In this present time of recession in the country, people believe it is difficult to save but the fact is people still save. So we have outlined ways that can help you improve on your saving culture.
Who doesn’t want a bigger savings account? With more money in the bank, you can take more holidays, pay off debt, make home improvements and even purchase a house. Unfortunately, saving money is easier said than done.
According to www.life.com, many people have good intentions, but when it comes to actually saving, they drop the ball. It’s not entirely their fault. Nothing in this world is designed to make saving money simple. There’s the higher cost of housing, food and fuel. And because employment raises can be few and far between, most people earn just enough to cover their living expenses.
But even if your present financial situation isn’t conducive to saving, you can take your savings account to the next level. If you work with what you have, you can increase your personal savings.
www.life.com outlines five ways to take your savings account to the next level.
- Increase your retirement contributions
Stop dragging your feet with regards to retirement planning. Even if you’re in your early 20s or 30s, it’s never too early to think about retirement. If your employer offers an RSA plan, and you are already participating in the plan, review your finances to see if you can increase your contributions. The money in your RSA isn’t liquid like your bank savings account. However, if you lose your job or stumble upon other financial hardship, you can tap into this fund and cover expenses.
- Open a Certificate of Deposit
Some people frown upon certificate of deposits because cash in these accounts is unavailable for a certain number of months or years. But if you’re serious about saving, a certificate of deposit can take your savings to the next level. This is one of the safest investment strategies, and by opening a CD, you’re essentially investing your cash with the bank. But there’s a catch. Unlike money market and personal savings accounts, you cannot visit an ATM and withdraw cash from a CD at will.
Funds in this account are tied up for the duration of the term, which can be six months to five years. A certificate of deposit can work if you’re bad with saving your money. These accounts force you to leave your cash in the bank, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. The longer you keep your money in the CD, the higher your return.
- Contribute to an Individual Retirement Account
Individual Retirement Account is becoming popular in Nigeria and some insurance firms and banks continue to introduce the product. So, don’t rely on your employee pension plan to get through retirement. The RSA will provide income during your retirement years, but it may not be enough. Be smart and take advantage of other retirement options, such as an IRA.
An IRA isn’t a specific investment account, but rather a portfolio of different investments. You can open an IRA with your bank, a financial advisor or a brokerage firm. And with an account, you can choose to invest in bank CDs, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, money market accounts, etc. IRAs grow your personal net worth and help contribute to a better retirement.
- Bank savings options
Banks know the value of a personal savings and many financial institutions make it easy for account holders to build their nest egg. Not only can you open one of many different types of savings accounts, some banks give the option of automatic savings. The specific features of this programme vary depending on the bank, but they’re all designed to increase your savings faster and effortlessly.
For example, for each debit card transaction, some banks will automatically deduct and transfer N1,000 from an account holder’s current account to his savings account. And with roundup programmes, some banks roundup every debit card transaction to the nearest N1,000 and then deposit the difference into the accountholder’s savings account.
- Take 10% off the top
Nobody ever said saving money was easy, and if you’re ready to build a liquid financial cushion, make every effort to pay yourself first. Sure, it’s a hard concept to grasp, especially if you’re living paycheque-to-paycheque. But if your landlord increases your rent, or if your employer has to deduct more from your cheque for health insurance, you will probably find a way to live without the extra money.
Not to say that your finances wouldn’t feel the pinch, but you’ll eventually adjust. This is how you have to approach saving your money. There are a million things you can do with 10 per cent of your income – go shopping, hang out with your friends, order the best cable package and hire someone to help around your house. But these choices don’t have long-term benefits. The more cash you put aside, the easier it is to survive a financial crisis. And maybe 10 per cent is a stretch – can you put aside five per cent of your income? It’s not so much about the percentage, it’s all about consistency and prioritising.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )