The only way to save money is to not spend money……
Lets keep this simple. Ever heard of the 50/30/20 thumb rule? No? It basically means 50% of your total income should be for necessities like housing and bills, 30% should be for wants such as entertainment and 20% should be saved. Now I know some people might be thinking ‘my rent is more than 50% of my income’, and you might be right, if you are working/somehow paying your rent yourself and it just happens that your rent is more than 50% of your total income then you are living in the wrong place, our advice; move out. However if your rent is paid by your parent/guardian/sponsor, then your rent should not be classified as part of your ‘income’ (it is always advisable to get a part time job or freelance using your skills and knowledge to make some extra money while studying), your income should be whatever you have left. For instance if you are given N 20, 000 per month and your rent is N15, 000, then your income is N 5, 000. You can now apply this rule with a slight variation, the 50% should still be for necessities such such as food, school supplies etc., 30% for wants, and still save 20%.
A lot of people might be thinking that’s not enough for anything, what most people say is ‘oh when I start making ‘real money’ i’ll start saving’, this has to be one of the greatest myth we tell ourselves, the thing is money is never enough, the more you have the more you need, we will always want more, although we would agree that we all want rich people problems. Saving is like learning a musical instrument or learning how to ride a bike or driving a car, it is a brain exercise, you have to train yourself and practise, once you learn it, it becomes a part of you. If you don’t train yourself it’ll be almost impossible to adapt when you start making ‘real money’.
These are some tips that’ll surely help keep you in check
Get you priorities straight! Sit down and decide you priorities, rank them and create a list, you might not get these right the first or second time, that’s fine, review them and update accordingly.
Now that you have your priorities, create budget, assign a price to each; how much do you think they are worth? Make sure your budget fits your saving plan.
3. Supplement! Do not compliment!
This simply means do not make complimentary purchases, do not give in to your vanity, rather than buying a new pair of expensive denim jeans simply because you saw it online or it’ll go with an item of clothing you already have, buy ‘native wear’ or an alternative, rather than going to eat out, eat homemade meals. Always look for alternatives than help you achieve the same result for less.
4. 30 – day rule
The 30 – day rule advises that before making any large purchase, wait thirty days, if you still feel like you need it after the 30 day period then you can go ahead. This will save you a lot of money if done right.
5. Never spend your money before you have it
We are all guilty of spending money before we actually have it, you are expecting to be paid on Thursday, you then decide to borrow money from a friend to pay for something you need now so you can pay when you get paid. If you borrow against an expected pay day or income you should stop immediately!
6. Do not borrow
If you are serious about saving then borrowing should not be on your to do list, rather than borrow, train yourself to let things go. Live on your own dime, do not overstretch yourself, if you really need to buy something you cant afford, save! The only things you should consider borrowing for are; buying a house, financing or starting a business. You can borrow to buy assets never liabilities.
6. Record your expenses
Do not keep mental accounts of your expenses, keep a record either on your computer or on paper, this way you can review and audit your personal accounts regularly. When you actually write down your expenses you will begin to understand why you should save.
7. Pay with cash
Minimise the use of your credit or debit cards, virtual money doesn’t always feel like real money, research shows that consumers are likely to spend more than usual when paying with bank cards.
8. Save for a reason
Having a goal is always helpful.
9. Have a timetable
Don’t just save when it is convenient, you should have a monthly target and a timetable set out. Make sure you stick to the timetable and meet your target.
10. Restrict access to your savings account.
The harder it is for you to access your savings, the more efficient you will be. You could consider signing up for piggybanks such as piggybank.ng
Do these and watch your savings grow.