So picture this: You got robbed or you misplaced your phone, that’s definitely not planned for! Would you have enough money saved up to get a new one by tomorrow? or in fact immediately? If your answer is No, then you are not alone. This came in as a tough call for me 2 years ago when I lost my phone (it was actually new) and while I was still enjoying it, they took it from me. 🙁
What was more painful? It wasn’t the phone. No! It’s not what you are thinking, it wasn’t my sim card, it wasn’t my contacts either because I constantly save and backup my contacts to my Google account so I could get them back across any device. It was the fact that I had ZERO SAVINGS!
A large percentage of adults don’t have savings. The smaller percentage who save do not even have enough to cover three months’ worth of living expenses. With new year resolutions on everyone’s minds, you may be trying to figure out how you can spend less and save more in 2021.
Considering this is a bigger step, but actually going through with it successfully without backing out is actually the more important factor. Are you sure you are ready to keep up with your saving goals at least till February 1?
We are about to find out as I show you some easy ways to help you save money easily in 2021, up till 2022 and beyond. (I actually adopted these methods after I learned the hard way – Losing my new phone)
1. Set Goals
Have you noticed that you are more cautious about how you spend when you have a saving goal? It keeps you mentally prepared. You are more likely to change your spending habits if you are saving with something specific in mind. It could be saving for a vacation, or down payment for your house rent (you definitely don’t like to joke with that). It can also be towards smaller things like saving for a new phone, laptop or camera. No matter what your saving goal is, make sure you add something else whether big or small to your wishlist and start a new savings goal.
The more you improve your saving habits, the more cautious you are about your spending habits.
2. Don’t Get Involved In High-Interest Debt
Taking a loan is very tempting. After all, you have all your projections laid out and you believe you will be able to pay back the amount + interest within the agreed period. But what if things don’t go as planned? Also if you have pending debts with high interest, it’s better to eliminate them as quickly as possible. The quicker you get rid of them, the less you have to pay in interests.
3. Track and Record Your Expenses (Especially Those Unnecessary Ones)
Before you can save money successfully, you need to first figure out how much you spend. Regardless of how big your savings goal is, you need to see where all your money is going before you can figure out how much you’d like to put away.
How can you go about this? Here’s the method I use:
- On the first day of the month, calculate what you spent the previous month
- Separate the important expenses from the unimportant ones.
- Important expenses include things like your Student Fees and House Rent while the non-important expenses include things like concert tickets, those unplanned afternoon lunch dates, or the “vex money” you threw at someone to clear yourself of embarrassment.
- Look through this list, consider what you can let go of and commit to saving that extra cash.
- For example, why not cook at home rather than visit an expensive restaurant?
If the thought of tracking your expenses seems overwhelming, Carbon (formerly PayLater) is an app that can efficiently help with this.
4. Save Automatically
Every month, or every time you earn, schedule a recurring amount of money that will be automatically forwarded into a savings vault or secondary savings account. This way, you don’t have to start making calculations or stress having to remember to make a savings deposit. An app that can make this task relatively easier for you is PiggyVest.
I also use PiggyVest to save & invest securely. Click Here To Sign Up (N1,000 BONUS WAITING FOR YOU INSIDE)
5. Practice the 24-Hour Rule
If you are an engaged online shopper, you know how tempting it is to be excited by an offer and immediately make an online order. It’s very hard to think about a budget you have set or your savings goal when one Instagram or Google ad with a cute pair of shoes keep showing up on your screen, practically begging to be purchased!
The solution? Avoid Impulse Buys!
Place a 24-hour limit before you hit the “Order” or “Pay” button after you might have added those items to your cart. Chances are, after 24 hours when you come back to check what you ordered, you might not even need those items anymore. And there you go, money saved!
6. Don’t Save Alone
I must have said this like 200 times, but it’s not easy to save money. But when you join a team of people who are also willing to save towards a goal, you can make it happen. That encourages you and you feel challenged to save more. So do you know a friend, family member or colleague who is trying to save? Why not pair up with them today and start saving big towards your goal. A good application that can help automate the saving process and distribution if you are saving with a team or group of people is ALAT by Wema Bank.
7. Gifts Are Not Excluded
You might get lucky, someone gifts you with a certain amount of money for your birthday or freely, instead of thinking about how to turn up at the party, why not invest it into your saving goal to encourage the numbers. After all, if you never got the gift money in the first place, you wouldn’t just have it!
If you also got a raise at work, don’t think about spending more or adding extra drinks to your lunch. Put it into your savings. It makes the process faster and encourages saving habits.
You might as well have some goals which may not necessarily be about material needs. You may just want to have a particular amount of money before a particular period. Savings like this do well when you suddenly misplace your phone as I did. LOL
So what have you learned about saving so far? And how do you actually plan to save a lot of money this year? Let me know in the comments section below!