The subject of saving money intrigues many. Those who excelled in saving money in 2022 are all smiles right now. Across social media, you can find a number of people celebrating their saving milestones. I have, at times, seen or heard some people castigating saving. I even once saw someone saying saving money is a scam. That can only be a warped realisation borne out of a wrong perspective. Saving money is an essential pillar in any quest for financial freedom. There are, of course, qualities you need to save money effectively. Let us look at that today.
Several times before, I have underscored the importance of saving with purpose. It is literally a psychological hack meant to ensure you do save. If you save for the sake of just saving, it will be hard, try it and you will see. Purposeless saving makes it much easier to find excuses to stop saving at any point. That is why you need to assign a purpose to why you are saving. Some people have grasped the idea and you find them saving towards something. For instance, someone starts saving to purchase something. Someone can save to go somewhere at some point. Examples are many.
The act of saving toward something makes it a serious and necessary pursuit. It conditions you to regard saving with the importance it deserves. It also creates the perfect platform for planning and time-binding the whole pursuit. If you know you have to save US$600 within 6 months, it makes it easier to plan. You know the aim will be to save at least US$100 per month. If it is the two of you then you know it is US$50 each per month. That comes down to around US$12.50 each per week. Do you see how having a purpose ends up making the saving journey seem easier and attainable? Be purpose-driven whenever you save money.
This is, just like purpose, a fundamental quality you need when saving money. Someone can cultivate it by being accountable to themselves. Not all people are good at that, though. That is why it becomes necessary to be accountable to someone else. Consider the mukando or stokvel example. The most significant value proposition of a mukando or stokvel is that you will be accountable to other people. It is that accountability to them that primes you to save effectively.
Thus the principle is accountability. Some people ask someone to keep or manage their savings. It can be a bank or even an individual they trust. Break down any arrangement and you will realize it is all about being accountable to someone. In saving money, there should be accountability. You should be accountable to someone or some people who will ensure you save consistently. That brings us to consistency.
The power of saving becomes abundantly apparent when you reach the goal. You need to make tiny but regular contributions to get to the goal. That tells you that saving has to be moulded into a habit. That way, you break down what appears to be a colossal goal into smaller, manageable ones. Thus you do not need to feel overwhelmed by wanting to see results immediately. Habit-making is a process and, as such, requires consistent, daily or regular input. Those small steps you make forward repeatedly gel to make a difference. Saving cannot mean anything of value if it is devoid of consistency.
Consider our US$600 example from earlier. You will not reach your goal if you do not consistently put aside US$100 every month. It starts off with increased pressure to save more in lesser time. Let us say you save US$100 the first month. Then the next 3 months, you do not save anything. That means you will have to save US$500 in 2 months. You can see that it places more pressure on you. It is becoming increasingly possible to fail to reach the savings goal. This was to illustrate to you why consistency is essential when saving money.
Gratification can be defined as a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction. We could also define it as a reward or even a gratuity. The element of delayed gratification implies delaying all those feel-good moments. In saving money, you need to cultivate the ability to delay them. Imagine you are saving your money by putting it in a piggy bank. The moment you open it is such a delightful moment. The thing is, you have to put that moment off for later. The anticipation of that moment should prime you to delay it. The more you delay, the richer the gratification will be – that is the principle. Delayed gratification is a must-have quality if you are to save money effectively.
These are all qualities that you can cultivate. They are notably easier to cultivate in practice. I am strongly encouraging you to start saving. Make 2023 a year where you will dedicate yourself to saving money. Read the article on interesting practical money-saving strategies. There is another one titled 5 important guidelines on setting and accomplishing goals on saving money. Kindly check it out as well. Types of mukando (money clubs or rounds); is yet another interesting article on this subject. All the best in your money saving pursuits in 2023!