We’ve said it before, several times even, but we’ve gotten quite tired of the “saving is hard” rhetoric so we’re going to change it now:
Saving isn’t hard.
You’re just doing it wrong.
It becomes easier to have money to spare when you stop focusing on the struggle to save and pay attention to the things you’re spending your money on:
1. Eating out
Even cheap meals add up, eventually. Think about it, spending 300 naira here and 700 naira there every day of the week will take a toll on your account balance. Instead, eat breakfast at home and pack your lunch. It takes some effort, we know, but basic meals shouldn’t stress you. If you have regular power supply and a freezer, you could even cook some staples (like stews, sauces and soups) in large batches and store them. Limit eating out to truly special occasions and you’d have fixed a major leak in your finances.
2. Your car
Owning a car always seems like the height of convenience until you own one. There are regular costs you will have to bear: fuel, servicing and repairs. Comparatively, using public transportation is a lot cheaper. Sure, you may be uncomfortable sharing a bus with strangers, but what’s a little discomfort when you’re saving a lot? And if you absolutely cannot deal with buses, there’s the carpooling option: find someone who commutes the same route you take to work every day and arrange to ride with them regularly. (Remember: Don’t show up late, pay for fuel sometimes and offer to drive them on certain days of the week.)
Like eating out, airtime and mobile data can seem deceptively inexpensive because you buy a little at a time. But if you do the math, you could be shocked at how much those ‘small’ 200 naira recharges add up to be. A little technology (and some self-discipline) can help you spend less on airtime. Here’s how it’s done:
a. Decide how much airtime you can afford in a month (include airtime for mobile data).
b. Next, divide that amount into weekly purchases.
c. Make your purchase for the first week of the month on ALAT (click Airtime & Bill Payment on the app menu) and schedule the purchase to be repeated every week till the end of the month.
If you run out airtime before the next week, there’s always WhatsApp.
How have you spent less on everyday things? Share your tip in the comments section.