Saving money requires a lot of discipline especially in this part of the world where every weekend is a time for ‘sherehe’ and ‘nyama choma’ with friends.
Spending when you have some liquidity may be all too easy but when it comes to money management, the rule still applies – spend less, save more.
Saving money is a goal that most of us desire because having extra cash somewhere ensures that you are covered in the case of an emergency, it enables you to pay off your debt and provides you with a starting point for investment.
The lifestyle changes to make in order to allow you a consistent saving habit don’t have to be major.
They can be very simple changes that maybe have or have never crossed your mind. You could actually start implementing them immediately.
1. Bring your own food to work
Do you find yourself buying lunch at work or ordering meals more than three days a week? Well, let’s do the math. Let’s say the average cost of lunch for you is Ksh150 a day. Multiply that by 5 days a week for one year, and we’re talking of Ksh 36,000 just on lunch.
You can cut back on buying lunch at work every other day and keep the money you’d have spent towards savings. When you carry your own food to work, you’ll be saving roughly Ksh36,000 per year or even much more depending on your average daily lunch spend. And honestly, that is a good amount of money.
Isabel Smith, Dietitian, Fitness and Lifestyle Expert, and Founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition and Lifestyle, lists the following benefits of carrying your own lunch besides saving you money.
2. Keep your spare change into a jar.
Collecting spare change can be a hard task, since it takes a long time to collect enough. That doesn’t mean that you should give up. If you are persistent, you can save a good bit of money. You can collect the spare change in a jar, a safe or a piggy bank but be disciplined enough not to take from what you’re collecting unless it’s much needed.
You can then deposit the money in your savings account when the jar is filled and start collecting more again. Find fun ways that can motivate you as you collect your money and it can be a great aid for you financially.
3. Check your supermarket habits.
Compare prices before making your purchases. Before going out for shopping, it is wise that you compare the prices of different commodities around so that you don’t end up buying something that costs cheaper elsewhere.
A shopping list makes your shopping fast and efficient because you know exactly what you need. It’s quite hard to overshop when you have a list of all the items you want to get and you tend to stick to the things you need.
Shop around. You can make big savings simply by shopping around. Is there a supermarket in your estate or near your estate? Make your purchases there. It can also save you on petrol if you have to drive far just to shop.
Have a calculator every time you go shopping. As you shop, add up your shopping bill to help you stay within your budget.
Look at the expiry and “best before” dates. Choose foods and products with a best before or expiry date that will give you enough time to use it and prevent waste.
4. Buy items in bulk.
Buying food and household products in bulk is a great way to reduce your shopping bill thus saving you some money. Although bulk buying might be limited to some products like food, toiletries and beauty items, whenever you get a chance to buy products in bulk, go for it.
While bulk buying household items such as toiletries, detergents and other cleaning products brings price and environmental benefits, bulk purchases of food stuff also gives a level of control that may be hard to find with packaged goods.
Bulk foods like cereals are often unprocessed, giving you the ingredients to create meals from scratch and increase awareness of what you're eating.
Although sometimes buying some products in bulk could be more expensive than buying single products, you might consider buying them seasonally. For example, you can take advantage of buying onions in bulk when they are in season because they are normally cheapest then.
5. Share subscription services.
Instead of paying for services individually you can consider sharing them with friends and family if you have that option. You can organise with your family members or friends on how you all can access and share such subscription services and then split the cost.
There are many other options that you can besides the ones above. Find what works for you and roll with it. The goal is to save up some cash at the end of the day, month or year.
Do you have some lifestyle changes you need to make? What changes do you plan to make in order to save some of your hard-earned money? Now's a great time to run your assessments and make the decision to start adjusting your lifestyle.
All the best!