I had mentioned in an earlier post that I save and save and save such that when it begins to rain, financially, I have somewhere to run for cover. I learnt to save quite a long time ago, thanks to a women’s day event that I attended way back that put that desire and needing to save in my mind. If I don’t save anything in a month, I feel as if I have failed so dismally. And I mean even R100. So, that seldom happens because I have managed to at least save that.
I know there are a lot of people who say they don’t have anything to save but believe me, that’s just an excuse. Hear me out. If you are getting some money every month, then there is something to save. It may be little, but you can be able to save that first. And once you start, you will notice that you will actually be able to save more as you get excited about how your money is growing. Trust me, by then you wish you could save every cent that comes your way. When I opened my savings account, my first deposit was R300 and I would transfer R100 every month to that account because I thought I did not have much to save. By the time it was R3000 plus in my savings account, I started putting in any lump sum that came my way at any time. In no time, my savings went into double digits. Then there was no stopping.
So here are a few ways you can save as well.
- Save first before anything else. I know, you may think that is not practical but that is the only way you will be able to save for your goals. You know what you need to save every month for you to go on holiday, buy a car or a house and the time you have to save all the money you need. Put a plan into place so that you can be able to save first before you spend the money. If you begin by spending your money before you look at how much to save, the next moment you look, there will be nothing left to save.
- Budget your spending. Even if you don’t follow it to the dot, you will always know how much you have to spend on stuff. If you allowed for eating out on your budget, when the money allocated to eating out is spent on the first 2 outings, you will know not to go out again because the budget set aside for eating out will have already been spent. Budgeting will also allow you to look at your expenditure comprehensively which will help you cut on unnecessary expenditure. If you don’t know how to budget, there are a lot of apps on your phone to track your expenditure and help you budget. When you budget, set aside savings there and transfer the money to a savings account.
- Yes, a separate savings account that you don’t hold a card for preferably and it is just for savings. I like how First National Bank opens their cheque accounts. They automatically open 2 accounts for you. One is your transaction account and the other is a savings account that has no debit card and you can’t pay anyone from it. It is connected to your main account. I love that. Separating the money into different accounts helps you not over spend as you swipe for things in shops and all. You will know that your money is finished. What is left are savings and if you need to tap into your savings, then you do it consciously.
- Have a long term savings account like a fixed deposit or a money market linked account where you save money for long term projects like buying a car or a house. I have a 32 day account for such long term savings and there I save for our long term goals. I also have a savings account that I can access the money any day and any time. This is the one earmarked for rainy days. A lady who presented at the women’s day event I said earlier, asked us if we had money that we could access right away if we needed it for an emergency? Most of us said no and right there, I knew I had to do something. I started putting money aside that I could use on a really rainy day. Which is the other thing. You can’t take that money to take your family out or something you can do without.
- You need discipline. If the money you are saving is to allow you to go on holiday, then make sure you only take it out for that. If it’s for buying a car then a car it will buy. If it’s for emergencies in the family like sickness, burst pipe or something you need to spend cash on with urgency, then you can keep it for that. The thing is, if you don’t do that, you may not reach your goal or be able to cope with a rainy day. There will always be stuff to spend money on and if you don’t watch it, you may be spending your savings on things that you don’t really need and your savings goals will never be reached.
- Lastly, I am not a financial adviser and I am not intending to be one. I am just sharing with you some of the things that have worked for me to make sure I have the money for school fees in January, buy uniforms and other emergency expenses that may need funding.
And I hope this will help you in some way. I am going to do a follow up on this soon because it is quite a long topic. I have only covered how I save but I have not touched on how I have cut my expenses as well to make sure I have something to save. So I will do that next. Stay tuned.
Blessings and hugs your way and here is to great savings and eventually financial freedom.