by Mahmood Mahmood (Policy Competition & Economic Analysis)
They never pay? Today na 28th ooo!!!
Oh boy, I don broke pieces.
These are typical ‘end of month’ conversations one would hear along the walkways of our beautiful glass house at Aguiyi Ironsi Street that overlooks the Maitama skyline. Anticipations are sky high, but so are employee debt profiles. Need I mention that these employees are often viewed by others as affiliates of a blue chip company? How is it possible to fathom they can ever be “broke to pieces”?
Typically, employees will be asking if EVC is around usually for their own selfish reasons, not so that they would walk into his office to offer him a nice drink of coffee and tell him well done for keeping things together, or simply complement him for wearing a really nice suit.
In these trying times, people are having difficulty putting money aside for their long-term benefit. Living from paycheck to paycheck is something you want to avoid, as it's a bad habit that is easy to get into. Pay yourself first because no one else will. What is the best way to do this, you ask? Take out the savings portion before you use it unwisely. Here are a couple of tips to consider when planning your long-term financial growth.
Automatic Savings PlanAn automatic savings plan to put money aside into an emergency savings account or your retirement account, on a fixed day of the month, is the best way to start. Typically, people prefer having this luxury on the same day they receive their paychecks. By growing accustomed to a saving regime, you will be able to save a reasonable amount and at the same time live a manageable lifestyle.
Getting Into The HabitWe are creatures of habit, which is why living with a reduced paycheck is not as hard as people think -- once you adjust to this way of life. And once you establish the amount you can put aside, altering your spending habits will be easy as 1-2-3.
This will also allow you to realize what kind of lifestyle you can manage and handle. Living with these reduced means is the key to your financial independence.
No one is saying that you should lead a boring life, although realizing what you can handle in relation to what you earn and what you want is essential. The easiest vice to fall into is the constant and easy availability of credit, which can be extremely damaging to your long-term financial success.
Habit Becomes Second NatureBy instilling this regime, you will realize in no time that it will become second nature and that your spending will be reduced automatically. In this scenario, your spending is now based on what you have available rather than what you are earning.
Knowing that a certain amount of money is going to be withdrawn on a certain day will make it harder to spend it on something frivolous.
Your New Exercise RegimeMaking any conscious effort to change requires discipline and time. Remember to be realistic in your savings effort and that it's a gradual process.
We always look to improve ourselves, or at least many of us do. Apply this to a new exercise program where you're looking to lose or put on weight. It is never done overnight and if it is, it's unhealthy.
Instill a pace that is manageable for your situation so it is easier to stick to. The harder you make it on yourself, the more likely you will get fed up and just continue on your downward spiral.
Let's say your goal is to put three months' worth of your income into a reserve account. It is then logical that you spend 80% of your pay while the balance would be put into a savings-type account.
You should also consider putting any surprise forms of income into the savings account, so your goal can be accomplished earlier.
Something To AchieveBy having your savings plan mapped out, it is much easier to motivate yourself. Once your spending objective is put in place, you should be on your way to a financial path that meets your needs.