By: Geraldine Kalabai – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
Saving up is an idea that sounds simply impossible to most of us.
Some of us live on a weekly basis, our pay packets rarely lasts till the next pay day.
The “Bukin man” (the go-to person who lends one money) takes half your money and you end up going around in circles with him. But, what if I told you that you can break that cycle?
The truth is, there are ways you can save money! Particularly, if you’re willing to discipline yourself, and change your old habits. The hardest part about saving money is the beginning, but once you go past that, you will realise how easy it is.
Calculate your spending
The first step towards saving money is to figure out how much you spend; and what you spend your money on.
Every ‘toea’ counts. You can do a mental tally of how many times you chew betelnut; or smoke in a day, as this is where most of the unnecessary spending occurs. Also, see how much you spend on food shopping, bus fare, fuel, lunch etc. You must document everything.
Once you have an idea of what you spend in a fortnight, you can make a workable budget.
Your budget should outline how you’re spending measures up to your income, so you can plan your spending, and limit overspending. My personal weakness is over spending, and I’m sure there are others that have that weakness too. In addition to outlining all that you’re spending, you should factor in the expenses that do not occur fortnightly, such as gas refills, or car maintenance.
When you are done outlining your budget now you plan on your savings. That, once done will be included in your budget. You should set a goal to save at least 10-to-15 per cent of your income. If your expenses are too high and you can’t save then it’s time to cut some of your spending, for example: set you’re budget at K2-a-day for betelnut and limit your spending, or start drinking water instead of soft drinks. Be firm with yourself.
Save money with a friend
It can be harder to save money when the people around you are keen to spend. Try and find a friend who also wants to save money. You can share tips, encourage each other, and borrow from each other rather than buy new things. You could even have a competition to see who saves the most money over a set time.
Change one habit and save
Small changes can make a big difference to your bank balance. Change one thing you do regularly and you could save money. Some examples are:
- Give up drinking coffee, or soft drinks, or cut down on alcohol – it may sound scary but it will save you money; and can also have health benefits.
- Make your lunch at home instead of buying food from the Kaibars or restaurants. Bring leftovers from the night before instead.
Set a goal
One of the best ways to start saving money is to set a goal. It could be for a guitar, or a car, or a vacation. How big or small your goal is depends on you as an individual. Work out the time frame it would take to save money for your goal. Start saving and watch your savings grow.
You may think that saving K1-a-day is too small, but over a period of time, all those K1 will accumulate and you will be surprised at how much money you have saved. Set your goals and achieve them. It’s not hard!