By Michelle Wanjiku
Are you the kind of person who always runs broke and has to borrow money from friends and family members because you don’t have enough to sustain you until pay day?
Do you always find yourself not able to account for your money?
You will definitely not achieve wealth this way. So how do you ensure the money you earn is enough to sustain you until the next time you are paid?
At the beginning of last month, I challenged myself to stop spending money on things I could do without and instead put that money in a savings account and ended up saving quite a lot of in the process.
Here’s what I learned—and how you can use the same strategies to save more
1. You can limit dining out to special occasions
Are you one of those people who eats out at least twice a week, or maybe even every day? How much money do you spend buying ready-made food regularly?
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just buy the ingredients and cook your own food at home? Let’s say you spend around 100 shillings daily on lunch and supper, if you used half of that to buy the ingredients you get to save 50 shillings everyday which becomes 1500 shillings a month which is 18K a year.
Clearly, you need to stop wasting money by buying food you can make on your own and just limit it to special occasions like your birthday or something similar.
2. You should stick to a list
Do you just go to the supermarket to buy things without a shopping list? If you do then you are probably wasting a lot of money on things you don’t really need.
A shopping list is not just there to remind you of what you need to get, it is to keep you from buying things that you don’t need.
Before you go shopping, sit down and come up with a list of things you actually need, then ensure that you only buy what is on that list. This will help keep you from succumbing to your impulse buying urges.
It also ensures that you stick to your budget and as a bonus you end up saving a lot of time as well.
3. You should always shop in bulk
While we are on the topic of shopping, how often do you go shopping? During my month long challenge I realized that by shopping in bulk, I got to save a lot more than buying things in small quantities.
Let’s say for example, instead of buying 1kg of sugar that costs around 145 shillings and lasts a week, you buy 2kgs of sugar for 280 shillings to last 2 weeks and end up saving 10 shillings in the process.
It might not seem like much but it’s the little amount that adds up and you find you are paying a lot more than you should be. Small quantities are more expensive in the long run.
4. Remember how to have fun in doors
Your idea of a fun night is probably going out with friends, to the movies, drinking, road trips or whatever else. Sadly most of these things cost money and in some instances a lot of money.
Which is why you need to be okay with doing things that don’t cost as much, for example, why not watch a movie at home with your friends? You only end up spending 50 shillings for the movie and a bit more for the food as opposed to thousands to go to the movie theatre.
Take for example, if you spend around 5K a month on having “fun” with your friends, just cutting this amount down by half could ensure you save a lot of money by the end of the year.
5. Take a break from your phone
How much money do you spend on airtime every day?
I used to spend around 50 shillings daily on airtime and most of it went to buying bundles so that I could be on Instagram all the time basically.
There is nothing wrong with this but I wasn’t really doing anything on social media, it’s not like I posted every day, I was just going through other people profiles.
So I stopped buying this airtime every day and reduced it to twice a week, this meant that I went from spending 350 shillings every week to 100 shillings and ended up saving 250 shillings per week.
Look at your mobile phone spending habits, are there some you can live without on a daily basis? If so then go ahead and cut them out.
In personal finance people are categorized as either savers or spenders – which one do you think you fall into?
Financial freedom can be achieved but it is something you need to actively work on to ensure you are making good financial decisions and this starts with cutting out unnecessary spending.
What are some simple ways you’ve learned to save money on a daily basis? Share them in the comment section
The writer is a Communication Officer/Digital marketer at Career Point Kenya. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org