We all get to that point where we feel as though our money isn’t giving back to it’s highest potential.
Saving money is a great first step to turning your finances around and today I wish to shed some light on the subject for the benefit of those seeking ways to make some savings in their day to day lives.
Its smart, prudent and noble to save money despite the difficulties and challenges experienced in this journey.
This list should go a long way in pointing you towards the areas to focus on although might not necessarily fit your specific case.
Let’s get started and dive right in to the tips, feel free to adjust where applicable to suit your specific needs.
- Always make a budget to guide your expenditure as opposed to responding to needs and demands as they come.
- Know and understand your budget so you know how much you have, avoid spending what you don’t have and only work with what you have available to use.
- Always overestimate your expensesUnderestimate your income but overestimate expenses, if a bill is 1000 shillings, set aside 1200 so the money realized gives you the feeling of saving, never over estimate your income.
- Mind map your dept using a dept tracking application so you know how much you need to push yourself, every time you pay towards the debts leads to smarter money choices; live towards dept zero.
- Save your loose change, use a piggy bank to gather your change and bank it at the end of the week or month, whichever works for you. This could add up to a significant amount of cash by the end of the year.
- If you can walk with some extra change so as you don’t loose on your change back due to availability.
- Keep track of your spending, download a free app to help you keep track of this, at least map your spending against your income. In a nutshell, every time you make a spending, log it on the application or at the end of the day but at least keep track of your expense. you’ll be surprised how much you can save when you keep this in mind
- If you want to buy something, take the price of that item and map it against the amount you earn per day, get this figure from dividing your pay by the number of the days in the month, that item may or may not be worth it, but make a more informed decision.
- Success comes in short term savings goals, you will feel far more successful saving 100 kShs per day as opposed to thinking of it as saving 36,500 kShs per year,
- Get yourself a list of excuses so you can avoid that bar random meet you had no plans for, that avenue for unplanned expenditures.
- Ask your physician to prescribe for generic medicines; they cost cheaper but carry out the same function.
- Buy items when they are out of season, that way you acquire them at their lowest demand and thus the value.
- Brings lunch to work when you can, its always cheaper bringing your lunch with you as opposed to buying it every time, even better, its healthier and hygiene assuring as opposed to what you get out there due to convenience, else get a specific supplier you have assessed to and engage them in supplying your lunches, you are better positioned negotiating for whole month supply as opposed to one offs.
- Borrow books instead of buying, download your movies instead of buying them
- Get those free e-books for your reading, they cost you almost nothing to access them as opposed to the printed ones.
- On your computer, install open source software as opposed to purchased versions, i.e use open office/ libre as opposed to Microsoft office which comes and a cost and licensing that could catch you off guard.
- Invite friends over as opposed to taking them out, you realize savings from extra charges that come with the cost that goes to venue, service, tips, transportation, business profits and the like, get that (Goat) mbuzi choma hosted at home.
- Compare your service and good suppliers, I.e compare your local taxi guy, Uber, little cab or taxify to compare costs for the same services.
- Keep track of the amounts spent on alcohol, expeditions, fun and entertainment. These tend to be very addictive and blinding on expenditure habits, you’d be surprised by the amounts they add up to.
- Identify tariffs that are cheaper and offer more for the same.
- Plan your mobile money transfers so you incur minimum costs.
- when making calls avoid cross network calls, keep phone locked so it doesn’t dial by itself.
- Use data to make those international calls.
- Motor vehicles
- If you rely on a car, ensure it’s serviced and running in its best condition and on the right tire pressures.
- Go easy on your accelerations and braking, in other terms “economical driving”
- Car pool when you can with your neighbors and colleagues in turns.
- Use public transport when you can or even walk or cycle
- Health comes first
- Eat healthy, this goes towards making you healthier, minimizing those doctor visits
- Avoid convenience foods, that kenchick, redrobin, Nandos, kfc dash always costs more with little concern on health value.
- Walk when you can, this go along way in cutting costs as well as keeping healthy
- House keeping
- Write a list of items before you go shopping.
- Do a price comparison for different items at different stores.
- Run your entire lighting on energy saving bulbs, they save a great deal.
- Secure your appliances on surge protection.
- Shop in bulk if you can, it comes cheaper.
- Take advantage of sales and promotions.
- Ask for discounts based on loyalty, bulk purchase or sometimes just for the sake of it.
- Use the fan instead of your AC.
- Water systems should be solar heated for those with the privilege of available sun heat the better part of the year.
- Take time and visit the market by yourself for your groceries.
- Turn lights off and unplug electronic devices when not in use, be ware of vampire appliances, those that consume power even when on standby.
- Avoid unplanned expenditures and impulse buying
- To help achieve this carry only monies you have specific plans for, using the overestimation point mentioned earlier should grant a buffer for “Just in case”. It might not take away the habit, but will put a leash on it.
- Avoid credit cards, they give an illusion of “availability” and encourage spending, this of course comes at an extra cost.
- Plan gift giving in advance, it makes you watch the market for gift ideas, get next years present this year
- Try to fix things yourself if you can and save on the costs that would have been incurred in getting it done.
- Identify short and long term goals to achieve using the savings realized.
- Fly economy to make a saving when you can, its not that bad plus it comes with an opportunity to meet those clients, employees and vital networks.
- Always keep searching for better to keep improving and adapting with the changing times.
You have to be aggressive towards this journey to realize its maximum benefit, ensure the savings realized are channeled towards a cause else it will be all in vain.
There are many more money saving tips out there, this article only highlights a few.
Take note that this depends on your lifestyle, belief and even more important your goals.
Mind Grid Perspectives