It 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.
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