The year 2020 was very challenging for humanity for obvious reasons; as the spread of the deadly coronavirus taught us many lessons which will be difficult to forget from our memories for many years to come.
There were massive job losses, salary cuts and terminated business lines which caught the unprepared by surprise. The painful lessons this brought to us should have instilled a few things about having emergency funds or a solid asset buffer to withstand any uncertainty that life may bring whether single or married.
I get asked a lot how to save in a country like Nigeria when inflation is on a continual rise and the purchasing power of the currency is on a steady decline. I’ll be dishonest if I don’t admit that saving money monthly is a very difficult target to achieve, however this doesn’t mean it is impossible.
The following steps will outline the steps to ensure that you save a significant amount of money by the end of this year;
Invest in You
The world is a fairly efficient and competitive place, therefore chances are if you are struggling financially your skillset is not good enough to bring you out of your predicament or you just have poor negotiation skills. We all know things are tough in the economy and focusing on what the media and news say won’t change anything about your finances, however the power lies in your hands and there are several ways to do this.
Investing in yourself is the most effective way to save because it means you are betting on yourself and thereby increasing your earning power in contrast to what your expenses are.
So How Do I invest In Myself?
Investing in yourself is more than just buying stocks, treasury bills or other financial assets to earn money; it is you taking a holistic look at yourself and determining what value you can offer the world at little or no stress to you.
No matter what field or career you find yourself, there is always room for improvement or other avenues for you to explore and learn new things that can empower you. The internet is a goldmine for resources and you can learn any new skill that is of interest to you within a few hours or months depending on how intense it may be. All you need do is to have consistency and the determination to complete them.
There are opportunities on freelance platforms like fiverr and upwork where people are ready to pay huge sums of money to complete jobs for them from the comfort of your home, however these opportunities require you to have improved yourself in certain niches. The easiest way to make money is to give society what it wants but does not yet know how to get.
Develop Small-Medium Term Projects
Another way to ensure you focus on saving is to have small meaningful projects you plan to execute to ensure that you stay focused. So think of projects that will add value to you in say 6 months to 2 years and work towards saving to execute. Start by writing down audacious but attainable short-medium term goals you would like to achieve and you’ll witness a dramatic change in your belief system.
For example it could be buying a landed property at a choice location or completing a professional qualification. The idea is basically to put meaning to your hustle.
Develop a Budget
This looks plain and simple but a lot of people still do not have a monthly budget or do a proper analysis of their inflows and expenses. I am here to tell you that this process is not as difficult as you see it and it just involves two important tools at your disposal – a biro and paper, and well an hour or two.
To properly develop a good budget, you will need to go back and do a thorough check from the past of your major recurring expenses. An effective way going forward will be to segregate your outflows into “needs and wants” to help you sieve out the unnecessary expenses that bleed.
So what you do is to ask yourself before purchasing an item if it is a necessity or born out of a need to satisfy a flimsy craving.
Ensure you develop a budget today and try and stick to it because “You can’t change what you don’t measure” is a great quote that helps me put things in perspective