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Forget about traditional ways of saving, make your own rules

The most important thing is to reach your target

Enjoy putting money away for rainy days as much as you'll have a wonderful time spending it.
Enjoy putting money away for rainy days as much as you'll have a wonderful time spending it.
Image: 123RF

Saving should be fun. You must enjoy putting money away as much as youll have a wonderful time spending it. 

As July, which is marked as Savings Month, comes to an end, I want to encourage you to forget about the traditional ways of saving. 

What do I mean? 

Make your own rules. It is your money after all. 

This works amazingly for me. 

It has helped me deal better with anxieties that come with not having enough money to save some months. 

With everyday life, the last thing I want to worry about is how and where I will find money to save, say for example R500 every month, as I have set out.

It shouldn’t be like that.

What do I mean, you may wonder. 

Before I answer that, I want you to ask yourself these few questions:

Who said there must be a fixed amount you stash every month (whether youre saving by yourself or in a group)? 

Who said you cant make your own rules (as an individual or group)? 

Who said you can break those rules or your own to achieve your savings goals?

Absolutely no one. 

But, if there is someone who has said you cant do these things, then I suggest you change your mindset.

In fact, I’m begging you.

I make my own rules when it comes to my money and I change them whenever I want. 

However, I dont do anything that may put my savings goals in jeopardy – that would be a disaster.

I cannot afford not to meet my money goals. 

So, whether I save alone or with other people, I always maintain my pace and stay in my lane – it is my race.

You’ve heard about that right? 

I refuse to save the way my parents saved a million years ago.

But remember, you have to make sure that you reach the target. Otherwise, it will all be in vain and we dont want any regrets. 

Life happens to all of us but how prepared we are for it is very crucial.

There are different needs for different months and with the rising cost of living, things have become so unpredictable. 

This is how I look at it...

There are months when one will have a few hundreds left when the next payday arrives.

A picture of how a saving plan can be done.
A picture of how a saving plan can be done.
Image: Sibongile Mashaba

What do you do with the money? 

What I normally do is to save a bit more when that happens.

Actually, all of it goes into my savings. 

That way, in a month when you incur an expense you had not budgeted for like buying school shoes or any other unforeseen emergency (topic for another day), you can save less because it will be covered by some of the extra savings you made on good months.

Do you follow? 

Ive taken a picture, (right/left) of my savings target with my sister and bestie Jabulile to show you how we do it.

We set a target for 2023 – to save R15,600 by the end of the year.

We started in January by putting away R100 each. We then agreed we would save R100 extra each month. So, R200 in February and R300 in March and so forth. 

But if you look at the picture, you will see that I have five months left and she has four.

Again, its your race – your pace and keep in your lane.

If we were following the savings plan, we should have R4,200 by end of June.

However, I have saved R8,200 in just six months.

We have passed the halfway mark to reaching the R15,600 target.

If you look at October under my savings, you will see that the R1,000 I saved came from different sources.

The first (R300) was repayment for year planners I bought for work, R500 was money received from someone who owed me and R200 was what was left in my account when payday arrived in June.

No money must go to waste. Every cent counts.

Im my world, there is no prescription for saving. Savings should be about oneself. 

I’ll give another example.

Say you want to save R6,000 a year. That would be R500 a month if you want to divide it equally over 12 months.

But if there is a month you can save R1,000, why not do it?

That way, on a month when you can only save R100, it won’t affect your target because the R400 you’re short of (for that month) will be covered by the extra saving you made when you had extra to put away.

Play around with your money – just have fun.

A little does go a long way. So, no matter how small you may think youre saving, the end goal must always be a motivation to keep going. 

I cant overemphasise this – its your money, so make your own rules, break them, stay in your lane.

However, always keep your eyes on the target and make sure you finish the race strong.

mashabas@sowetan.co.za

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