Saving Culture simply put is Saving+ Culture as we know, is a way of life and Saving is income not spent, or deferred consumption.
Saving Culture therefore is making the habit of saving one of your ways of life. Last time we talked about your Money Psychology and how it controls your attitude towards money.
A lot of us don’t save because saving isn’t a part of our way of life and it should be. It should come naturally to you and not be seen as a chore or an inconvenience. Unfortunately, this is how most of us see Saving. Developing a saving culture is not only important but it is also a practical step towards achieving a positive money psychology.
How does one develop this Saving Culture? you must be thinking… Well here is how I developed mine after a long while of not Saving.
Last year, February 2019 I was a fresh college graduate who was already three months into my mandatory year of service as demanded by my country (NYSC). My service year started October 2018 after my graduation from college and was to last for 12 months where I would be paid a minimum wage of N19800 monthly (roughly $55/month) by the government.
Adjusting to this wasn’t easy especially for the first three months of service. I worked as a public secondary school teacher so I only received payment from the federal government no extras. Trust me when I say N19800 has been the lowest amount of money I have ever earned.
The biggest challenge I was faced with was Saving. Saving wasn’t new to me, during my years in Uni I saved little money from my allowances and from my earnings as a freelance writer. However, looking at N19800 I asked myself how does one save from such a little amount of money? How does one achieve this while going to work daily and paying the necessary bills for upkeep?
It was so overwhelming that for the first three months I thought to myself “this is near impossible”, so I did nothing about it. I didn’t save, I used all the money I had for my needs and wants. I had previously decided to only purchase what was necessary and leave the unnecessary things out.
After the third month, I started to get really worried. For someone who has always saved and knows the importance of saving and building yourself financially I needed to make a serious decision. After a lot of back and forth in my head, I decided to not only save I decided to challenge myself with something that seemed crazy and impossible.
My decision was simple:
1. I will live on a strict budget living as minimalistic as humanly possible.
2. I will cut my spending and not buy anything that I didn’t need immediately, this included buying Clothes, Shoes, Bags, Jewelry, and even makeup. I decided to stick with buying things I needed immediately like toiletries, food, water, and pay my cost of living bills.
3. I will save N8000 for the next 8 months because I was already 4 months behind schedule that is N8000 × 8 = N64,000 as a passing out gift for myself.
I can tell you there was nothing easy about achieving this goal but I kept at it even when I wanted to quit because I knew it will help me build a much needed Saving culture and discipline. Soon, I looked forward to sending my N8000 monthly to my savings when I received my N19800. Even when I got other sources of income, I decided to keep at it, I didn’t increase my budget, didn’t splurge unnecessarily and sent all my extra earnings to another savings account while keeping to my original plan and budget. Trust me it took a lot of discipline to achieve this.
At the end of 8 months, it all paid off. I had not only saved myself N64,000 with an interest of N1372 from N19800 monthly, but I had also built a healthy Saving Culture for myself and which you can too.
The new year has started fully, most of us have received our pay for January now is the best time to start building that Saving Culture by challenging yourself with a realistic saving goal. Think about it like this, what do I want to gift myself at the end of 3 months, 5 months, 7 months, 10 months or at the end of December 2020? How much can I put aside every month to ensure I have saved every month of 2020? My number one tip will be start small and live on a budget.
There are tons of reasons why you should save money and build a Savings Culture but here is my favorite:
Like I said in my last post, money is a tool and we are the handlers. When you have a great understanding of your tool, you can handle it well for the best results. Building a saving culture is a step in the right direction of taking the reins of your finances and living your best life. So make that bold step today and challenge yourself today. More on tips on your money next week.
Would you say you have a Saving culture? Did you save this January 2020? What are your February finance plans? Share with me below. Follow chicitynomad across social media and subscribe for more amazing content. Happy new month!