The World Of SAVINGS!

By Sola Adesakin FCA FCCA CPA MBA

A lot of times, we are encouraged to save. Finance experts, books, sermons, finance groups teach the importance of saving money, but how come people still struggle with saving money successfully?

money woman

Savings is simply putting money aside from your income on a regular basis. It is income not spent. The rule of thumb is that everyone saves at least 10% of their income. People ask me a lot of times how possible it is to save when they cannot even meet up with their expenses; the truth is if you treat savings as an expense, you will be able to make room for it. List your savings as a “Needful” Expense just like every other expense you have.

Savings is simply putting money aside from your income on a regular basis. It is ‘income not spent’. The rule of thumb is that everyone saves at least 10% of their income. People ask me a lot of times how possible it is to save when they cannot even meet up with their expenses; and here is what I tell them:  if you treat savings as an expense, you will be able to make room for it. List your savings as “Needful Expense” just like every other expense you have. Nothing boosts your morale more than knowing that you have money saved aside to meet up with emergencies and obligations when they arise. It is important to always put money aside for now and for the future.

It is not enough to want to save, it is important to have savings goals. Many years ago, I would save a particular sum from my salary on a monthly basis, but once I was broke or needed money for anything, my savings account was my next point of call. So I never was able to successfully put any substantial sum aside.

For you to save reasonably and meaningfully, there must be a concise plan on how to go about it. You must have SAVINGS GOALS and your savings goals must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realizable and Time Bound).

 

For starters, I encourage people to have their savings plans/goals that span no more than 365 days; once the year ends, start a new year with fresh savings goals. Investment on the other hand is for a longer term and that is not my focal point for today.  Also, establish why you need to save and what you need the money for. And mind you, you can have as many savings goals as you desire. You can have up to 7 savings goals per year. Vacation, Rent, School fees, Purchase of property, Saving Up for Investments etc.

So let’s say for year 2019(or whichever), I intend to have 3 savings goals; I would like to save N2m for my investment account, I would love to go on vacation which would cost N2m and I would like to pay for a course worth N1m. That means I need to save a total of N5m for that year. Makes my savings plan specific, measurable as discussed above.  I need to set aside some amount monthly to meet up with my desired amount. (The how, where and when is up to me to determine).

Once my plan is certain, my gaze is fixed and it would be difficult to spend on unnecessary things because I have specific goals.
I think it is necessary we explore savings from another angle also.

There are other practical ways you can save money in lump sum and other areas through which you can save money (by reducing expenses). Here are 16 quick savings avenues you can explore.

 

  1. The rule of thumb is to save at least 10% of your salary. By saving, you pay yourself for your efforts. Don’t keep working for others sake. Compensate yourself.
  2. Contribution and Thrift Schemes ( Known as “Ajo). Get the right mix of trusted people. This is a good way of saving lump sum
  3. Have a Piggy bank. Save your coins, loose change and small denominations. This works wonders trust me.
  4. I came across a 30-day rule of purchasing. When you have an urge to purchase something, allow 30 days to pass and see if you still have the urge and drive. You save your money by not buying what you don’t need.
  5. Save Money on Airtime. Create a limit on the amount of recharge card you’d buy weekly and stick to it. For those using contract lines, check other options; they may be cheaper. Wifi-calls instead of regular calls
  6. ATM withdrawals: Plan them. ATM charges when added together amount to a lot sometimes. In the US, ATM fees could be as high as $3 . Plan to withdraw money when you would be going towards where your bank branch is.
  7. Endeavor to check your statements for bank charges. Two months ago, I got furious and went to the bank to disable SMS alerts. It’s a rip-off sometimes. If you have credit card debts also, make sure you negotiate rates and pay down as much and soon as you can.
  8. Always write a list when going shopping and please stick to it. This is an area in which you can save mega!
  9. Explore DIY options. Sometimes, try out washing by yourself; invest in a good washing machine if possible. Get someone to iron for a token or do it yourself! Sounds unreasonable? It works.
  10. Drink more water, less soda and fizzy drinks. Some people are addicted. It isn’t healthy; for your body or your purse.
  11. Start shopping for Christmas now. Shop winter clothes during summer too. Don’t wait till the last minute.
  12. Cut down on magazine subscriptions, read online. I see some people still buy newspapers. Really?
  13. Be creative with entertaining your children. You can save some cash by sometimes giving them stuffs to do at home: bake, cook, interesting cds, organize family karaoke. You save money doing that on a particular weekend.
  14. If you like to go out a lot, invite a few friends over sometimes. Cook, watch movies together. Eat out, but not always.
  15. Compare prices always.
  16. Multivitamins to the rescue. Eat well also. Keep your children healthy and you’d avoid constant visits to the hospital. A good fruit diet is super always.

Action Point: Now list out other areas in which you know you can personally save money.

 

Sola AdesakinSola Adesakin is an experienced and versatile Chartered Accountant with about 16 years hands-on experience on Personal and SME finance. She is a Personal Finance Coach, Author of 5 books and a Conference/Seminar Speaker. Through her blog and The Smart Stewards Academy, She has helped many people bounce back from stress to rest and from debt to wealth. She blogs daily at The Smart Stewards (www.smartstewards.com); a forum where she teaches on sound Personal Finance Management. She continues to influence women by her blogs and has been featured on a TV show that aired globally. In addition, she is very versed in developing of solid financial systems for SMEs.
Sola holds a BSC in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom. She is a Fellow of the Institute Of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) , a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of The United Kingdom (ACCA) and a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada(CPA) She also holds an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School (Heriot-Watt University) Scotland. 

She holds a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos Nigeria being a recipient of the WomenX Scholarship ( A collaboration of World Bank and EDC). 

Source: Above Whispers

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