If you’re wishing to, but still haven’t had your name on some Forbes list, or gotten featured in the influential dot-com, it can only mean that you’re not there YET money wise. You can be, we all can, but that’ll be dependent on a lot of factors. Few of which may be unavoidable, and others avoidable.
For some people, it’s really not the problem of having a source of income (or multiple sources), or earning some few cash now and again, because these happen. Their worry may emanate from watching the hard earned income evaporate without being able to account for majority of the forgone expenses. It’s surprising how there are more people than expected that have the problem of the-more-you-have-the-less-you-keep money syndrome.
Wise saving and investment are the keys to financial peace of mind. They also link to wise spending and eliminate having to deal with poor financial decisions. Not to mention how they kill the headaches that come with wondering and recalculating what sum was spent at certain times that you don’t remember, and on certain items that have conveniently skipped your mind, but all could have caused your bank account to take a dip for the red alarm.
Is Money the Ticket to Happy Adulthood?
There are a lot of earners but very few gainers. It’s like the moment you’re an adult, you’re positioned at the forefront of the Hunger Games. The first prize reserved for the one who can cope the most inspite of all the money hurdles thrown – water bill, light bill, waste bill, rent, health bill – and still come out unscathed. As if adulthood is simply a test of survival.
“I give you money. I give you water. I give you school. Use money. Use school. Keep change. Become something. Buy food. Pay rent. Be happy”
Is there a need to save or invest money?
This question and a lot of other questions would come to mind when you embark on the quest to hoard a couple of bills for yourself, rather than for the market. When you feel it’s about time to embezzle your own money, prepare your own Swiss account and live like a G with no worries.
+ How does one spend less than they earn or spend intuitively and appropriately?
+ Is saving or investing worth it? What if the rainy day never comes?
+ Does everyone have the right combination of skills to successfully manage their funds month in, month out?
+ Is it possible to develop a right mind-set towards money saving, and make it a culture?
+ On a serious note, is saving and investment for everyone?
The answers to any of those questions are embedded in the skills required for effective money saving and investment (if you read carefully).
Skills Required to Effectively Save Money and Make Good Investments
1. Be apprehensive: If adulthood is a test of survival, our best less depressing survival kit should contain ways to separate the naturally incurable costs from the trivial, or the essential, or the compulsory costs. We should recognize and understand the differences among all these costs. And discerning wisely, we should further balance them all in a full swoop without looking and acting like we’re forcefully paying for being an adult.
There’s this article in Money Advice Service about the most common ways we waste money that explains simply. “Items we waste our money on fall into one of four categories – things that are bad for us, the things we don’t use, the things we put off doing and the things we just can’t be bothered with.” The last category includes the spending we’re too lazy to change!
Being apprehensive or intuitive is not about creating a budget. It’s about taking full charge of your expenses and controlling what you don’t spend on, by saving what should have been a waste.
2. Have a forbearing carriage: Saving money or investing money is big on tolerance. Our capacity will be tried, tested and pushed to the brink. It’s really pretty tough (and time lingering) to develop a good saving/ investment culture without having accepted the glorious quality of patience.
You would keep rechecking your account balance or earnestly counting down to the month where the money saved should have heaped to a substantial chunk. It becomes like an unhealthy relay race, where, when you pass the baton (to the month after), rather than cheer on for the next “runner” after you catch your breath, you let out a sigh of relief and grumble about how the other runners should get on quickly so you could get your deserved medal.
You might be pushed to high risks investments that, ofcourse has a lot of high risks. Most popular investment options are centred around low risks, hence, lower interest rate margins. Where your endurance is put to the test would be when you have to hold up for a meagre 0-3% interest (0 for savings, 3 for investment) to be incurred in 5months. That’s when you review the essence of the entire shebang.
3. Be plugged in: As you invest your money, invest your time also by always keeping an informed position concerning your dealings. Be grounded on the scores, and know what’s what. Let your mind be alive and tuned in! What’s the point of saving or investing if you wouldn’t track the rise, or in any case, fall?
How would you learn about your progress and improvements? How would you know if you’ve been cut short, or if you’re just throwing away money for nothing? Wouldn’t you need to monitor the debit loss% or credits? How would you live in expectation of an increase (in terms of investment), whereas there had been zero growth all the while and you knew nothing about it to have done anything differently or probed? When you think you have a hundred thousand in the bank. Meanwhile it’s the same eighty thousand it had been for the past 4months.
The first point enumerated in this article on Better Money Habits says to record your expenses. “The first step to saving money is to figure out how much you spend. Keep track of all your expenses”. It continues, “Check your progress every month. Not only will this help you stick to your personal savings plan but it also helps you identify and fix problems quickly.”
4. Be Consistent: The way to growth is to be regular and steady, keeping variability at arm’s length. You either maintain the progress you’ve attained or improve at it. But it’s a waste of time and effort to have started something (worthwhile), and then kill it prematurely, or take a break? It’s better to not even have gotten involved in the first place.
In my opinion, for majority of activities, our growth potential tends to increase exponentially. When we’re consistent, we can closely monitor our success drivers. The process to detecting trends, markers and deviations becomes extra transparent, precise and more likely to be accurate. Implementing changes would be faster than it would otherwise have been, and there, explains the power of consistency!
4. Be quick to recover: As regards investment, roll with the punches and snap back. Be irrepressible. It’s best we build up our receptive instincts, to stand up when we fall or when we’ve been beaten to the dust, and not just remain on the ground sulking. Some investments will not come through at expected time, they will delay at the exact time you may have wished to have had it returned, even having planned your budget around it. Some may be peanuts (fluctuating meagre interest %) that’ll make you lose more (while you save to earn more). Would you just quit?
5. Be Open-minded: Finally, be willing to research and learn. Perhaps you could find other methods to saving or investing that wouldn’t necessarily be monetary. Depending on your comfort level, there are opportunities in investments that are heavily defined in terms of returns and expectations, and wouldn’t require frequent monitoring, or personal involvements.
You could take advantage of technology, save your money in reputable online apps and get your balance emailed to you as frequent or infrequent as you choose. There’s also the option of partnering with a second person, or merging with a company. Another could be to lawyer up and draft a form of agreement with a business owner.
Be open to other ideas if you feel overwhelmed having to structure and organize a savings or investment plan by yourself.
Money saving and investing should be for everyone. But without channelling the right methods and mind-set, efforts put up in months would go down the drain in an instant, mixed up with crazy anxiety. There are huge benefits to saving and investing. If anything, imagine having an urgent need for a bulk sum and realizing you don’t have to go borrowing.