Okay, so money, mula, dough, bread, cheese, all the adjectives used to signify that piece of paper that holds so much importance in our lives. That’s the topic for today and I just want to share some of the ideas that I have on how you and I can better save money, because, who doesn’t want some extra zeroes in their bank accounts?
- Create a budget
Create a budget and spend on what you deem important to you. It’s your money and I’m not here to tell you how to spend it. I just want you to be aware of these things. Having a budget allows you to have a bird’s eye view of where exactly your money is going to and then find areas where you can cut back. This would also reveal areas that you spend too much money on like suscriptons or food.
- Set goals
Know your values and priorities and set long and short term goals that align with what you want. We all want different things so sit down and figure out what you want in your life and what you don’t want. Look at yourself when setting goals and not external factors. Oftentimes, we look to others to see what the measuring stick is, and that just leads to unhappiness, unfulfilment, and sadness. Only you know what you need. So think about it and set goals that align with your vision.
- Pay yourself first
It’s harder to spend money that you don’t have. And a lot of people underestimate the power of not having money available in your hand. Setting up systems that automatically deduct a certain amount of money each time a paycheck comes in, removes that option of having to think about whether or not, you should save it. So making that process automatic makes you align your spending habits to what is left.
- Unsubscribe from emails and newsletters
I cannot tell you how many times e-Commerce sites have almost made me spend tens of thousands of naira on “deals”. It’s like everyday, there’s a new deal or something and because they know what I search for regularly, they know exactly what to show me discounts on. The same thing goes for social media adverts that comb through your search history and know exactly what you’ve been searching for. That’s how they know to serve you nike kicks every day.
- Choose Quality
Spend money on more expensive but quality and fewer items. It is better to spend a lot of money on fewer long lasting items than to cheap out and buy tons of lower grade products. I used to be like this also, I’d rather buy an item because it was cheap and then buy it again a few weeks down the line and just end up wasting more money and being more stressed out. So over the past few years, ive been changing that technique to saving up for a more expensive but long-lasting option. Trust me, it might seem hard in the moment, but you’ll love yourself more.
- Sleep on purchases
Before buying anything, make sure it’s actually something that you need or actually want. Our brains get this jolt of dopamine anytime we have something new to buy but that dopamine isn’t coming from the item itself, but the anticipation of getting that item. Leave the item in the cart for a day or two and come back, most of the times, it doesn’t give us that same level of satisfaction we once had. Ensure that spending on something actually makes you happy.
- Change your mindset.
Start having a positive outlook on money and you would start to see opportunities appear. I’ve met a lot of people who have a toxic relationship with money and it’s sad because these people can’t see further than they already see. They use their current situation to inform their future decisions and this just leads to a negative cycle of bad choices. Change how you think about money and find ways to get rid of negative thoughts or emotuons regarding money. Stop looking at money as the root of all evil but as a source of blessing and you’ll start to see a turn-around in your finances.
- Start giving
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. — 2cor 9:6–8
There is a natural force in the world that gives good things to you when you give good things out. Look for ways you can give to others who are less privileged than you are and find ways to help them. It doesn’t only have to be monetary, find ways to make people smile or help them during troubled times, and you’ll see that good thing would start happening to you as well down the line. You’ll feel better about yourself and that makes you happier, and if you’re happy, money doesn’t look like a huge problem anymore. It’s the law of the universe.
- Avoid lifestyle inflation
Lifestyle inflation refers to an increase in spending when an individual’s income goes up. Lifestyle inflation tends to become greater every time an individual gets a raise and can make it difficult to get out of debt, save for retirement, or meet other big-picture financial goals.
Now this one, this one is a slow killer because people don’t realize it. It has been conditioned in us to naturally spend more when we make more money, that’s basically what lifestyle inflation is. If you can find a way to kill this preconceived notion that just because you’re making more money, then you have the ability to automatically spend more, then you will be well on your way to financial freedom. And the sneaky thing about this is that, it isn’t really noticeable. You start to see other items that you might have had as a need and justify the reasons why you are spending more.
Changing how we view money and taking active steps towards reaching our financial goals would give long-term satisfaction in our lives. The simple act of you taking a step forward to becoming more financially stable makes you way more ahead of your self yesterday.
So do your due diligence and research more about this, everyone is different so take what you need from this post and apply accordingly. I think it goes without saying that if you want to save more, there’s only a certain level you can save so finding ways to make more money would come in handy.
It doesn’t matter how much you make, what matters is how much you save and invest.