Let’s admit it. We’ve all been there. Every year, full of promise and steam, jazzed up on Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and Other Stories, we craft lofty New Year\’s resolutions. We solemnly swear to keep promises that fizzle out and die way before the New Year starts to sit. In Resolution Land, we give prime real estate to savings and losing weight. Apparently, we usually realize we haven’t saved and that we can’t fit into clothes only when the year ends. We feel bad for a couple of weeks, then, being the valiant warriors we are, we get up, dust ourselves, and…make new resolutions. And the cycle begins. But it need not be like that. Like everything in our lives, spending, saving, and losing weight are all governed by emotion, which, if you look closely, is just a bunch of habits. As William James once said, “All our lives are but a mass of habits”. It means that we can rid our toxic behavior with enough effort. Habits can be changed, but it won’t happen in one fell swoop. Instead, we have to do our bit every day. Therefore, to save, we have to change our habits around money, specifically being conscious about how we spend money. To do our bit and change how we spend so we could save, we could:
Establish a strict budget
You need to understand that having a budget is necessary. You must establish the bounds within which your money spans and stick to it. This, however, is easier said than done. Having a budget is, to say the least, hard. Very hard. We are so used to impulse buying that even after we firmly establish a budget, we still overspend. Shopping becomes fun, whizzing around the aisles picking things willy-nilly and dropping them in our carts like they’re hot, budget be damned. News Flash folks, shopping should never be fun. If you are putting on makeup to go shopping, you’re in the wrong career. Consider changing it. This is particularly worse when we bring kids along, put them on the latest cart, and try to set a new speed record. This is not only bad for your self-esteem but also increasingly damaging to your wallet. Unless your adorable ‘Dadie’, is part of your shopping, it might be a good idea to leave them at home. And no, you won’t be a bad parent. Unless you’re leaving him home alone, in which case, yes, you are a bad parent.
To not be over the budget, we need to have lists. Listing every purchase down, whilst it might be constrictive at first, is a great way to stick to your budget. It’s been psychologically proven that people who make lists stick to their plans and save money more than non-list people. Further, you could describe each item and why you need it, i.e., why it must be on your list. Justifying your purchases is a great way to stick to your list. This way, you only buy what you need, not what you want.
Also, try to only use cash for your purchases. This way, you only use the money you set aside to buy whatever you needed. To know how much you will require, try looking up prices online to get a good estimate of how much cash you need to carry, then increase it by about 20 percent, in case prices get adjusted for inflation before you reach the supermarket.
Put your finances in order
You need to determine your financial priorities and set preferences, with decreasing importance. Once you do this, stick to it. Just like writing your list for your purchases, make a list of the important loans that you need to pay off first. Make a list of everything, including a list of what you should write in a list. Having a list saves you headaches and helps you pay off unnecessary debts and loans. Clearing that gives you a ballpark of how much money remains to budget with. This, of course, proceeds with the assumption that you still have money left. But if your debts are more than you earn, pay them first, then find a quiet place to scream your head off. Seriously. Just relieve the pressure. Here’s why.
Debt is detrimental to your health. According to debt.org, the effects of debt include, but are not limited to, low self-esteem, anxiety, and stress. It would help if you settled your debts, especially short-term debts that accrue considerable interest. Before you embark on saving money, you must save yourself. There’s nothing more valuable than your life. Period. Once you pay toxic debts, and find yourself not able to finance your needs, head over to the Hela Pesa website or download the app to access a salary advance.
I know, I am contradicting myself here, but before you stone me, hear me out. One reason Hela Pesa\’s salary advance will save your mental health is that unlike other loans with specific and strict repayment periods, Hela Pesa gives you the freedom to choose the duration you want to repay your loan from two months to two whole years. If you chose, let’s say, a year, then you have twelve solid months to structure your repayment worry-free. This way, you can pay off a little and still have money for your budget. What’s more, since deductions happen through a checking account, you won’t have to bite your tongue trying to do the math, leaving you plenty of time to focus on the important. So yeah, not so bad after all, ain’t it?
Regulate your spending
Yes. No question about it. Sinning is the biggest enemy of saving money. While I understand your need to sin, under the guise of winding off after a long day, etc., you need to moderate it. Excessive consumption of alcohol is not only harmful to your health but also gives you pocket leakage. And the sicker your pocket, the broker you are. This calls for strict rationing of the money you spend on your poisons or the amount of booze and cigarettes you consume. While it’s excessively hard to accomplish the former, the latter might work but it requires brutal honesty from you.
One typical way to do this is to analyse carefully the amount of money you use, say, on a given weekend and on what. After this, strive to carry to the club, or wherever you go to poison yourself, only the necessary amount leaving the rest at home. This, of course, means leaving behind your cards and preferably your pin or clearing money in your mobile account.
So there you have it, folks, saving money need not be as complex as sometimes it’s made. Cutting a little here and there will go a long way in reducing your overhead. You need not wait for the New Year\’s Resolutions to save.