First of all, I want to say that I have awesome people in my life! They – now, y’all know who you are – came to my rescue when I got stuck trying to pen this piece. Thanks guys. So, down to business, what’s the ish this time around? I must say it’s a serious one o, very S.E.R.I.O.U.S.
The question came up as to savings, needs, and all their other family members and one of my friends asked “how do you save money when you don’t even have enough to meet your basic needs?” Really, that’s a big one o. Now, saving is one thing I’ve battled with a lot of times because before the ‘allowee’ comes (for those of us that are still majorly allowee-dependent) it has already been spent sef! I mean, I already make a mental list of some things I want to spend the money on before it comes and the money sef is not enough to cover all grounds and then someone is talking about savings… uhhh, you say wha..?!
I have to feed… well, dress…nicely and beautifully, not necessarily expensively (who dash me!), top up my phone credit, transport,… not to talk of some unforeseen expenses that are very important and sometimes, urgent too. At the end of the day, I probably have to cut short on the budget for one so as to meet up with that of another and so many other things. I must say here however that, I am not – well, I don’t think I am – in anyway an extravagant person so, it’s not as if I am biting more than I can chew and trust me, the last thing I’ll do is to purchase anything on credit or borrow money.
But, looking at this issue on the long run, if not careful, one will probably end up living-as-it-comes. You spend just as you earn, nothing to fall back on. Someone may say I’ll be able to save when I begin to earn more but, this stuff’s like tithing o – if you can’t tithe 10% of your N10,000 monthly income claiming that you don’t earn much so giving 10% of the little is too much, you’ll find it hard to tithe 10% of N100,000 when the time comes this time, claiming that 10% of the income is too much! You think you can’t save now because you don’t even have enough? Trust me, you won’t begin to save too when you earn more because your mental list will increase and you’ll have to spend the ‘more’ you now have on that and you will not now have ‘enough’ again and you will now be broke as usual and you will…
Personally, I think the trick is planning to save even before the income gets into your hands. This way, it’s part of the mental list that there’s a particular amount to be set aside as savings so, once the money’s in, the percentage to be saved is stashed away someplace. My brother gave me one idea that has worked well for me – open a savings account in a bank, preferably not the bank you use regularly, and regularly deposit something in it. One important thing, DO NOT collect the ATM card for that account. That way, money regularly goes in and hardly comes out. Another option which a close friend of mine practiced for a long time is, buy a piggy bank (I’m just trying to be tush ni o, it’s called kolo around here jor!) and stash something there all the time. My problem with this is that I can easily break it and go away with my money!
I don’t see saving as a need to keep ‘something big somewhere so that when something happens, you’ll be able to run there for help’… I think saving is more like a good habit that we all should cultivate. It’s healthy. It aides our self-discipline and ‘pimps our levelz’ too. I mean, I won’t always have to practice the hand-to-mouth lifestyle if I have some ‘little something’ somewhere to take care of the little unforeseen needs I always have.
Another person was talking about investments instead of saving… well, I won’t say a lot on that because I’ve not actually practiced the investment thing in the very sense of the word. But, thinking about it, how about saving to invest? Like saving up to buy a property?
Tie your hands and be sometimes ‘stingy’ to yourself. It’s not everything that you want that is needed, separate your wants from your needs and prioritize the needs too… Ok, let me stop here because I think I’m starting to sound like a confused financial adviser, none of which I am. All I’ve been trying to say is that it is important that we learn to be prudent in spending.