Mastering the art of saving money is easier said than done. Especially among many Kenyans who are notorious for a poor saving culture that stems from poverty amid other factors like low financial literacy. The country itself is even struggling with a huge debt burden and is unable to manage money, as per whistleblowers.
However, a recent move opposes that fact. The government is now calling on citizens to embrace a saving culture and take advantage of the above 7% interest rates in most banks to put aside spare cash for a secure financial future.
But money is tight in the uncertain economy characterized by high inflation and hiked commodity prices. The sad thing is that you have to live, and living is paying bills. So how can you save money on monthly bills and improve your financial situation? Check out these money-saving tips:
Shop around but in a supermarket
There are numerous reasons to shop in the supermarket close to your place of stay. The first one, of course, is saving on transport costs, but did you know that supermarkets or huge retail chains offer affordability in the pricing of goods?
Yes, supermarkets source their products directly from the producers, thus having the best deals for a wide range of goods. In addition, you have the freedom to select products that meet the overall value of your needs compared to retail shops.
Most supermarkets also have weekly specials and promotions, loyalty programs, and discounts on bulk buying. Capitalizing on these may result in significant savings over time.
Buy used, not new
Buying used or second-hand items like clothing and furniture is a hidden treasure trove of savings that will enable you to add some cash back to your wallet as they come with a lower price tag than new items.
For big-ticket products like refrigerators and computers, you will experience significant value retention in contrast to new ones, which are likely to depreciate faster as soon as they leave the dealership.
More so, aside from saving you money for sustainable living, buying pre-owned goods is an environmentally conscious decision because they minimize pollution caused by their production.
Negotiate your rent
Admittedly, negotiating your rent with the house owner may be a daunting task at first, even someone sang that greeting your landlord is reminding him of rent, Alas! But your savings account will thank you for it.
How do you engage your landlord for rental price negotiation? First, you have to be a good tenant with timely records of payment and proof. Secondly, ensure you do market research to determine property competition in the area before coming up with a well-reasoned reason and planning your approach.
Lower rental costs will increase your budget flexibility, improve cash flow and save you some coins for an alleviated sense of financial security.
Lower your electricity bill
Electricity expenses are a substantial part of monthly household expenses, but sincerely, you can’t live without it. Instead, you can cut electricity costs by investing in energy-efficient appliances like LED bulbs, whose fuel consumption is lower.
Further, simple actions like unplugging unused gadgets and turning off the lights when not in use will lower your electricity bill, leaving you with more money to save in your pocket.
Stop paying your bank!
Many banks charge their customers a small amount of money to conduct transactions, but it’s not really as ‘small’ as it may seem because it varies relatively with the sum of transactions. Avoid checking accounts with higher rates, service, or maintenance fees, and opt for a mobile wallet or cash, which are relatively cheaper.
Establish an emergency fund
Setting up a dedicated fund for financial emergencies like job loss or medical bills is critical to avoid dipping into long-term savings or getting loans often associated with high-interest rates.
Emergency funds will propel you towards your saving goals because you don’t have to worry about unforeseen circumstances that may lead to a tap of overall savings. It also promotes peace of mind and reduces financial stress.
Set a savings goal
Setting goals – whether small or huge – gives you a sense of purpose and a clear direction for your saving efforts, and it motivates you to save more and consistently towards that specific target.
It enables the tracking of your saving progress which will enhance accountability through the ability to pinpoint your weaknesses and correct them. After achieving a set milestone, it will provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, driving you to hit bigger achievements.
However, remember that financial situations change, and you need to be a bit flexible and adaptive. So when financial priorities shift, keep up with the change and modify your targets.
As a parting shot, these practical money-saving tips will help you grow your money stash for a stronger financial position. Remember, spend wisely, mindfully and make intelligent choices with your money because you are in control; every penny counts!