Saving money is an interesting subject amongst many people. In Zimbabwe, it is a common consideration especially when we are using stable currencies. With the US dollar being legal tender it is much easier to conjure up some saving framework because the value will not be eroded. It is amazing how despite the evolution of many things, piggy banks can still cut it. Especially with US dollars or even Rands, you can use the piggy bank approach to actually save money. In this article, I will discuss some interesting money-saving strategies that I have come across through interactions on social media.
Basic Money Saving Principles
Money-saving manifests itself in several ways actually. I can broadly categorize it into passive and active money saving. An example of passive money-saving would be to institute decisions that cut back on spending. So for example, you can make home-cooked meals to work instead of buying lunch every workday. That ultimately constitutes saving because the money that would have otherwise been spent would have been saved. Then there is what I call active money-saving, which is the crux of this article. Active money-saving entails taking money and putting it aside as your savings.
Usually, it is easier to save for something rather than just saving. Say, you are saving to start a business and it requires US$500. The motivation of starting the business will prime you to discipline yourself. When it comes to just saving it requires a bit more discipline as you can get carried away. The practical strategies I will explore here can help you with either of those two.
Date-Oriented Saving Strategy
This is a saving approach where you put aside money equivalent to the date. What I mean is if it is on the first of the month you put aside US$1, if it is on the 5th you put aside US$5, and so on. This depends on how regularly you realize your income of course. If you realize income daily this is much easier to do. Bear in mind that you do not have to subject yourself to unreasonable pressure. Some are in a position to go full cycle i.e. every day of the month. Some can do 10-day cycles i.e. when you get to the 10th day, you repeat the cycle. In principle, you have to settle for what works for you. It is also vital to appreciate that you can do this with ZWL$ too if you want. Though the mercurial value element can be problematic; however, for the most part, exchange rates have been relatively stable.
Prospects: If you choose to settle for the full cycle i.e. every day for the date number, you can save around US$465 per month. That translates to US$5580 at the end of 12 months.
If you choose to settle for 10-day cycles, you can save around US$165 per month. That translates to US$1980 at the end of 12 months.
Week-Based Saving Strategy
Obviously, it is not everyone who can set aside money every day. For those of you who cannot you can explore a week-based approach. As an example, you can work with incremental multiples of 5. That would mean the following, per month:
That would translate to US$600 at the end of 12 months. Alternatively, you can take those figures to mean individual amounts per day. However, this would work for those who realize significant revenues daily. This would mean you save as follows:
Week 1 – US$5 per day translating to US$35
Week 2 – US$10 per day translating to US$70
Week 3 – US$15 per day translating to US$105
Week 4 – US$20 per day translating to US$140
At the end of the month, you will be having US$350. At the end of 12 months that will be US$4200.
To Note: You can end up with even more because you can invest the money as you continue to save. You would have to make a smart high return but short term investments. This would be wittier than just saving the money and letting it lie idle. If you are conflicted about investing you consider loaning it though again that requires utmost discretion. If you are still conflicted about all this then you can simply put it aside but you will have to ensure it is safe.
These are just some workable examples otherwise the approaches you can work out for yourself are limitless. It does take discipline because the temptation to spend will be there. People who have tried these out attest to how addictive it becomes once you hit your milestones. Some have started businesses or even bought assets using these methods. Once you have seen how effectively it works you would never want to stop doing it. We have just started the second quarter of 2021, give it a try.