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How to stick to your budget and save money this year

Managing Your Money - By Lolita Bunde | January 5th 2021 at 10:30:00 GMT +0300
Spend what you have to avoid getting into debt (Shutterstock)

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, things have not been the same. The economy has been dwindling and some people lost their jobs while others experienced steep paycuts.

It is also no secret that most people might have dipped their hands into their saving baskets more than they should and now it almost seems like a pipe dream trying to recover that lost money.

To save money, you will not only need a reasonable budget but also some level of discipline in how and what you spend your money on.

Here is how you can start:

Spend what you have

The greatest financial pitfall you can get yourself into is debt. To jumpstart your savings, you should be able to spend the money you have and not take loans from friends, loan sharks or even saccos to make purchases or supplement your budget. If the budget isn’t working, redo it once more and take away unnecessary or the less important expenses.

Avoid impulse buying

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If you are always making unplanned purchases this could also be another reason why your money can’t make it to the end of the month or you lack any savings. These can be triggered by clearance sales from your favourite shops or deals that are too good to miss. If you find yourself tempted to buy something that is not in your budget, sleep on it. This way you can have enough time to think about whether the purchase will spoil your budget or eat into your savings.

Avoid making unnecessary purchases that are not on your budget (Shutterstock)

Shop with cash

It is easy to fall prey to an unnecessary purchase when you have money at your disposal. To avoid this carry the exact cash you need for grocery shopping or house supplies to keep you from excessive spending. You can also write down a list of the items you need so you don’t spend a lot of time wandering through aisles at the store and second guessing everything you are supposed to buy.

Budget to zero

When creating your monthly budget, ensure every shilling is accounted for. This doesn’t mean you spend all your money at once, instead make sure that all your money should fall under a category in your budget. If you have any excess it should be added into the savings category. This way you won’t feel the urge to spend money that doesn't fall in any category.

Go minimal

If you are used to the fast life and balling all year round, this may be the time to reconsider your lifestyle. It’s been a tough couple of months and you don’t have to attend all the parties you get invited to or buy every fashion piece of the season. Take up to a no spending challenge and see how far you can go as far as spending is concerned.

When shopping walk with a list and cash only to avoid impulse buying (Shutterstock)

Plan your meals

The easiest way of keeping money in your pocket is by planning your meals in advance. Weekly plans are the safest this way you don’t over shop items that will go bad in your fridge or get stuck with food you won’t enjoy. Also carry your packed lunch to work so you can avoid takeaways that can be pretty expensive on a daily basis.

Join a savings group

If you don’t trust yourself to save money, you could join a Sacco at work or a group of friends you trust with money to help you save away your share. When your savings are not within your reach, you can easily avoid the temptation of taking away a few thousands to cater for another bill or unnecessary purchase. Also remember, when selecting a savings option, go for one that is likely to earn you some interest all year round.

Tip: Sometimes getting your finances in order can be a daunting task. If you are faced with this challenge, seek the help of a financial adviser to help you get started.

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