Often when you ask people about the reasons they don't save, you will hear many interesting stories, including not having money.
Saving money when you are on a tight budget could be one of the most difficult things to do; yet the importance of saving for a rainy day should never be underestimated. However, a budget can often be squeezed tighter to save a few drops for that rainy day.
Shoni Khangala, a certified life coach and founder of Potential Exponents, shares the following five tips with us.
1. Eliminate bad debt
Debt is usually one of the main culprits that depletes any money that could be saved. Bad debt such as maxed-out credit cards - where you pay only the minimum amount due each month and use it for essentials such as groceries – is your number one enemy, and should be eliminated!
“You should aim to free up the high interest that you pay on such bad debt,” says Khangala.
Once you untangle yourself from the snare of debt, not only will you be able to buy your food cash; you are most likely going to find some money left over to save. This can be saved for an emergency, or for other important future needs.
2. Sacrifice luxury you can do without
You find some people who claim they can’t save, yet they are spending money on luxury items that they don’t need. If the “tight budget” you are on includes unnecessary luxury items, such as a premium DSTV package or weekly movie outings, then you need to revisit your priorities. Rather use the “luxury money” for savings instead.
3. Be on the lookout for money-saving opportunities
Why do you shop where you do? Is it an affordable shopping venue or is it a drain on your finances? Are you buying things weekly that you could in fact buy once a month?
Are you taking advantage of loyalty-reward programmes, discounts campaigns, coupons and many new emerging money-saving apps, like You Need A Budget? Are you buying single items only, when you could save by buying in bulk?
“Always be on the lookout for money-saving opportunities – that way you will be able to find money that you can set aside for saving, even when you are on a budget,” advises Khangala.
4. Set yourself smart, inspiring saving goals
When you are on a budget you might need to dig deep to find the motivation to save. According to Khangala, a good way to motivate yourself is to set yourself smart, inspiring and worthwhile goals.
“Calculate how much you could save for your child’s education over the next five years if you could eliminate bad debt and start channelling that money towards an education policy or any related saving mechanism,” says Khangala.
Once you are inspired by the picture you see, map out an action plan and stick to it. Calculate how much you could save towards an emergency fund over the next 24 months if you shopped around for a cheaper insurance deal, downgraded your DSTV package, cancelled the subscription for a magazine you don’t even read and drastically reduced eating-out expenses.
Once you are inspired by the potential savings, embark on an action plan and see your savings grow. Even when you are on a budget, minor changes to your lifestyle could make a big difference.
5. Stick rather than carrot
If all else fails, think about the heavy price you could pay for not saving – despite being on a budget. Imagine the burden you could endure in an unforeseen event.
Most often you will find that the price is not worth the gamble. Hopefully this will kick-start you to take action and start saving – and why not!
This article has been prepared for information purposes only and it does not constitute legal, financial, or medical advice. The publication, journalist, and companies or individuals providing commentary cannot be held liable in any way. Readers are advised to seek legal, financial, or medical advice where appropriate.