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I won’t rest till I save at least N2 million naira this year. Everyone I know personally has big expectations for the year, and I’m sure everyone reading this also does. However, not everyone has the discipline to see all their plans through. One quote by Karen Lamb on getting started, “A year from now you will wish you had started today,” helps keep me in check.

As James Clear stated – New goals don’t deliver new results. New lifestyles do. And a lifestyle is a process, not an outcome. For this reason, all of your energy should go into building better habits, not chasing better results.

Financial skills everyone should master (1)

So how do I save better?

 Habits

First thing to do is to sit down, self-reflect and take stock of all your habits. We were all born on a blank slate with no habit loops, but as we grew older we began to make small decisions every day which summed up to who we are now. Whatever situation you are in right now is as a result of all your habits. Your present financial state (rich or poor) is tied to what you spend the majority of your time thinking and doing (or not doing).

For example, creating a budget and sticking to it is one of the most important habits you can pick up to help you better organize your financial situation, but more importantly, you have to set up a budget that is the right fit for you.

  • A good budgeting technique to start with is to use the 50-20-30 method.
  • 50% of your income will go towards your essentials.
  • 20% goes towards financial goals
  • 30% goes towards personal spending.

Once you get used to this, you can tweak the allocation as times goes on to fit your realities. You will have to take your time to see what works best for you and stick to it.

[READ ALSO: 7 ways to save money after payday (Opens in a new browser tab)]

You can embark on a daily savings challenge for 366 days as stated below.

  • #100 daily = #36,600
  • #200 daily = #73,200
  • #300 daily = #109,800
  • #500 daily = #183,000
  • #1000 daily = #366,000
  • #1500 daily = #549,000
  • #2000 daily = #732,000
  • #2500 daily = #915,000
  • #3000 daily = #1,098,000

You can invite friends to join this challenge to keep one another accountable. If the daily challenge is too much for you, you can make it weekly. If you are going to save in a bank I would recommend that you save in a bank that you do not have access to, then transfer the money every month to an investment account (e.g. money market fund) where you can earn interest.

The most important thing is to be realistic with yourself and find out what works best for you.

Set your goal(s)

Intuitively, we all know we need to save but most of us don’t tie our savings to big goals. If you don’t do this, you will continue to be a consumer of every product in the market. You have to develop an internal radical change in your mentality because every restaurant, clothing, accessories company is trying to have a slice of your pocket to fulfill their own dreams.

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If you are struggling to find big goals for yourself, listed below are some:

  • Save for retirement
  • Save to start a business
  • Save for Canadian PR
  • Save to build a home
  • Save to support your family
  • Save for your wedding and unborn kids

All you need to know about target saving plans, specifically an education plan, 7 ways to save money after payday 

Make More Money

The reality is that saving is hard—very hard—and along the way, you may lose focus. But the surest way never to run out of money is to make more money. This is a new year so:

  • Start a blog/online business
  • Create online products
  • Consulting/freelancing
  • Actively manage an investment portfolio
  • Buy properties and manage them
  • Invest in farming even without actively managing it

After a while, saving will become part of your DNA; you will do so unconsciously because it would have become a habit, which would be beneficial to your future development.

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