‘Father, please I need a miracle, I promise this time I would be wiser with my spendings, I would
budget every naira. You see how I have managed the last one thousand naira like a pro’.
Then we receive the alert and continue our impulsive spending, after all YOLO.
If you find yourself in this constant cycle of being frugal with your resources(money in this case) only when
you are left with little then you my friend fall in the category of people that are described with this
idiom ‘PENNY WISE, POUND FOOLISH’ and what a perfect time to stumble on this blog.
Being penny wise and pound foolish might not seem so bad because after all you get by just fine, you have not exactly been at zero, you are able to manage the little until you receive the next alert.
But that you get by just fine is exactly the problem with this lifestyle, that is everything wrong with this lifestyle.
Here are a few things that you miss out on when you live on just enough;
1. Options: having just enough to get by life limits the things that are available to you and this in return reduces your bargaining power!
2. Opportunities: ever been presented with an opportunity that you could not seize because you needed extra ten thousand naira? Or you could not start chasing that idea because all you had on you was money for the next meal?
3. Ability to plan: planning is a lot easier when there is money saved for it. But if you always find yourself in a position where you only start planning when there is little left then there
is a problem.
4. Sense of security: feeling secured is something that is common with the human race, that is why we want a guarantee on everything, or want to be insured on the things we hold in high value, it also explains why we start saving for retirement during our first working years or even why we plan/begin to save for our children not yet born. Getting through life on just enough denies you of this sense of security because there is nothing set aside for an unplanned crisis.
Before you continue to read this article, I want you to make a decision that this would not be just another piece of information that you consume and do nothing about, it is important that you get informed but it is more important that you apply the knowledge which you have acquired.
Now that you have made this decision, pick up your phone and text or call that one person you would be accountable to in this new path you have chosen.
That being out of the way, let us go into ways we can be better at saving;
1. DECIDE: any major change starts with a decision so if you would love to experience changes with your savings here a few things you need to make a decision on;
a. What is necessary; do you really need those new pairs of shoes if they are just
going to sit in your wardrobe for another six months? Do you have to get a new fit
for every time you get invited to a party? Not deciding on the things that are
necessary for YOUR daily living would leave you putting your money into places
that you cannot be accountable for.
b. Expectations from your money: your money vanishes as quickly as it comes
because you do not expect anything from it, you know how the day comes and
you just go with the flow because you did not expect anything of the day?
Exactly! the same thing happens with your money when there is expectation from it, now everything looks like a worthy purchase.
c. Essence of your saving: make your reason for saving very clear from the
beginning, it will serve as a reminder and motivation for all the times you will feel like quitting. Saving is a lot easier when there is an end goal because that way your brain perceives it as a reward and challenges itself harder to attain the
2. DISCOVER: a budget plan that works for YOU! In your new journey of saving, budgeting is important. I know the concept of budgeting seems hard but I would try to make it simpler. Look at it this way, money is your messenger/worker and budgeting is you basically sending your worker on different errands, meaning you have control over what your workers are doing and you call the shots on what errands they should attend to rather than your workers determining what is good for them and what they would rather be doing. So budgeting gives you that power as the employer!
3. REPORT: remember earlier you texted or called that one person you would be
accountable to? Accountability in this journey is very important because when you have to report to somebody especially someone you hold in esteem there would be a bigger push to complete the task and complete it well.
4. LOCKDOWN: I know at this point nobody wants to hear the word again(LOL, thanks to coronavirus) but here lockdown is needed, after you have decided on those things shared earlier and discovered a working budget, lockdown and begin to operate in that mode.
Here is something for you to remember, cultivating the habit of saving is more important than
how much you can put aside at once!
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Written by Ajinwo Agweru M.D