By Ene Adeka
When I was eight, my mother made me save in a piggy bank simply because I wanted a particular dress for Christmas and girl did it work! Looking back now on the object of my obsession, I wonder what I ever saw in that dress that made me fall in love with it. However, at age eight, owning that dress was as important as getting a college degree. The lessons learnt at that age stayed with me long after I left home for the university and I eventually always managed to save a few kobos.
Never underestimate the power of a woman who has a good savings culture. She is bound to cut potential losses, build smarter businesses and bring back home a bounty at the end of the year. Remember, as a woman you are more likely to handle the financial budgets of your family, and be the spender in the home.
To help you put your finances in order, here are our top seven ways to manage your spending habits and help you save smarter and better.
1. Avoid Impulsive Spending
We all are guilty of adding that little extra we may not necessarily have need for to our shopping cart. Before you make a purchase, always ask yourself:
• Do I really need this item?
• How long will it serve me?
• How will it affect my long term and short term financial goals?
2. Review your wardrobe
It may interest you to know that a simple reassessment of your wardrobe would turn up clothes you may have forgotten but that are still in vogue and quite fashionable. Always make it a habit to periodically clean out your closets and give away items you do not need so you can see those that are still important. Clothes, makeup items and shoes are some of the biggest threats to our savings as women. Buy only what you need, not what you feel like owning.
3. Track Monthly Expenses
Get a notebook and begin to track your expenses for the month. This will help you identify our vices and keep track of your monthly expenses. Perhaps it’s that restaurant around the corner you need to stop frequenting or maybe the lady who makes home deliveries or fashion accessories needs to cut her daily visits.
4. Try other alternatives
Once you have tracked your monthly spending habits and identified your weaknesses, the next thing is to find alternatives. When trying to change a bad habit, you have to replace it with another. Instead of buying a pair of earrings every day, you can decide to revamp the old ones. If you love eating out, begin to try out recipes at home or opt for a less expensive place to satisfy your cravings.
5. Be Independent.
Admittedly, nobody is an island, but when the money is not yours, irresponsibility is bound to creep in. Generally, individuals are less careful with what they did not work or fight for. If the boyfriend, husband or boss placed you on an allowance and all you do is go on spending sprees every month, madam! You need to sit and ask yourself what exactly you are contributing to their growth otherwise get a job or a life.
6. Avoid using money to create happiness
Yes, money answers all things, but the moment you begin to use your quids to always bring yourself out of depression or create a false sense of happiness, you are bound to end up broke and unhappy. The reason is that whatever you end up using that money for at that instant may not necessarily be productive hence you will end up giving away money without the opportunity or right return channels to recover it back. Avoid using money to create happiness
7. Pamper yourself
Don’t be too hard on yourself…once you have cultivated and mastered a good savings habit; buy yourself a little something once in a while. You have after all earned it.
Faya on girl!