If you are like me you always wonder what you waste your money on, as it usually appears like you cannot tell how all your money disappears. What if you could devise more clever ways to save your money and spend less?
Even if you don’t keep a budget you should still be able to reduce the things that waste your money, thus saving yourself anywhere from a few thousands to tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of Naira a month (depending on your disposable income).
So what are the immediate ways you can save more money right away than you thought possible?
Table of Contents
1. Bank Fees/Charges
Do you do so many transactions in a month through your bank account online eg airtime/data topup, money transfers (via USSD or bank app), bill payments etc?
Does your bank charge you high monthly maintenance fees, SMS charges for even the most frivolous messages they send you, and any other hidden charges you can only see in your monthly account statements?
Well you will find that most people overlook the monies they lose to their bank in form of charges and fees.
If you want to know how much you are losing to bank fees/charges simply request for your statement of accounts. You can do these through your bank app yourself depending on your bank. You can log into your bank app, find the Account Statement or Inquiry tab and select the time range you want. 1, 3, 6 or 12 month account statements are fine.
If you are unable to get your account statement yourself you can email your bank requesting for your account statement for any period of time.
Comb through your statement and add up all the bank fees/charges you are debited for to get the total of what you lose to your bank monthly. If it is too high you should be either looking for another bank or ways to reduce the fees/charges you incur.
Let’s look at some ways you can reduce the fees/charges you incur from your bank(s);
- When sending money to people (friends, vendors etc) or making payments via transfer try to see if the recipient has an account with your bank, to avoid inter bank transfer charges. Most banks will not charge you any fee to transfer money to someone else’ account with the same bank. For eg GTBank will allow you do free transfers to other GTBank accounts. So only make transfers to other banks when you have no choice.
- Additionally look to have your expense account with banks that offer free transfers to other banks. For instance Kuda bank enables you do up to 20 free transfers in a month to any bank. If you do upwards of 50 transfers a month that’s some savings.
2. Buying Items on Sales That You Don’t Really Need
How many times in the past couple of years have you bought an item simply because you see it’s on sale. You are saving some money by buying stuff on sale right?
Wrong. Sales promos are psychological triggers to get people to spend more. On stuff they don’t really need.
Let’s say you have enough hairs and wigs already. Then you are browsing on Instagram and come across one of the hair vendors you admire. Voila! you notice they are having a massive sale – 25% off or even 40% off!. You start to get enticed and debate within yourself whether to splurge N60,000 to buy the hair (which normally goes for N100,000). Remember you do not need a new hair plus you did not budget or plan to spend on hair that month.
However, because you saw what you believe is a deal, a massive sales discount, you are willing to take out money you planned to save. To buy the hair. That’s how sales discounts get us to spend more money than we should.
3. The Wrong Set of Friends
Peer pressure is real.
If you are have friends who spend unwisely and tend to buy things to impress strangers you may just find yourself spending more than you should.
If you have a group of friends or a friend that always call you to
- show you yet another piece of costly shoes or clothes to buy
- discuss going on another Friday night partying and spending spree etc
instead of discussions that will improve your networth, maybe it’s time you changed or expanded your friend circle.
Sure you should have fun once in a while but if you want to get rich more of your time should be spent on trying to make money than trying to spend it.
4. Subscriptions You Don’t Use
Have you been in the situation where every month you get several debits and receipts from subscriptions to one service or the other? And you wonder, heck! when did I subscribe to this?
In today’s digital world subscriptions are fast becoming a normal part of our spending life. Netflix, Apple music, Spotify, phone services, gaming, dating apps, cloud storage, online book/library services, home security, magazines/newspapers etc are some of the common things people pay subscriptions on every month.
According to a survey people/consumers in the US spend an average $273 per month on subscriptions. We don’t know what this figure would be for Nigerian and African users but we expect they would be significant for a lot of people.
If you subscribe to just half of the services/products listed above you could easily be spending more than $120 monthly. For a lot of people that’s already a big chunk of their monthly income.
So to quickly cut down on your spending you need to do an audit of your subscriptions and end/cancel the ones you rarely use or don’t have need for anymore.
5. Wasting Food
Food wastage is one of the underated ways we spend money that most people miss when they are trying to save more.
From buying too much food than we need to stuffing the fridge with cooked food that goes bad especially after some days of low or no power supply, if most people calculated how much they waste on food they would have a rethink.
For lots of people up to 30% of the food they buy is never eaten and gets thrown away.
One of the ways to combat this is to make a shopping list/budget and buy strictly what you can consume within a specific period of time. Another tactic is to only buy bulk for non-perishable food items.
Perishable items like onions, even yams should be bought in moderate quantities at a time so they don’t spend too much time in the store and then start to spoil. Saving more money than you currently do is a big struggle if you waste a lot of it on food.
6. Too Much Streaming/Movie Watching/Social Media
Lots of us spend more than we should on data because we watch too much Netflix, Youtube and surf Instagram too much.
If you are in a developing country like Nigeria then you know data/internet access is still costly. If you watch too much TV/Netflix/Youtube and browse video heavy social media apps like Tiktok and Instagram you could easily spend tens of thousands of naira on data/internet cost.
Unless you are using Youtube to take online courses that will increase your earning power then that may not be wise.
Measure how much you spend on data weekly and monthly. Then cut down on the activities that suck up your data (including streaming movies on those movie websites).
What other things have you discovered makes you spend more money than you plan? Do you know of other clever ways to save more money? Let us know via the comments.