September has just begun, yet you can feel your salary from August being sucked out of your account like a drink someone dropped two straws in. Every month, you face the battle of managing your earnings until the month ends and another pay comes in. Well today, we’re going to show you how to win that battle, one fight at a time.
A proper grasp of personal finance is key in the lives of adults today. Whether you’re a salary earner, an entrepreneur, or a student, proper money management cannot be overlooked. You need to learn what to do with your money, how to do it and when to do it. To ignore the importance of personal finance is to set yourself up to get broke.
Below are five steps that keep you from going broke:
1. LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS.
It is certainly not financially smart to earn NGN50,000 monthly, and have your expenses per month amass to NGN70,000. What this means is that you either have to take loans to survive, or you will become a pest, asking those around you for money to fuel your car or buy soup ingredients.
Cut down on costs. You must ensure that what you spend monthly is less than what you earn in the same period. This may be difficult at first and that is why you will have to begin with baby steps. Make a list of the things you spend money on the most, then work on reducing how much you spend on these things.
For example, if you spend too much on internet data subscriptions, then consider turning your data off at night or watching less Instagram videos. If you spend a lot of money shopping online, consider disabling your mobile banking.
Whatever it takes, spend less than you earn. Far less.
2. CREATE A MONTHLY BUDGET.
No, a mental budget does not count. Your budget must be written and easily accessible, either on your computer, phone, or a notepad you can always reach for.
A budget is a plan usually drawn in a tabular form, showing your income and estimated expenditure. You need to plan carefully, how you intend to spend your money.
If your income is NGN50,000, you should calculate how much will go on transportation, on feeding, on bills, etc. Review your list and strike out any irrelevant expenses. Once you are satisfied with a budget that lets you spend below your means, stick to it.
Impulse buying is a thief of resources. It comes in like an internet scammer ready to defraud you of your money. Beware of it. If anything isn’t in your budget for that month, jot it down and include in the budget for the next month.
However, make sure this item is relevant and doesn’t push beyond your monthly spending limit.
3. PUT ENOUGH MONEY ASIDE TO PAY YOURSELF FOR SIX MONTHS.
If you lost your job right now, how long would it take you to start begging friends and family for food? How long before you declare yourself officially broke? Well instead of worrying about that, start saving money that you can use to pay yourself for six months.
This means, if your monthly expenditure is NGN30,000, then you should have at least NGN180,000 saved up. Of course, this cannot happen in a month or two. It takes months of diligently saving up to achieve this. You can set up a payment process that takes out a certain amount from your income and puts aside for savings.
Once you have achieved this saving goal, you are expected to move on to the next target. This is the point where you save, and make your savings work for you. Do not touch your savings from the first goal, it is there as an emergency fund. Transfer it to a reliable FinTech company where you can easily access and monitor, anytime.
While saving is a good way to have a backup plan, you need the money that can show up at times when you need it. That is where online investments come in. Investment is a process that involves putting in money and receiving said money back with added profit after a period of maturation.
After you must have saved for a while, it is best to invest this savings in one of the trusted investment sites in Nigeria. Extrammile Africa provides features that encourage both savings and investments. This way, you can save and invest all in one place!
Once your investment has reached its maturity date, it is wise to take out the profit, then reinvest. Let your money keep working for you.
5. BE DISCIPLINED.
Without self-discipline, none of this is achievable. You must make a conscious effort to spend wisely, save and invest. It is also important to study personal finance and understand how money works. Avoid temptations that may affect proper use of your finance. Only you can handle your finances well enough to avoid going broke, so put in the work.
Article written by Stephanie Orkuma.