Most of us think that we must earn a hefty income for us to have a saving culture. The truth is that there is never going to be enough money to save. The idea of saving when you earn say 30,000 shillings may be seen as absurd, however, we must start from somewhere.
Building a saving culture starts with prudent financial management. The first step that one must do is come up with a reasonable list of monthly expenses – what you must spend on every month. Usually, this is rent, transport, bills like electricity and water, telephone credit among others. This is how to come up with a budget.
The next step is to monitor and record your expenses manually or even through a mobile application. This will enable you to know the ‘big fish’- what do you usually spend your money on. It could be eating out, events such as weddings and birthdays or even hanging out with friends. By tracking your expenditures per day and month, you can adjust your spending habits, for example, carry packed lunch, choose the events to attend amongst others. This will save you a lot of money and free your money for saving.
The next step after doing the above is to evaluate the performance of your budget say within three months and make necessary adjustments. Remember the goal is to free up more money and adjust one’s lifestyle habits. One must be willing and ready to make unpopular decisions.
At this stage, we are now ready to have a saving goal. How much do we want to save and where do we want to do this. We have several options for this. Look for options that allow you to lock your money and limit access to the money. For example, Family Bank’s mobile application PesaPap has a saving and investment module for both Family Bank customers and non-customers. We also have savings bank accounts and fixed deposit accounts that attract annual interest on your money that one can take advantage of.
We can also inculcate the saving culture habit and introduce the basics of sound financial discipline on our children from an early age. Open a Mdosi Junior account for your child and start them on a path that would bring prosperity to their future lives. The same applies to our teenagers. There are Extra Cool Visionary accounts at Family Bank that will allow them to build a savings culture while enjoying access to financial literacy seminars for the youth, free standing orders from a Family Bank account and free banker’s cheque for school fees payment. One can also take up group Chama investments opportunities.
Living on the edge financially is a deathtrap. Remember, do not feel like you cannot afford to save. Start now with the little you have and build your savings step by step.