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Promise Excel: 10 Practical Money-Saving Tips To Help You Survive the Bad Economy

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dreamstime_m_33061214It is no longer news; the economy is in a shambles. Unemployment rate is high. The price of every goods and products are high. There’s tension everywhere.
Somehow every family is affected by the bad economy. A once happy family is now turned apart because the breadwinner of the house has just been fired from his job.

Those already with jobs still run some side hustle to complement their income. Bills must be paid. A lot of people are now seeking for ways to earn multiple streams of income. They think that getting a high paying job will end their money problem.
It is not the amount of money you earn monthly that matters, but the amount of money you’re able to save or invest. The guy who earns a hundred thousand Naira monthly could still be broke, while the guy who earns twenty thousand Naira might be the one living well and large. The way they managed their finances made the difference.

The best way to avoid being a victim of the bad economy is to take control of your money. You can’t afford to live your life at the mercy of a dwindling economy. Blaming the government won’t solve your problem.

You are responsible for your present financial condition. If you’re too busy making money that you forget to save or invest it, you would become the proverbial foolish man who built his house upon the sand. Sooner or later, you will come crumbling down like humpty-dumpty.

You can be calm and happy even in the most terrible economy crisis by developing good financial habits.
Here are 10 practical money-saving tips to help you survive the bad economy and still live happily.

Write down your budget
A budget shows how much money you have coming in and how they are spent. This is by far one of the most important strategies for surviving in a bad economy because it helps you see where your hard earned money is going to. You don’t need a fancy software, just your notebook and pen will do the magic.
When you write down what you spend your money on, it will be easier to cut down on your expenses and only buy things that are necessary. This simple tip of money management can cut your spending by 20-30%

Take a walk
You may wonder how taking a walk will save you money. Yes it can. If you’re not in a hurry, it is wise you walk to certain places like a shop, football viewing centre, a friend’s house and so on. Don’t tell me you’re a big boy or gallant babe that you cannot take 5-10 minutes walks to a place. According to BetterHealth, walking 30 minutes everyday can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat and so on. Walking will not only help you save some money, but will also improve your health. If you’re able to save #50 for thirty days which is a month, you will have #1500 which can be used for something of more value.

Limit your internet use
Unless you’re making money from spending much of the time on the Internet, it is imprudent to waste your data watching funny videos on Youtube or looking at celebrity photos on Instagram. Save data and save money by limiting your time on social media. Set a goal of spending at most 20 minutes on social media everyday for 30 days. You will not only be productive doing things that are important but you will be saving lots of money.
If being on social media all day does not pay your bill, then by all means you should not be wasting your productive years there.

Buy fairly used stuff
Why buy a new smartphone when you can get a fairly used one? No matter how expensive or sophisticated your smartphone is, the truth is, the best smartphones are not produced yet. A lot of people complain of how terrible the economy is but the cost of their smartphones can buy five bags of rice. Nowadays, online market place like jiji.ng and olx.com.ng make buying and selling of fairly used stuff easy. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying fairly used stuff. It is wrong to buy something your monthly income cannot afford.

Do it Yourself
There are little things in the house or office you need to learn to fix rather than pay an artisan to do it. While it is easy to pay someone to have something done for you, it is more fulfilling to do it yourself. Doing things yourself help cultivate creativity and I-can-do-it attitude. Go to the rural areas (fancy name for village) you’ll see how they practically do everything themselves without paying anyone. Make a list of 5-10 tasks you can do in your home without paying an artisan. Write down an estimated amount you would have paid an artisan to do it. Doing this, you’d realize how much you have saved. Make a strict rule in your house that anyone who breaks anything will take full responsibility for it.

Share an Office Space
Many small businesses do make the mistake of renting fancy and expensive offices for their business when they would have just share with someone to cut the cost. Don’t pay for excess office space you’re not using. People will not buy your product or service because you have a state of the art office.

No Party
It amazes me that people who complain about lack of money throw the most party. People spend hundreds of thousands of naira for something that would have been done quietly with a few bottle of coke. There’s no money but you celebrated the birthday of your wife and three sons. There’s no money but you slaughtered five cows at your grandfather’s burial. A befitting burial you call it. No, I’m not a sadist. It’s good to celebrate special moments but not at the expense of your bank account. You can celebrate quietly and still be happy. It may surprise you that 90% of the people who attend a ceremony don’t care about the celebrant. They go there for food.

Take Advantage of Discounts and Promos
Always be on the lookout for crazy and mind blowing offers from online merchants. Days like black Friday should not be left out in your calendar. It is usual for price of things to be high during festive seasons. So, don’t wait until that time to start shopping. Buy two or three weeks before the festive season.

Cut the Time Spent on Calls
In this time of instant messaging, you should rather text a friend via Whatsapp or Facebook than spend 10-15 minutes discussing irrelevant issues. You may think this is not important until you sit down to actually calculate money spent on airtime. Every second spent on a call counts over the months and years. Remember that little hole sinks a ship.

Say ‘No’ to Fast Food
I know that you’re super duper busy. But it won’t hurt to make out time to cook your own food. This is not only beneficial to your pocket but also to your health. I know that feeling of sitting with bae in a cozy fastfood sipping from a cold glass of champagne. But remember your bank account. Don’t come complaining about the hard economy when you cannot manage the little money you have.

In all these tips, you save money by being frugal and not necessarily cheap. Being cheap is about spending less, saving money regardless of the cost, using money as a rule to buy things and not value while being frugal is about prioritizing your spending so that you can have more valuable things. Being Frugal is cooking more of your food instead of buying it from the fastfood. This is not only vital for your health but also for your pocket.

As simple as these tips may be, following them will make a big difference in your life and finance

Photo Credit: Andres Rodriguez | Dreamstime.com

Promise Excel is a writer, entrepreneur and the founder of MaverickExcel.com, a blog dedicated to young entrepreneurs in Africa with Nigeria in focus. He has a special love for everything Africa and strongly believes that the African story is valid and her dreams achievable. His work has been featured on Tush Magazine, Ogbongeblog, Enterprise Boom, Konnect Africa, The Total Entrepreneurs and other major blogs in Nigeria.Blog: http://maverickexcel.comTwitter: http://twitter.com/maverickexcelFacebook: htp://facebook.com/excel6

22 Comments

  1. Seun

    August 17, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Well said.

  2. Tega

    August 17, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks for the tips. Very essential.

    I started taking the BRT buses to work recently. No use burning my N145 per litre – N7,000 fuel in traffic every week.

  3. seyi

    August 17, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Thanks for these tips!!

  4. Tosin

    August 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Love the tips and love the humour. I plan to re-read and share.

  5. layole

    August 17, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    I like that this article pertains to the Nigerian context.

  6. HALIMA

    August 17, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Yawns… To save money in this hard economy, get a rich sugary daddy. Or mummy . A lot of young folk are doing it (and most would jump at the opportunity on a coded level) BUT oh well Lol… But on a serious note, great way to save money instead would be to car pool. You find a way to make extra cash while still getting to work. A lot of civil servants in Abuja are doing great at it.

  7. dami

    August 17, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Nice. Cam I also emphasize the budget aspect cos no need drawing up a budget that doesn’t give room for saving. Personally I have used the following tips and its worked for me.
    A. Buy in bulk. Groceries or food items. I end up saving so much. Buy my tissue in bulk, toothpaste, detergent, crayfish. Found out that while it seems I spent more in a month, I actually saved a few thousands every other month and also on discounts from bulk purchase.
    B. I ditched the supermarket for the main market. Basically took my last receipt from a bulk purchase from the supermarket and went to the main market. Compared prices, bargained with the lady. The extra #50 put on all items at the supermarket amounted to over #5000 savings across board for the same items.
    C. Have a sheet that shows all my monthly take home, plus annual allowances every year in am excel sheet. Beside it I detail each month what I saved and for each bulk payment, how much I saved too. Point is I don’t jus have a budget for my expenses, I have a budget for my savings.
    D. I opted for a direct deduction from salary to my saving. So what hits my account. Each month is exactly my disposable. Also for every salary increase or promotion received. I save over 80%of it and add the balance to my monthly income.
    Followed this and was able to save almost 6m in two years from my 200,000-300,000 monthly income. Have got kids and support my parents and siblings too.

    • She

      August 17, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      Dami you are a super woman/man just starting out in my career and would be doing this I just took a screen shot of your comment. Thank you

    • dami

      August 18, 2016 at 1:18 am

      Your welcome. All the best in your career

    • The Real Oma

      August 17, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      Hian, but how are you able to save 6m in 2 years when your annual earning at 200k is not up to 6m?

    • dami

      August 18, 2016 at 1:17 am

      I receive bulk payments bi annual and annual. Like housing, leave, bonus etc. Plus I get monthly funds from my husband. We don’t do joint savings but we plan our savings target each new year& work towards it.

    • Great tips

      August 18, 2016 at 2:06 am

      Thanks Dami

    • shield

      August 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Wow. 6m in 2 yrs! Not a joke o. I have an automated insurance savings plan with my GTB account and AxaMansard. Very efficient. I also buy things from the main market except when Shoprite is doing sales. Got 450g butter at N300 instead of N450 in the market, golden morn at N800-850 instead of N900-950. By God’s grace, this month, I will start buying toiletries in bulk too. Was just thinking of how much I dey dash Always (P&G), Oral B and co every month. At the markets, one can buy 6 packs or 1 dozen at a reduced rate and they can be used up before the expiry date.

    • Lauryn

      August 18, 2016 at 10:14 am

      Thank you Dami. Your tips are genius!!

      I’ll like to add my tried and tested savings tips and I hope it helps someone:
      1. I have a money notebook where I plan out my monthly budget and i give every Naira a ‘job’. When i calculate my total budget it must equal my entire income.
      2. I record my daily expense. Every 20 naira spent in the day is recorded. I used to write it by hand and it was very tedious until I found the app that was perfect for this. It’s called the Wally app. Wally allows me record every expense on the go.
      3. I review every month what I spent on what. It was amazing to see what i spent on gala in traffic.
      4. Ajo helps me a lot. But please do it with trusted people
      5. Because I use Ajo towards my rent, I like to have extra savings so i also have a smaller deduction that goes into another savings account that I do not have an ATM to. I also save at least 10 percent of every cash gift that comes to me.
      6. Give. It’s a timeless way to earn more money and it works. About 5-10% of my salary every month goes to a charitable cause. 10% goes to tithing. Infact I do not calculate my tithe as part of my income. It belongs to God and I only spend 90%. I also plan my church offering. I get 8 envelopes in advance every month. Once I get my salary, I put both my wednesday and Sunday offerings in and seal. Even if i skip church I still drop my offering for the service i skipped. Hey! it works for me. I also tithe on small blessings like someone offering me a free ride home. I calculate how much the journey should cost and give 10% of it as part of my tithe.
      7. I take advantage of coupons when shopping online. I simply do a google search for coupons in that store and adjust the search tools to coupons published in that month or week. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but it has saved me a lot of money.

      I have so many more tips but this will become another post so let me stop here. I hope it helps someone. Thanks again for your tips Dami!!

  8. nwaoma

    August 17, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    What about pre wedding shoots, baby shower, birthday parties, o GA oohh people get money sha

  9. Lauryn

    August 18, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Great tips but the grammatical errors are very distracting

    • Busarni

      August 18, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Focus on the message not the message. So much for a grammar expert and you failed to put a full stop at the end of your sentence. Oniranu…

  10. Anon

    August 18, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    @Lauryn; which platform is this Wally app please? Well, I used to save a lot before. Did all the stuff above plus more. I found out I would save only for people to come and borrow or put in something that wouldn’t yield fruit. Now I try to find a balance. enjoy the present as well as save for the future. That is much better

    • Lauryn

      August 18, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      Hello Anon,

      Tie your savings to a goal. Else you’ll spend it anyhow. The wally app is available on the app store.
      Also I don’t think it’s safe to walk that long in lagos especially for that long. Our roads are not suitable for long walks and you expose yourself to touts who might be looking out since they know your movement. Please find other budget cuts you can make but I beg you please dnt walk that long unless ure doing fit fam.

  11. Yummychickcummummy

    August 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    M bookmarking this page. I need this rite now. M always broke before d end of the month n I dnt even overspend .. God help me ooo. This fuel is killing n my house is like 30mins to d main estate gate… Cos even ditch it oo,I need to really discipline myself.. Dami. I hail u.

  12. Obi

    August 19, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Women are good savers naturally. Men must go out to turn up and still spend on women that are saving their own money. Its all good.. Anyways who has tips for men? Like how does one save towards writing professional exams, buying a car, moving to ones apartment and all. How can one handle all of this and still have some funds in reserves in case of unforseen circumstances. I need help ooo…Woman haff finish my money walahi ..lol..epp me plix

  13. Sola Mathew

    August 21, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    This is really beautiful and commendable. I know EXCEL has PROMISED to help Nigerian youths succeed and he is doing just that.

    Thanks.

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