2021 is almost here and like you, we are excited with a sliver of hope going into the new year. As part of your new year resolutions, we are pretty sure you may want to buy something new; A shoe, that awesome dress, a car or even a HOUSE. Yes, everything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Whatever it is, you might want to consider using the GAP steps to analyze your current spending and saving situation and take focused steps toward improving or making changes.
G – Grow your savings budget
A – Analyze your current saving and spending habit
P – Plan your savings and spending.
G – Grow your savings budget (Reduce unplanned spending):
Ever heard of the popular saying that for every dream, there is a price to pay?
The price here may not always be monetary, sometimes it can be behavioral. What this means for your financial goal(s) is that you might want to reduce unplanned or unbudgeted spending. Also, consider reviewing your current approach to spending so you can clear up space to increase your savings budget. Before you make any spending decision, consider multiple options. Consider other cheaper but equally quality brands as well. By doing this, you get more value for your money and your money is also put to it’s best use.
A- Analyze your current saving and spending habits (Get rid of the WANTS) :
Are you losing money to fund your goals through ‘invincible’ spending (spending without a trace)? Does your current saving or spending level limit your ability to Achieve your goals or do they rather help you Achieve them?
Snap! snap! What did I use the money for? Wow, money has wings; Before I realize, the money has finished. You’ve heard these before right?
The big point here is, money can be a slave or a master depending on how we use it. Learn the difference between needs and wants. Want — having a desire to possess or do (something); wish for. Need — require (something) because it is essential or very important rather than just desirable (medium.com). Take time to go through your expenses and separate them into wants and needs (It will be helpful to rank them if possible). Next, keep the “needs” and for the “wants”, throw away the least important ones based on your ranking. Start simple by getting rid of one for now. Overtime, you will build the discipline to get rid of most if not all.
P – Plan your savings and spending (Keep a BUDGET):
Many people who feel financially secure use a saving and spending plan (budget). A plan that helps you prioritize by sorting out your “I want” expenses from your “I need” expenses. It doesn’t really matter whether you are already saving or you have not yet begun, your saving and spending plan begins in your current stage. Start by making saving a priority. As soon as you get paid, deposit the amount you wish to save (20% recommended) in a secure location or through the Achieve App to earn interest. That will help you to fight any temptation to spend those funds.
It also helps to label a percentage for specific things you want to save for. E.g. 20% of savings for non-personal emergencies, 10% for SOS in case I am ‘damn broke’, 40% for future wants/expenses, 30% for family emergencies.
Does your saving habits measure up to the 20 percent guideline today? Do you do other things that have influenced your saving habits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.