If there is a lesson I learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be developing the culture of saving. Six months into the pandemic, most people are now jobless and with no savings……mmhh I need not say much. So, I happen to be one of those people who technically has been jobless a few days after the first covid-19 case was reported in Kenya and our able president H.E Uhuru Kenyatta made an order that all learning institutions be closed until further notice. I was a teacher employed by the board of management (BOM teacher) and barely three months into my new job, schools have to be shut down.
A single mother with no job, how was I going to survive with my 9-month old son. I know what you are thinking, that life became unbearable with no savings and no job, no I had a little savings directed towards my son’s wellbeing. On several occasions I wondered how I would have survived with no income. The little that I had saved came in handy. I tend to believe that this pandemic rendered many individuals jobless and with no savings, hopeless.
As you read this, if you are the type that does not save, you could be asking yourself why you should be saving. Well, this is why you should always save. Saving provides financial security. It will allow you enjoy greater security in your life If for instance you have cash set aside for emergencies, you have a fallback should something unexpected happen just like losing your job unexpectedly. So does that sound as a good reason to start saving?
How do I save? I bet that is your next question. There are many simple ways of saving. My best saving tip is living within one’s means. Do not live the most lavish lifestyles just to keep up with so and so. As they say, cut your coat according to your size. Who lives in a house whose rent is half his/her salary? I wonder too. My second tip to saving would be to open a savings account. Most banks in the country if not all offers a platform for saving money in which one earns interest from the savings. Another one would be cutting your spending and always budget. Do not indulge in impulsive buying, trust me you will have little or nothing to save.
To answer the question what am I saving for, think of what you might want to save for, wedding, vacation or retirement you name it all and after that figure out how much you will need and how long it will take you to save that particular amount.
One of my friends is really good at saving and below are some of the things she does;
- Budgeting-she views budgeting so necessary and part of responsible living.
- Wants vs needs-anytime she wants to buy something something she would ask herself, do I really need this?
- Automated savings-she allocates a reasonable percentage to savings account which she will not touch unless necessary to do so.
- Recording expenses-she records everything that her money goes to.
- Watching the savings grow-she checks the progress of her savings as this helps her stick to her saving plan.
If someone would ask me for financial advice, the best advice I would give is to save, save and save, and not just to save blindly but save with a goal.
How about we start saving together. Check out the 52-week savings challenge entrepreneurs Kenya Facebook page.There,people a certain amount every week for 52 weeks and they share their experiences and challenges throughout the journey.
The table below will be our guide to our savings journey.
Let us save now and remember to be disciplined as you save.