It’s Easter again!! Time for unrestrained eggs-travagance!!
If you are a lover of chocolate and all-things-sweet, then you have all the reasons to smile. It is that time of the year when you get to enjoy unlimited guilt-free chocolates and tons of candies.
But even for those like me who don’t exactly enjoy the ‘sugar high,’ there will be enough ‘nyamchom and booze’ to keep you high for the whole of the long weekend.
But while all this is great - you should consider getting yourself (and your children) a different kind of egg this easter season. An egg that will hatch into a more prosperous financial future - a nest egg that will give you a leg up in life that you deserve.
It is easy to get caught up in the Easter celebrations and forget to save for the future. However, even in celebration moods, we must think about the future - especially in these uncertain times.
Before you get all confused, this nest egg is not some esoteric financial tool or some magical method. It is simply a label for what we all know and always strive towards – saving.
Saving for your future deserves all the attention it can get. In this article, we provide valuable tips to help you save better even as you enjoy this Easter holiday.
For many people, saving is not something inborn. Even for people who are keen on saving, we rarely pay attention to certain facets of saving, such as saving for retirement or saving for our kids.
But beginning to put away a little bit of money as soon as you can soon add up, and help meet our goals sooner than later. For example, saving for your kid's education is a goal you can’t afford to ignore.
Not so long ago, our folks would save money under the mattress and - like my grandmother - in a giant sock that she would carry around everywhere. Then, others found the home tin bank.
But these methods present a high risk of losing your money either through theft or other accidents. For instance, if your home is robbed or burned down, your money may be lost forever.
So why don’t you gift yourself (and your loved ones) a nest egg this Easter season? Get a savings account.
A savings account helps hold the money you don’t need or plan to spend immediately. The account is a great way to keep the money in a safe place while it earns interest each month. A win-win situation.
In most cases, and unlike a current account, a savings account limits how much and when you can withdraw the money, therefore discouraging wasteful spending.
Savings accounts help you stash money away for specific purposes and goals. For example, a savings account can help hold your emergency fund or even a downpayment to that ‘kaplot’ you plan to buy next year.
While investing in high return vehicles such as stocks, real estate is encouraged, they also come with high risks and other disadvantages such as high minimum amounts and illiquidity that may not be ideal, especially for beginners.
Although not all glamorous, savings accounts are on the other end of the spectrum; compared to the big money expected from the big, long-term investments, savings accounts can only guarantee just a fraction of such returns. However, they bring forth many advantages:
Time will inevitably come when you will have to retire. And when that time comes, you need to have a plan, and a stash tacked away to help you navigate those days without relying on other people.
A great way to save for retirement is through pension schemes and retirement accounts. One very important thing to know about retirement accounts is the power of compound interest - i.e. the interest you earn every year earns interest in the next year and so on.
Which is why you have to start saving for retirement as early as possible or you will have to make up to twice the contributions as someone who started even five years earlier than you to earn the same lumpsum if you were to retire at the same time.
Kenya is known for its vibrant cooperative culture, with over 10 million Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (SACCOs) members. In addition to encouraging a good saving culture, your savings earn dividends, and you borrow against your savings.
Saccos in Kenya have over the recent years earned a reputation of paying double dividends of even up to 20% per share making them a popular option for risk-averse investors, as well as a valuable addition to one's portfolio.
Term deposits, also known as fixed deposit accounts, are more or less similar to savings accounts, except that in a term deposit, you lock away an amount of money for an agreed length of time (the 'term').
This means that the sum of money is kept for a fixed maturity, and you are not allowed to withdraw this sum till the end of the maturity period. This type of saving is for the most part risk-free, and your money earns a fixed return based on a fixed interest rate.
A money market fund is a low-risk mutual fund that invests only in securities that can be quickly converted to cash. Like savings accounts, money market funds are low-risk, and your money is easily accessible when you need it. This too can be an excellent option for an emergency fund account.
Another great way to save for your children's future is to put money into an education fund or cover. These allow you to save small amounts, and by the time the child enters school (or college), you have enough money saved to help them through school.
As you prepare to dig into your pocket for some fun this Easter, don’t forget that you also need a nest egg to help you prepare for your future and that of your children.
So in the spirit of the easter egg (which symbolises a rebirth) , prepare to start saving today (if you haven’t already). Above are some of the low-risk saving vehicles that will encourage you to save and earn you additional income to top up the savings.