The one thing on the minds of almost every average Nigerian right now is how they are going to cope with the recent cost of living in the country. Most people are finding it quite difficult to adjust to the ‘recession’ let alone have any savings. You know what it feels like, right? You work long hours or you don’t even work at all, or you’re a student and suddenly it hits you that you need to start making extra cash because your allowance isn’t going to be enough anymore.
Well, here are a few tips that could help you create a budget as you go on your money chase.
1. Practice a minimalist lifestyle
Minimalism comes highly recommended to anyone going through financial crises or trying to lift off some emotional load or you simply want to break your poor habits. This is more like a psychological therapy than a lifestyle though. Living a minimalist lifestyle requires that you are willing to let go of being attached to what is not needed anymore. Some call it ‘Frugality’ but it’s more of a philosophical need to paying attention to ‘needs’ and not ‘wants’ when it comes to our spending habits.
Most people nowadays don’t see the need to save money especially amongst the youths. The newly employed are hardly able to save anything, after paying bills, service charges, and buying what you think you need, you most likely end up saving close to nothing. Marketers and advertising firms are set to make you think you need their product or that your are getting a steal of a deal. The worst part is when you buy things you don’t need to keep up appearances.
Minimalism helps us to save money – so that we can spend money on what matters most.
Here are 5 Minimalist secrets to saving money;
* Secret #1: I am not defined by what I own (or wear, eat, live in or drive).
* Secret #2: Ask not where the greatest deal is, but where the greatest need is.
* Secret #3: Minimalism keeps my personal values always in my mind.
* Secret #4: Minimalism is the enemy of clutter and busy-ness.
* Secret #5: Minimalism reminds me that contentment can never be bought, sold, or stolen.
2. Always write a list of things you need before you go shopping and stick to it
Creating a list not only helps declutter your mind but it also helps you avoid impulse buying and spending extra money. If you have the courtesy to stick to a list, you’ll have yourself to thank.
Before going to the grocery store, before buying those clothes and shoes, take the time to make a list so you can spend money on what matters most.
3. Invite friends over instead of going out
This one will save you a lot if you are the social type and you have a lot of outgoing friends. Inviting friends over as opposed to going out to meet up, is a very efficient and easy way of saving money. A good way to entertain your visitors will be to serve home cooked meals instead of eating out. You all could come up with fancy ways to have fun in the house, you could watch a movie, play cards. If you really need to save money and still have your friends over, you could host a fun pitch-in dinner and play music.
After all, there is a lot to gain from being a great host. You end up learning extensive D.I.Y skills, you will most likely learn how to cook, how to keep a clean house, good social skills, and the added advantage of saving money, while everyone is happy.
4. Drink more water
Drinking more water doesn’t just save you more money, it is also beneficial for your health. Drinking water before you eat helps hydrate your body properly and you end up eating less and staying fuller longer.
Another way to save money and stay healthy while drinking more water is to practice treating your own water. Boil your clean tap water, filter it and keep in water dispenser bottles, or fill up some clean refillable bottles and put them in the refrigerator. Not only will that be healthier for you, as opposed to drinking sachet water, it’ll also save you money since you don’t have to buy water or those unnecessary sodas and juice when you eat in restaurants.
5. Grow your own food, cook your own food and cook in bulk
Now I’m not saying you should go back to farming, but if you happen to have some space in your yard, growing some edible crops won’t be a bad idea. Organic eating, if you grow your own, can save you so much money it’s almost like a get-rich-slowly scheme. Given the negative consequences of the recession in Nigeria right now, this will be the best option for most families.
It’s amazing to find out how nature can effortlessly feed billions of people everyday. Everybody wants to eat but nobody wants to farm and everybody must eat. Luckily you can take advantage of this by growing crops that can be harvested on time and requires minimal care and space.
* Fluted pumpkin (ugwu), which can be harvested in six weeks. The seeds can be eaten or replanted and the vegetables are used to make soup.
* Maize, which can be enjoyed in 4 to 6 months in its fresh form during the rainy season.
*Planting vegetables, fruits and perennial crops can really benefit you in the long run. Learning how to cook and also cooking in bulk quantity can help you save gas, time, money and keep you healthier.
So have fun with these tips and don’t stop experimenting with new ways to save money till you see what works for you.