Most of us haven’t grown up with proper financial literacy. We do not know where our money goes to and neither do we know the best way to save. Wherever the financial wind takes us, that is where we go. Money is the master and we are the servants.
Have you ever sat with yourself to ponder on your finances and expenditure?
When I get money I am usually quick to pay bills. To pay for my rent, airtime, food, clothing and transport. It seems as if I distribute the money to bills.
We need to see the bigger picture beyond consumerism.
Which raises the question, Would I have money to settle my bills for the next six months or less incase my regular flow of income is no more?
When we get money, we don’t pay ourselves first. And this is where we go wrong. We have been working tirelessly the whole month or week yet we do not appreciate the one person we should, ourselves.
Now, I am not speaking about treating yourself to the best cuisine, because again food is part of your bills. I am not speaking about the money you spend on luxuries and fun, this is still part of the bills and the money ends up in someone else’s pocket.
I am speaking about taking part of the money, it could be 10% or 20% of the money you get, and taking it for yourself, that is saving it. And not just taking it and putting it under your pillow. How is that going to help grow it? You would rather put it in a fixed deposit account, that it will earn annual interest for you.
This is saving with a purpose. Your savings are the payments to yourself after you have worked. This is because all the other cash goes to bills and more bills, and the sad part is bills are there to stay, they ain’t going anywhere, in fact they keep increasing with age haha.
We also go wrong when we save after we have paid our bills. This is why most of us end up saving nothing at all, it’s all gone. The bills have taken all the money. And this is how we stagnant and begin cussing adulthood.
Paying yourself should be the number one thing you do when you get money. And that is saving. The decision on what amount to save lies solely with an individual. However it is advisable to save at least 10% of the money you get.
Savings are the seeds that you plant to produce a tree that can bear fruits. Savings are supposed to work for you, they should multiply and become of greater value. It is the income that should be converted to assets that can provide you with an income in the future. Savings are supposed to build us.
Save then spend.
If you are not able to save on the little that you have, what makes you think you will save when you get a lot? This kind of discipline and habit can be grown if we start with the ‘small’ money we think we have. If we create a habit, we will not have trouble putting aside bigger amounts of money so that we can invest and get more profits.
The other thing we need to understand as youth is that Rome was not built in one day. I am a millennial myself and one thing I struggle with is quick results and the notion of “over-night” success. This is the era where we want things to happen quickly. Just like the way we are getting goods and services online instantly is how we want our financial curve to shoot. Well bad news guys, money principles don’t work that way.
If we are careful enough to observe and listen to those older than us, we will realize that wealth is built over time. We may also realize that the faster we gain wealth, the faster it will be to lose it. However if you trust the process and learn the proper financial principles along the way, even if something happened and you lost everything, the principles and knowledge will still be in you and it will only be a matter of time before you are back on your feet again.
We will speak of debt and how to get yourself out of it another day.
Let’s first cultivate a saving culture and figure out how we are going to channel the savings to investments. This may include starting a business, buying a piece of land, investing in the stock market, building a house and much more. A lot of patience is required in this journey. Nevertheless, at whatever situation you are in life, always learn to enjoy and embrace the season, the thrill is in the journey not the destination.
If you haven’t been saving, you can consider opening a fixed deposit savings account, for this the annual interest rates for different banks should guide you, you can also join a legit Sacco, if you save in a Sacco, it becomes easier for you to access loans at low interest rates. You can also save through legal saving groups with your peers. Being able to pool funds together is the concept that banks and insurance companies ride on. This is the same concept that Saccos and small saving groups have borrowed a leaf from.
The good book in Proverbs 13:11 says “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”
Small things become big things, always.
Finally, here is why you should save, for investment, for psychological freedom, for emergency funds in case everything goes south, for education, for larger purchases and for retirement just to mention a few.
It’s important to always ask yourself the ‘why’ question. ‘Why am I doing this?’ If your why is strong enough, you’ll figure out how.
Let’s have fun saving.
I recommend a book Titled ‘The Richest Man In Babylon’ by George S. Clason
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