A beginners guide to saving

Saving is one of the most difficult yet important things to do. Especially since there is always something to pay for. Young people, in particular, can find it hard to save, given they are either students with little financial assistance from the family or working low paid jobs.

For most youth in the world, there is a transition phase between living with their parents and going to school and a progressive evolution toward their emancipation which is motivated by going to university or starting a career. It is such a great feeling, that first breath of independence but it can take time to learn to manage the responsibility of our own finances or lack thereof.

The saving rate in West Africa is stated to be less than 15% according to the World Bank. One of the lowest in the world. However, this is expected to increase alongside financial literacy. Which is why next-generation mobile wallets like Koosmik could be the emancipation tool you have been looking for.

Regardless of whether you are young or older, in Europe, in Africa or anywhere else, with cash in our hands there is always the temptation to spend it. Here is our guide on saving:

 

  1. Switch perspectives

Saving might seem difficult but with adequate planning, you can reach your desired goal; it all starts in the mind.

Most people think about saving in the wrong way.

Most of us approach savings like this:

Income — Expenses = Savings

Whereas really, we should see it as:

Income — Savings = Expenses

“save first, then spend

 

  1. Start small

“The general rule of thumb is to save 20% of your income

This is easy to say but not so easily done! If you start by trying to save 20% you are more likely to give up when you find yourself needing money for something. A far wiser choice is to start small with an amount you are confident you can live without and progressively increase it. As you see your savings you will find yourself motivated to save more.

 

  1. Contextualise the amount that you are saving

Consider the purchases you don’t think twice about, like going out with friends, buying new clothes, buying some candy. When you contextualise what you are saving you realise that saving 2 000 F a month is the same as the cost of going out for dinner with friends. Furthermore, setting aside 200 F a day which is less than the price of gum, would result in having 6 000 F by the end of the month. Not bad right?

Food for thought: What if your mobile wallet allowed you to create your own automatic savings plan. You chose how much you put into your savings daily, or monthly… Watch this space.

Saving Rates are said to be on the rise, with the increase of financial literacy and the emergence of dedicated mobile apps

  1. Start budgeting

We could and should write a guide on budgeting as this subject deserves its own article. However, for now, let’s outline the basics. Budgeting means keeping a record of your income, your fixed monthly expenses (rent, bills, etc) and then allocating what is left to your variable expenses ( food, materials, activities,etc.). The most important thing to consider when budgeting is to be truthful to yourself and be realistic about your spending expectations. Then you can adjust, as the months go by.

 

  1. Ask yourself the question

“Do I need this or do I want it ?”

Sacrificing a little pleasure for a greater perspective makes the mind strong and proud!  And it is with a strong mind that one achieves greatness.  To budget effectively, you need to start by learning to differentiate your wants from your needs, do this by asking yourself the question. The important thing is to be mindful of what we spend our money on. This does not mean we should never treat ourselves but 9/10 times we should leave those things we want in the shop. This exercise in mindfulness, may not be easy but will help us grow stronger and have much less remorse.

 

Koosmik can help you start saving, having your money visible and accessible on your smartphone, can help you manage it better. The app, allows you to visualise and export your expenses, pay your bills and send money to friends. Your money is secured digitally which prevents it from getting stolen, lost or destroyed. You also benefit from total confidentiality and control over who sees what you have saved and who you share it with.

We are dedicated to promoting a positive and sustainable savings culture within our community and are happy to develop more features that will help you in that endeavour.

Some are already in the pipe, following the launch, Koosmik will introduce money pots, and tontine features, to adapt to the age-old African solidary saving mechanisms.

If you have any other ideas on how Koosmik can help you save for a better future, please share them, we always love hearing from you à Bonjour@koosmik.tg

Get the Koosmik app today on the Google play store or the App store

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Emily Cooper

Emily Cooper

Emily studied film and media production, she has worked in Film, Events and Marketing in both London and Luxembourg. At the Blue Hub; Emily holds the fort, keeps the staff happy and manages Koosmik’s community and marketing.

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