To start with, do you wrestle with ego?
How does money influence your class and attitude?
You possibly might find egoism tough to admit…
Even if you do, you’d have to cut your ego into half to apply what I’m about to show you, perhaps that’s why these tips may seem insane.
Earning has never been so easy in recession times let alone saving.
In a recession, disposable income dwindles unforgivably, intensifying the drive for people to hold and preserve cash.
In a recession, Liquidity rules …
It’s not surprising that price of assets crash ridiculously for the seller to stay liquid.
To make this work, first of all, make up your mind to say a lot of ‘No’s to yourself, people and stuff.
You could term this new attitude; ‘Self-denial’ but it’s a bit more because your decisions would have to be ratified by you; less of acting on impulse, more of critical thinking and fair judgment to make this work.
However, this is not a program to excruciate undue pain for financial sins you’ve committed in the past.
The whole essence is to make you a better manager of a few resources.
At this point, let’s delve in to seal up some more leakages to keep you financially fit.
#1. Energy consumption and savings
It’s no doubt that Nigeria is a “driving” country as most people drive their cars to work on a daily basis due to the inefficient transportation system.
It would interest you to know that Nigeria consumes about 40 million liters of fuel daily; nevertheless, the recent pump price adjustment to N145/L has drastically reduced its consumption by 40% as recession bites hard on the masses having to alternatively commute by public transport thereby easing up traffic most especially in Lagos.
If you choose to drive, the size of your car engine to a certain extent determines how much you’d spend on fuel.
If you’ve got a smaller engine capacity ranging from1.6L – 2.0L, you could save fairly on each mile per gallon (MPG). For SUVs and other high utility vehicles with engine capacity ranging from 2.5L – 5.7L, saving on fuel could be tougher.
I didn’t realize how much fuel my Honda Accord 3.0L 6cyl engine consumed until I opted for a Toyota Corolla 1.8L 4cyl.
The consumption was about 22MPG and 4.5gal/100mi for the Accord and 29MPG and 3.4gal/100mi for Corolla which meant that I was able to save 1.1gal/mi (N602). This may not look so significant, but calculate what I’ll save if I were to burn 10, 15, 20, 50 gallons.
If you can’t change your car, reduce your driving time by driving off peak periods and refuel in cool weather.
If you have more than one car, drop the fuel guzzling model at home to ride around with a fuel efficient model.
For generators, most homes run their generators between 3 – 6 hours every night. Diesel generator owners run theirs for much longer. No one will need to advice you on how to run this; your daily need and pocket will set the limit.
Bottom-line – keep your energy costs as low as possible.
#2. Limit frequent trips to the ATM to reduce bank charges
I used to make trips to the ATM to make withdrawals of a small sum thinking I was being financially disciplined.
I ended up making multiple withdrawals beyond the threshold that was allowable to earn an interest from the bank.
You perhaps might have done the same; making incessant trips to the ATM to withdraw sums you ought to have done in a single trip. Well, think about how much it’s costing you in man-hours and transportation to the teller machine and possible interest you might have earned. For currents accounts owners, same applies asides earning interest on your account.
You can save yourself from accruing bank charges and eroding of interest earning potentials to your account when you plan your withdrawals.
#3. Take preventive medication seriously to keep yourself healthy
No one plans for ill health, it just bounces on us right?
Well, I’ll say that’s not absolutely true, the human body system gives off signals when it’s about to break down. For illnesses ranging from Cold and Catarrh, Malaria, Typhoid fever to more complex ailments like Diarrhea, Appendicitis, Kidney stone (Nephrolithiasis), all these aliment give off signals if you’re really paying attention to your health.
Do all to stay healthy, stick to a balance diet, exercise regularly and keep your environment clean. Take preventive medication and supplements to keep your immune system ready to ward off diseases.
You can get a Health Management Organisation (HMO) if you can especially when you have dependants looking up to you. There are quite affordable health plans that can suit your income and family needs. A HMO plan would help you save on recurring medical bills over time. Preventive medication is safer and less expensive compared to reactionary medication.
#4. Buy low cost assets
During a recession, cash thins out as people become desperately in need of cash. To bridge the financial gap, the next thing that comes to mind is to dispose assets for cash.
In times like this, the rate at which assets are disposed for cash usually exceeds assets replaced.This therefore crashes the prices of assets, from cars to landed properties, furniture, computer gadgets, office equipment and other small and medium equipment are sold at ridiculously low prices.
You’ll notice this in the automobile industry; most people are buying cars directly from their owners, no more middle men or buying from the car shop. Dealers of fairly used cars popularly known as “Tokunbo” are lamenting unimaginable low sales and patronage this period.
For a buyer, this may be a good time to get those assets you’ve desired at much more affordable rates. This also goes both ways; buy at lower rates in a depressed period to resell later.
#5. Review shopping approach
To get stuff fresh, cheap and in good quantity, consider going to the source.
Women know their way around this; they know how to get the good stuff really cheap.
Reaching out to wholesalers is always a good idea. However some wholesalers may not readily want to deal with you if you do not meet their requirements.
Another option is to go through other bulk buyers to get what you want. Being persistent would open up doors of better opportunities for you. Give it a shot today.
#6. TV and internet subscription
This may be a no go area for most people, they choose not to compromise on their favorite premium TV channels.
Take no offence on this, if your subscription is running well over N10k – N15K a month and this takes over 5% of your income, you need to check this to ensure you’re not going overboard.
On the internet side, videos rule and are most preferred for target campaigns and Ads.
Internet data subscription is a sneaky way money leaves us without knowing it, those YouTube videos of about 10 minutes consumes about 1GB if viewed under a month. High definition videos take even double the size of data compared to standard definition videos.
Be careful not to click on every Ad that pops up on your mobile device, tablet or watch all videos on Instagram and Facebook; use your internet data within reasonable limits.
# 7. Prepare meals in substantial quantity and preserve
This has been proven to be a cost effective way of cooking and preserving energy.
Imagine the financial cost of running your LPG if you were to cook every day.
I agree that meals are best consumed the day they are cooked, however, if you shuttle to work in the morning and return late in the evening, it’s possible that you won’t be able to sustain the ‘Cook daily’ habit.
What I do is to go to the local market and buy foodstuff in large quantity and prepare meals I need for a week and store in the refrigerator and microwave when I need it. Cooking less preserves my LPG and saves me time to do other things. it’s also important to note that you should avoid microwaving in containers that are prone to chemical reactions when heating. Use the right microwave container to do so.
There are numerous ways to keep yourself financially fit, as illustrated earlier, this is not a program to excruciate undue pain or diminish your taste and living standards. This is just a young man’s opinion on tips that could help review our daily spending habits. Hope you found this article helpful.
If you’ve got other helpful ways we could seal financial leakages, kindly share in the comment below.
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Chinedu is a portfolio risk manager and content writer. He believes desired results are born out of creative thinking.