only but items because they are necessary. Never buy something because your neighbour and avoid trending items of fashion, electronics etc. Curb your techie (i.e. someone obsessed with new gadgets) tendencies.
GET A FREELANCE JOB OR SIDE BUSINESS
For you to save if you earn peanut is an indication that you need to improve your earning. This can be done by either getting a freelance job in addition to your day job or starting a small business and promote it on Social Media. There are a lot of freelance jobs on the internet e.g. blogging, data entry jobs, e-commerce sales consultant jobs and so on. This way you can increase your savings. You can also take a more drastic approach by changing your present job.
AVOID HIGH RENT BUT LIVE IN A DESCENT PLACE
Shelter is one the basic human needs and either rent or building it takes a large chunk of your income. So ensure to get a place that is descent enough live but should not be more than 25% of your take home.
SAVE ON TRANSPORT
Try your best to take public bus to work or all your destinations because they are cheaper than taxis and drops.
10. BUY IN BULK
You save a lot if you cultivate the habit of buying in bulk because you get quantity discount in the process. Also you get to pay wholesales price. For food items it is cheaper to buy in bulk.
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