By: Lebogang Mokubel
Going into a new year, it is imperative to start planning your finances. It is equally important to strategize how you will save more and grow your money.
I am an advocate of Positive Personal Cash Flow (PCF); cash flow is a measurement of your financial position (is your money growing or are you losing money or are you just stagnant?). The basics of cash flow management are EARN MORE, SPEND LESS!
What you need to be concentrating on, in 2014, is the 80/20 rule. This rule states: “live within 80% of your salary and invest or save the other 20%”. This is a fundamental rule in which you ultimately learn to live below your means. People get into debt because of unnecessary spending; what we normally think is a need, is actually a luxury. Apply the 80/20 rule in order to free up 20% of your income for investing and thus growing your assets. In all honesty, this will take sacrifice.
Here are 5 ways you can save more money in 2014:
1. Get out of debt and stay out
This is not really a way to save money but it is equally as important. The longer you take to pay off debt, the more you lose money through interest. The truth of the matter is you do not need more money, what you need is better money management. Remember this: WEALTH = HOW MUCH YOU EARN – HOW MUCH YOU SPEND.
Draw up a budget and record every cent you pay off as debt. Rank the debts according to the value of the repayment; from highest to lowest. Pay 10% extra on your second highest repayment. If your second highest repayment is your clothing account at R950, for example, pay 10% extra every month. You will now pay R1 045 as a repayment. This will enable you to finish off this debt in a fraction of the time and this will free up some money. Once this is done, break and throw away all your credit cards and/or your credit account cards. The aim is to pay off debt and stay out of debt.
2. Cook more meals
The “let me grab a burger” syndrome is probably one way in which we are all guilty of wasting money. We have cupboards full of groceries yet we tend to go and buy that burger, which is not healthy for our bodies, by the way. Cook more meals and refrain from eating out a lot.
Suppose you eat out once every week and each meal costs you R79. In the duration of a month, you would have spent R316 on take-outs which will accumulate to R3 792 in a year. This money could have been used to pay off your debts which could have released some of your money for future endeavours.
3. Pay Yourself First
The process of saving money starts with paying yourself first. What you need to do here is open two separate bank accounts; your transactional (where your salary and incomes are paid into) and a ‘saving/investment account – the SAVVY account’ (where money only comes in and when it goes out, it is intended for investment purposes only).
The purpose: after you have received your income for the month, you need to first budget all your expenses (including an emergency fund) and what is left over should be placed in the SAVVY account, with the intent of investing this money when opportunities present themselves.
After every three months, visit your SAVVY account and take 70% of the money in it and buy gold coins. Why? Four reasons, (1) inflation is not our friend. Money that is left in the saving account stands the fate of losing its value due to inflation, (2) gold appreciates in value so gold coins are a good investment, (3) saving your money in gold coins means that you are ‘locking’ your money away. Locking your money is a good way of restricting yourself from spending it, and (4) gold is easy to sell because it is a commodity, so when you are ready to invest in something else, you may simply sell your gold coins.
4. Start a ‘piggy-bank’
For your liquid money (cash on-hand), start a piggy-bank in your house and everyday you need to place all your loose change in that piggy-bank. At the end of the month, take this change to your respective bank and deposit immediately into your SAVVY account (to buy more gold coins).
This is a clever strategy as you can even use the money stored in the piggy-bank to pay for small household or personal expenses, which helps with unnecessary cash withdrawals thus saving money.
5. Change lifestyle
This is often very difficult as we become accustomed to certain ‘cultures’ but it is very important to live below your means. Remember the 80/20 rule. Changing lifestyle actively means that instead of buying your clothes at luxury outlets, why not buy your clothes at a convenient store where the clothes come at a fraction of the cost and you will still look good?
Lifestyle changes are needed. This will free up some of your budget which you can actively put in your SAVVY account. Managing lifestyle is all about managing your debt levels. It is about creating a debt elimination plan that will eliminate all possible debt. There is good debt and bad debt. Bad debt is debt associated with lifestyle choices. It is where you are using your income to increase your liabilities. Good debt is debt that is acquired through the purchase of assets, assets that are then invested to produce income.
I hope this post has helped put things in perspective. I will be very honest with you: to actively free up your budget in order to save more (and grow) money, you need stubborn discipline and commitment to your financial goals. Without this, you can render this post and all the other things that you have been taught around financial management as useless.
Remember: WEALTH = HOW MUCH YOU EARN – HOW MUCH YOU SPEND
Lebogang is a strategic and goal-orientated individual with a tendency of expressing his thoughts through writing (on both paper and social media).
Having studied Bcom Marketing at the University of South Africa & completed a course in becoming a Social Media Strategist, Lebogang is currently serving as a Director of Perx Agency; a sales and brand activation agency based in Johannesburg, working with brands such as 8.ta (now Telkom Mobile), Lenovo South Africa, JWT, McCann, Y&R, and Telkom Business just to name a few.
Lebogang is also establishing his personal brand in writing & publishing non-fiction/inspirational books, and inspirational speaking, through AskLebo Consulting.
Find out more about Lebogang: www.asklebo.co.za
Book Lebogang as a speaker: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Lebogang on Twitter: @LebogangMokubel