Payday is probably the happiest day of the average working-class adult in Lagos. However, this happiness is almost always short-lived because most of the money is gone at the middle of the month. As a customer centered Bank, we’ll be giving you specific tips on how to save money after Payday, so your case doesn’t turn to one of the many sad ‘Had I known’ cases.
Draw Out Clear Goals
The best time to save your money is before the money comes in. Before Payday, spell out what your saving goals for the new month are. In this same vein, you also have to ask yourself realistic questions – What are you saving for? Is it achievable? It is also important to put actual timelines to these targets you have set. These would serve as a source of motivation.
Keep Track of Your Expenses
Trust us when we say we understand how stressful it is to remember that the N1000 you’re desperately searching for was spent in Iya Farouk’s canteen eating steaming hot Amala. We totally get it, but hey, whatever happens, you have to keep track of your expenses.
Simple tracking tip for free here – Create a rating system for yourself. For instance, if you earn N100,000 monthly and plan to save 60% of your salary monthly, draw up a rating system. Say, at the end of the month, you end up saving only 10% of your income, be honest enough to rate yourself an F9. However, if at the end of the month, you discover that you have saved 60% or even 65% of your earnings, then you deserve a mighty A1 rating, your name on the super saver hall of fame and a self-spoiling treat of puff puff and Pepsi orobo.
However, you have to keep it realistic. Always remember that you cannot save 100 per cent of your salary.
Create a Budget and Monitor it
If you have the remotest interest in saving any portion of your salary at all, you should have a budget drawn up before you begin to spend. Bear in mind that your budget should include everything you spend money on monthly; money spent on data ( We’re looking at you with our side eyes because we can bet that this takes the bulk of your monthly income), or perhaps you’re a big uncle or aunty and always have to appease your nephews and nieces with N500 every Saturday. All that you spend on should be included in your monthly budget.
Perhaps you’re a super smart Mike Ross who doesn’t have to write anything down to remember it, Dear, this is not the kind of budget that you carry around in your head; you have to write it out or have it typed out in a document where you can look through it as frequently as you need to.
At the same time, ensure that you monitor your budget. In situations where you record expenses that were not initially included in the budget, include them in the budget under review and make plans for such recurrence.
Exercise caution when using your ATM card
You know how you suddenly realize that you’re cash strapped when you’re at the store, and in a brief moment of panic you immediately find your ATM card in your back pocket. For lack of space in this article, the joy cannot be adequately described.
Your ATM card could be a lifesaver in more than a few situations. However, without caution and discipline, it can contribute to you staying poor. Why? Simple! You keep spending the money you have saved.
Carrying around an ATM card has a strong potential to leave you with far less than you planned to save at the end of the month. Here’s what you should do; get an ATM card for your operational account. For your savings account, avoid the debit card as much as you can. The stronger you can resist the urge to get one, the safer your savings will be.
Put a Cost to Your Time
If you have never had to calculate your hourly rate, now is the time to do it. Break it down. For instance, if your net salary is N80,000 and you work from 9:00am to 5pm between Mondays and Fridays, this means you work for 8 hours daily, 40 hours weekly and roughly 160 hours monthly. Going by this figure, the hard fact is that you earn N500 for every hour you work. So, if for instance, you want to eat out at a fancy restaurant, Let’s do the math – You’ll roughly spend N3500 – N4000, which practically translates into 8 hours of work. At this point, you then decide if you still want to go ahead with lunch. If you feel it is worth it, feel free to proceed. If, however, you think otherwise, cook yourself Indomie with plenty pepper knowing you made a sound financial decision within your monthly budget.
Embrace Delayed Gratification
All thanks to African Mothers who have subconsciously taught us the art of delayed gratification. Remember how you cried a lot for a piece of biscuit, and she didn’t give into your demands but gave you rice and meat about thirty minutes after? It’s kind of the same thing in finance.
The ability to resist a smaller but immediate reward in order to receive a larger reward later is the simple art of delayed gratification (Okay, we agree it’s not too simple).
To save money, you have to learn to differentiate the things you want from the things you actually need. An effective way to do this is to give yourself at least 48 yours to decide whether to buy a product or not. If you work with this strategy, you’ll end up not buying quite a number of things you originally wanted to buy.
Place Savings Before Spending
One of the wrong ways to go about saving from your monthly earning is to save what is left after your spending. No! That won’t work. If you truly desire to see the account balance of your savings account go up monthly, you have to save first and then spend what is left. If you insist on spending and then saving what is left, the chances of having anything left are quite slim.
Eat More Homemade Meals
If you work in Lagos and you’re reading this, know that we’re dragging you by your wig on this one. Eating homemade meals helps you save more money. Dining out is one of the biggest pitfalls to saving for people. Lagos Island workers know exactly what we’re talking about.
With some level of planning and discipline, it’s a habit that will yield results and save you more money. Come up with a weekly plan for your meals and remember that eating well shouldn’t be limited to eating at restaurants all week long. It is okay to eat out occasionally but when it becomes a daily habit, the figures begin to build up much faster than you would have thought it possible.
Remember, to master the art of saving more of your salary, you must work with multiple strategies to help you achieve your goals. Pay attention to your spending habits and things you spend your money on. In essence, stay disciplined.
Keep an eye out for more helpful content from us. Till our next article, create that budget and stick to it.