It is another salary week.
You are reading this because you have received the alert or expect an alert over the next few hours or days.
If you spend your time working the 9-5 shift or running a business, you pretty much have your spending cut out for you. For the one who gets paid, the money is never enough because there is either so much to buy or a list of responsibilities waiting for your attention. And if you are an entrepreneur, there are employees and suppliers to pay before getting your own share of the cash.
No matter the category you fall into, there will be some money for you to spend. Everyone knows that the fun part of working for money is spending it. But before you spend that cash, you should consider the following.
Think About Inflation
From the fallout of the covid19 pandemic to the recent Ukraine/Russia war and the everchanging exchange rate, the value of money has been impacted in so many ways. This must be considered in detail as you make plans to buy basic amenities. According to the world economic forum, the cost of items such as foodstuff and energy are on the rise. With each passing day, the exchange rates go up. This means staying frugal remains the major way to survive harsh economic realities. Simply put, you must live within your means and make your money work for you.
Consequently, spending your money well demands deliberate steps and proper planning.
Before you spend that cash, here are four things you can do to get the best out of your money:
1. Put Aside Emergency Funds: Life happens to everyone, even the most prepared of us all. Getting into some form of financial trouble without a plan can be an embarrassing situation. The good news is you can put something little aside and continually do so until it becomes a large fund for the rainy day. Divide your salary into four portions and save the smallest or second smallest portion in a special bank account. As you do this every month, your funds will grow until a big emergency comes up and you are able to use the money to sort it out.
2. Draw Up a List: This step will save your life if you are an impulse buyer. Buying items at random because you have some loose cash comes with several consequences. From ending up with items you do not need to not having enough money, impulse buying can leave people worse off. To fight this urge, create a list of what you need vs what you want. What you need are items you cannot do without while what you want are items you can do without but long to get because you can. Follow your list to the letter and only consider buying one or two items on the ‘what you want’ side of the list. Keep doing this until you master the fine art of buying only what you need.
3. Review Your Previous Budget: How you spent your money in the previous month may help you project how the new month might play out cash wise. New to the budgeting game or can’t lay your hands on the budget from the previous month? You can go ahead and create a new one. All you need to do is add prices to your ‘What I need’ list (check no 2) and consciously rework every other month to reflect the new situation of things. Also pay attention to what lasts for months and what only lasts for days. That way, you can track increase or decrease in cost of items and review money spent per time. After a while, the budgeting life becomes a normal part of your monthly to-do while giving you room to stretch your resources and save some.
4. Plan for The Future: It is not enough to spend today, tomorrow also requires the right kind of spending and saving. Thankfully, this is covered by government policy. For every month you receive a salary, you are mandated by law to remit a portion via your employer to your pensions fund administrator. This portion you contribute is invested in different ways, thereby adding to the amount available for your use upon retirement. Now if you desire a more enjoyable future to suit your dreams, the AVC is one option to explore. AVC stands for Additional Voluntary Contribution. While your employer remits a fixed percentage of your salary to your PFA, the AVC gives you the chance to increase your pensions contribution based on your unique plan for the future. This means more money for your use upon retirement.
One more thing….
Knowing how much you need for the tomorrow of your dreams does not have to be so difficult. One tool to help you identify how much money you need for the tomorrow you desire is the Retirement Lifestyle Calculator. Try it out here.
With the right commitment to getting the best out of your money, you can enjoy the life you deserve today and retire into the future you desire. Create the plan and use the power you have to make your money work for you.
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It is another salary week.