For many of us, the issue is not that we do not have money but how we spend it. From fine dining to weekend ‘turnups’, we find ourselves spending money largely – both the amount we have and the one we don’t. Here are 7 ways to save money with these lifestyle hacks.
1. Eat out less
If you work in a bustling city, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out. When hungry, it’s easy for us to stop at the nearest The Place, Mama Cass, TFC or Jevinik. While fast and convenient, eating out could be hurting your financial wellbeing. On average, a meal could cost you as much as ₦2,000 per plate. By the end of the month, you’re poorer by ₦40,000. Have you considered taking homemade meals to work? Have you considered taking time out to find alternatives, rather than settling for the available? There are quite a few good eateries around Lagos where you can spend as low as just ₦500 per meal. You just need to find them. This could save you as much as ₦30,000 in a month or ₦360,000 a year.
2. Consolidate your entertainment – Ways to save money
Do you pay for DSTV, Netflix, internet subscription and Iroko TV and also go out to watch movies? How many of these do you actually have time to watch? Besides, for the most part of the day, you’re at work. You could save money by focusing on a consolidated entertainment channel. These days, good internet access is all you need for entertainment, be it for movies, games or news. Why pay for more?
3. Stop trying to look rich
Sigh! We’ve all been there. We want everybody to know we are doing great. To paraphrase Tyler Durden, “we buy the things we don’t need with the money we don’t have to impress people that probably don’t care”. For instance, why buy a ₦5M car when a ₦2.5M car will serve you just fine? Why pay for things that hurt your finances just because you can? Wealthy people live well below their means, why shouldn’t you? After all, “The art of living easily is to pitch your scale of living one degree below your means”.
Apart from helping you reduce your expenses, you will be able to maintain a lifestyle that will enable you to save more which in turn will allow you to achieve financial freedom faster. You should read our earlier piece How Much of My Income Should I Save?
4. Don’t spend what you are yet to earn
Most times we are driven by expectations. Expectations of: salaries being paid by month-end, a windfall hitting our bank account in 2 weeks’ time, a promised cash from a friend or a share of profit from a side gig.
We are often tempted to base our current buying decisions on these expectations by spending down our current cash above the normal limit with the expectation that some megabucks are hitting our bank account soon. When these expectations don’t pan out as planned, not only have we overspent our current cash but also we might have ended up buying what we “want” with cash with are yet to earn, instead of focusing on our “needs”.
5. So you want to club?
TGIF (Thank God it’s Friday) is a great time to hang out with friends. One of the most popular activities is to hang out at the club. Clubbing isn’t bad as it helps you unwind, loosen up and think of something else outside work.
What is bad is spending your hard-earned money on overpriced drinks and chops! It’s a fact that you pay not less than 400% more for things you buy in the clubhouses. If you’re splitting the bills with a few friends, that’s fair. However, if you are driven by point 3 above, that is a red flag.
6. Why keep huge cash in the bank?
Banks help us keep our money safe. With high inflation and low-interest rate on savings, however, your money doesn’t serve you much enough in the banks’ vault. Your money should always be working for you. Have you considered moving your money into high-interest rate savings where your money will be put to work, more efficiently? Have you considered finding a small business you can invest the money in? Bottom line: idleness does not earn you a dime; the same applies to idle cash.
7. Automate your savings
Being humans, we tend to fall for the temptation of spending to buy “wants”, especially when the cash to do so is very accessible to us with our ATM cards, USSD payment channels or banks’ mobile apps. Every now and then, we are faced with seemingly unavoidable needs to make spending choices.
A perfect way to rise above this temptation is to set up automated savings. An automated savings and investment platform like Cowrywise, allows you to set an amount to be saved on your behalf automatically at any given date. It is a free, simple and tech-driven platform that allows you to save automatically while you also earn a return that is 2.5x what an average bank gives on a savings account. Try it out!