When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, many people were caught off guard as long as finances and savings were involved.
How to build a money saving culture [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]
Saving is not done because one has enough money
Companies started reducing the number of employees, employees were subjected to unpaid leave, salary cuts were put in place and even now there are companies who seem to be taking advantage of the situation and they have not reviewed the salaries.
The economy was shaken and only the few who had saved a few pennies managed to stand strong during the economic storm.
Employment, as they say, can make you develop a bad habit of surviving from paycheque to paycheque without setting something aside for the rainy days. It is, therefore, paramount to develop a saving culture.
Why start saving?
To establish a savings culture, one must first recognize that saving is not done because one has enough money, but rather because one is ready to sacrifice current desires in pursuit of a bigger or long-term goal.
First and foremost, develop a strategy. After you've decided what you want to do with the money you wish to save over time, the next step is to devise a strategy for doing so.
Where will you save the money? Do you need a method which will earn you interest? How often will you save and such should be part of your plan.
Planning will make reaching your objective a lot easier, and it will take care of any unforeseen contingencies that may arise along the way.
Choose a savings service where you can earn compound interest. This allows you to increase a sum of money faster than with simple interest because you will earn returns on the money you invest as well as returns at the completion of each compounding period.
Set up a monthly automatic transfer from your salary account to your savings account. An automatic transfer to your savings account ensures you do not get tempted to use the money.
The savings account could be your Sacco account, money market fund account or your fixed deposit account. The harder it is to withdraw the money the better.
Reduce your expenses by creating a budget
This is where you do a financial audit of your expenses. Differentiate your needs and wants. You may simplify your budget by using the 50-30-20 guideline.
It recommends allocating 50% and 30% of your budget to necessities and wants, respectively, with the remaining 20% set aside for savings or debt repayment.
Carry homemade meals to the office instead of eating in a restaurant, say no to friends who always invite you to outings you have not planned for and do not be apologetic when saying you cannot afford something. Plan for that lavish vacation you want by saving for it. Luxury is expensive. Such simple lifestyle changes will start you off in the saving culture.
After creating the budget, the next step is to manually track and record your expenses, or use a smartphone app to do so. This will allow you to identify the ‘big fish,' or what you typically spend your money on. You will know how to lower the expenses you can do without.
Saving will help you have your finances in order and you will be able to deal with unforeseen uncertainties seamlessly.
The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted to Pulse Live Kenya for publication as part of the Pulse Contributors initiative.
Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.
Should you wish to submit an Article to Pulse, do so via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Njeri Kinuthia a freelance writer who is passionate about telling my stories about lifestyle, entertainment and current affairs. I have three years of experience in article writing and a beneficiary of Ajira Digital.
If you lost your job today or an emergency arose, how long would you be able to sustain yourself financially? This question will help you brainstorm and challenge yourself as long as saving is concerned.
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