‘Little money, soon expended, only if you work hard you get some more’….that’s a line from a popular Nigerian song that has listeners singing along and forgetting their worries and almost empty wallet half way into a new month. Sadly, the latter part doesn’t really apply to everyone and we always seem not to have enough to go round and nothing put aside for the future. Does anyone agree that even though working hard will get you more money, it does not imply that you will have more money in your account when you need it. Reason is because naturally, our lifestyle tends to ‘upgrade’ when we have more money. Saving has always been a difficult task for people. ‘Now matters, let tomorrow take care of itself’ is the mantra of the lavish money spender. Now imagine that this ‘tomorrow’ is the very day after you spent your last cash, and you have an emergency that requires financial attention. No one likes to be in such situations. However, it is not too late to develop a good financial management plan no matter how small. In simple terms, it is time to learn how to save some money every month for the future. Below are some useful tips:
Avoid Impulsive Spending
Most people probably spend alot in a year on things that they don’t plan to buy. There are two easy ways to reduce these impulse buys and save plenty:
Make a Shopping List and Stick to it
Yes we know it is difficult to wall into a mall with the intention of buying specific items and you end up adding cans of drinks you did not plan for in your cart. It is time to resist that urge. Stick to your list and you will surprised how much you saved from your monthly income. Go for needs and resist the wants as much as you can.
Take advantage of discount sales
Trust me, no matter how small the discount might be, in the long run you still spend less on an item that you would before. This will also be an opportunity to buy items in stock and store at home. That way, you will likely not have to visit the shops in the following month or two. That’s some cool cash saved there, don’t you think?
Compare pricing and bargain as much as you can.
Same items can be sold at different prices by different store owners. Don’t always settle for the first price rather look for the best price. Always remember that every seller is in business to gain more customers and so will be willing to bring their price down for you.
Take a Lunch to Work and Save N500 – N1,000 daily
Most of us don’t realize how much we spend on simple things like lunch buying a lunch everyday rather than bringing one prepared at home. Many people save a lot of money by always making more dinner than they need and then taking some of the leftovers to work the next day for lunch. If this doesn’t appeal to you, you can make something else. Whatever you do, it should be much cheaper than buying a lunch every day. If you buy lunch for N500 every working day of the year, you will end up spending over N150,000 on lunch after you have already stocked up the house with foodstuff. Food for thoughts.
Buy a Quality Used Vehicle Rather than a New One
* In recent years, car manufacturers appear to be building better quality cars than they have before. Because the quality of cars has increased, it means that buying a used car is less risky than it used to be. Also new cars lose so much value once you drive them off the lot, it now makes more sense than ever to seriously consider buying a quality used-car rather than a new one. Dave Ramsey, a personal finance radio host, drove this point home by telling his listeners that, “A new $28,000 car will lose about $17,000 of value in the first four years you own it. To get the same result, you could toss a $100 bill out the car window once a week.”
Buying a used car rather than a new one can literally save you millions of Naira in some cases. At the very least, you should be able to big money and still get a great vehicle that may even still be under warranty. You can find a quality used-car by visiting some online car sellers and looking up used car ratings
Let the car rest sometimes…save fuel money
Owning a car can make you lazy and never consider public transport but consider this, at least N5,000 on fuel every week can be a puncture in your wallet. So try leaving the car at home at least one week in a month and save that N5,000.
So now you have saved some change, gather it all up and have a savings jar, that is if you feel too lazy to stop by the bank every other day to deposit it in a savings account.
Other tips are:
- Give yourself an allowance and stick with it.
- Don’t carry a lot of cash—or credit cards—in your wallet. Impulse spending is harder if you have to go to the bank machine to get money.
- Whenever you want to make a large purchase, wait for a day or two. Any worthwhile purchase will still be there tomorrow. By sleeping on your decision, you will give yourself more time to think about it and potentially avoid an impulsive decision.
- Consider buying products that aren’t brand names but still offer quality. The same manufacturers that make name brand products often make the cheaper brands as well. This is true for appliances, electronics, vehicles, clothing and groceries.