Thanks to technology, it is now so easy for you to spend your money.
The month you would want to save twenty percent of your income, the ATM will make sure that it doesn’t happen. Then you will swear that next month, you will save thirty percent of your income because last month, you failed to save twenty percent.
But again, the ATM is there, POS is there and online shopping is there to mess everything up.
The worst is the ease of buying airtime. Before, I would refuse to make some calls because I can’t go downstairs to buy recharge card. But now, going downstairs doesn’t matter any longer, you can load as much as you like on the comfort of your bed, even at midnight.
So how do you avoid these temptations? How do you save money in this environment that is so hostile to savings? How do you start your wealth building journey?
- The willingness
The willingness must be there.
There is no way you can control yourself to save if you are not willing to save. This is especially so in the current financial environment.
The best way to motivate yourself to be willing is to sit down and think about what savings can do for you in the future. Think about how it would lead to your financial freedom and ultimately allowing you to live your life the way you want.
Put simply, think about how it will lead to your freedom. This will give you a strong motivation to be willing. You can also think of things that are personal to you that will motivate you.
To be financially free, you must save, find ways to motivate yourself to do the needful.
Don’t allow your wants today to deny you of a blissful future.
2. The first thing you must do when you earn
You cannot save if savings is the last thing you do when you earn.
The great American Investor Warren Buffet puts it perfectly when he said ‘don’t save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after savings’.
If you saved last, then your expenses will always gulp all your money so that you will have nothing left to save.
Save first instead.
Remove the amount you want to save from your income then try your possible best to survive with the rest.
This will be hard at first because you will be forced to adjust the way you live. Meaning that your lifestyle will reduce. But you will get used to it if you are serious about it.
3. Make it hard to access your savings
The retail banking sector of the banking industry in Nigeria have witnessed an incredible advancement in the past decade.
The banks in an attempt to provide good banking services to you and me have gone on to innovate things that make spending so easy.
What do you do then? Make it hard to access your savings account.
You can have as many bank accounts as you want but choose one savings account where you will save. Never allow access to internet banking to it, cut up the ATM card to that account, never download the bank’s application, never use their mobile service.
Nothing, just your money in your account. That way, you will have the hope of saving some good money.
You can also the services of Insurance companies that offers savings programs that can also serve as insurance cover.
It is even harder with them because once you terminate without the stipulated time, there is a penalty, and that is the last thing you will want for your savings.
There are also good traditional means of savings out there.
Whichever you choose, make it hard for you to access your money.
4. Set a goal
Have a goal to save a particular sum or a particular percentage of your income (but nothing less than 10 percent) every month and every year.
Don’t just have in your head that you will save this particular sum, write it down, remind yourself of the goal every day and work hard toward achieving it.
Goals are like burning fire, when you have one, and back it up with the right actions, you will be unstoppable.
5. Have a budget
You earned fifty thousand naira, and promised yourself to save twenty thousand naira and spend the rest. You will find it very hard to achieve this if there is no budget.
A budget disciplines you and helps you control your expenses.
When you want to splash the cash on that nice shoe you saw coming back from work, a budget will remind you that you are not supposed to spend on shoes that particular month.
Create a budget and keep to it, it will help you save more.
6. Have a simple lifestyle
Having a simple lifestyle means spending only on the things you need.
Not spending on the things you want or the things that will satisfy your ego.
Make your life simpler; don’t wear 80000 naira watch, don’t wear 20000 naira shirt. It will do you no good spending like this, at least for now.
If you feel that am trying to stop your good life, fine, continue. But know the truth; the more you spend like that, the more you are losing your chances of even a better life.
The more you spend like that, the more you are hampering your chances of becoming wealthy. You choose.
7. Discipline yourself:
Most people underrate the power of discipline in money management.
To me, it’s everything. Look around you, think of those clothes you bought and never wore, the shoes, the books bought but never read. It is because of financial indiscipline.
Some complain that they just can’t help it whenever they have cash. They simply spend until every kobo is gone. Not that they love spending like that, but according to them, they cannot help it.
In a barber’s shop, as I was having a haircut a man walked in and started complaining to the barber that he spends four thousand naira every day on baba ijebu. I made the calculation in my head; one hundred and twenty thousand naira every month.
When the barber asked him why he is still playing it since he is complaining about the money he spends on it. He first likened himself to someone who smokes cigarettes. I am hooked, he said. It’s only God that can save me now.
Some people are like that, spending uncontrollably to the things they do not enjoy. Sometimes we spend just to tell our friends that we have the money. Spending just to fire up our ego. You will love it now but you will regret it in the future if you don’t stop.
These are the things that have helped me save. You can also find your own way because whatever you do, to be financially free, you must save.
In what other ways have you forced yourself to save?