You know that feeling and frustration, working so hard yet earning so little. And you wonder how you can ever save with an income like that.
Then, there is this obligation to save some part of that income that has not been able to satisfy your needs.
I had an argument with a friend who could not understand why I am telling people to save despite the economic hardship in the land
“All these things you are writing about savings are rubbish, he said. “How can you tell people to save when they can barely survive”?
I thought about it and figured that he is right.
In a country where people earn peanuts. You will not blame them for not having savings.
In a country where graduates are paid twenty thousand naira, yet they are expected to live in the city, (try and stay in your village and your people will say that you are useless) pay their rent, transport themselves and feed themselves.
The truth is that in your quest to be financially free, you need to save.
It is hard, very hard, but it can be done.
Savings and Discipline
Savings does not only help you achieve financial freedom, it also disciplines you.
I used to be very terrible when it comes to handling money, not that am now perfect, but things really began to change when I learned to save.
I immediately became aware of how much I earn, what it could afford to do for me and what it could not do for me.
I realized that in order to have some money left for me to save by month end, I need to give up some lifestyle that I cannot afford.
Things changed, I became aware and conscious of what I earn.
That consciousness about my income and what it can do was everything.
Imagine when you earn money and you don’t know what that money can do for you more so, what it cannot do for you.
Imagine when you earn fifty thousand naira and think you can afford to live like celebrities. The result, you become a financial mess. You spend and spend till you have nothing else to spend. Then you borrow and borrow till no one will lend you.
Then you go back home and curl up on your bed and wonder what kind of life is this.
Back then, by the time I receive my salary, I must have spent more than sixty percent of it. What I have to do when I receive it is pay off my debt, spend the rest and wait for the end of the month (end of the month that would refuse to come whenever am in that situation) to get paid again.
But with saving money, you plan your life in such a way that your income can be able to finance your lifestyle and have more left. And that is not easy. It takes lots of discipline.
Why I am making so much emphasis on discipline is that some people do not realize that the life they are living is so big that their earnings cannot finance it.
That is why year in year out it seems you are not making any progress financially despite the fact that as the year goes by you are earning more.
Savings will help you achieve the discipline you need if you are honest about it. You will start gradually to build your way to financial freedom.
How do you save when you earn little?
If your income is so small you can barely survive, this is what you will do.
Yes, start small. I know you have been waiting for a magical formula that will save you millions. There is nothing like that. It is that simple yet hard.
The weekly or monthly amount you save however small does not matter as long as it is consistently maintained.
One of the mistakes people make about savings is that if the money is not significant enough, they will not save. This means that they will have to wait till they start earning so well to make room for that significant money.
The biggest problem with this is that you never know when you will start earning enough. Years can be wasted without saving anything.
Savings can be likened to a drop of water. No matter how small it drips, it has the ability to fill a bucket giving time. So is savings.
Even if it is five hundred or one thousand naira you can be able to squeeze out, be diligent with it.
Soon enough you will have a reasonable sum that will enable you to invest in something tangible.
Save! Save! and Save!
Be unrepentant about it. It is going to take a miracle for you to be financially free if you do not save.
If you wait till you start earning millions before you develop a habit of saving, wealth and financial freedom will continue to elude you because you do not have one of the basic ingredients to wealth – savings.
Yes, your income will rise, because at some point you will be promoted in your place of work or your business will get better. But true wealth, the one that can afford you almost anything will never come.
The world’s richest men and women are people who have a good habit of savings. They did not wait till they started making millions before they began to save.
They simply worked hard, saved and invested their savings in profitable businesses. They repeated the cycle over and over again and gradually they became wealthy and of course financially free.
If you want something, it is a good practice to learn from those who have been there before. In all the biographies and autobiographies of men of wealth that I have read and in all the writings of how the world biggest fortunes were accumulated, I have not seen one that underplayed the importance of savings.
They did it, and so can you.