What does saving money mean to you?
To some, it means saving money aside for rainy days, while others may see it as a form of investment.
If you ask me, it goes beyond just saving money aside for a future that may never come. It also surpasses the various intentions for investments.
Yet, if you ask Investopedia… “Savings refers to the money that a person has left over after they subtract their consumer spending from their disposable income over a given time period.”
Many of us were born with a culture of saving. It became evident when we were little as all we wanted was to keep our parents from taking money given to us by a family friend, Uncle or Aunt to buy a little something for ourselves.
We noticed, much to our dismay that all the money we gave to our mothers to keep for us had vanished into thin air. Sometimes, I wonder what all my money was used for.
There are few of us who got to learn the trick of the trade while we were much younger. This is where the use of “KOLO” comes into play. Kolo is the West African version of a Piggy Bank, and yes, we break it with a hammer when it gets full too. Kolo is often time a wooden container. It could be made of plastic as well or any other material.
The use of Kolo has helped (and is still helping) us imbibe the culture of saving money. For most children, it became something to look forward to, a source of self-accomplishment.
Saving money up for the game boy you saw with Fred, or that ball you want, a bicycle, or a gift for your sibling, a friend, or parents was a good confidence booster.
For adults, the objective for saving differ. Most adults save for unforeseen circumstances, big goals such as cars, houses, postgraduate studies, retiring their parents, or their own retirement.
CHALLENGES SURROUNDING SAVING
So far, emphasis has been made on what a fantastic thing saving is, but like every other thing in life, there is always a challenge to overcome.
The challenges which could hinder children from saving could be from a third party, their parents, sibling, or even a friend. Another challenge could be carelessness on the side of the child saving money.
Another challenge for children is turning it into a habit. Frankly, this is a problem that is not only limited to children. Making saving a habit is a challenge for anyone because it involves a lot of self-discipline and willpower. Not many people are comfortable with denying present wants for future needs.
For Adults, One major challenge of saving is the fluctuation of the Naira in the foreign exchange market.
Naira in comparison with other world currencies such as the Dollar, Pound Sterling, and Euro, has a long way to go to be at par with the strengths of the aforementioned currencies. I had to start saving in Dollars due to the disparity between the Naira and the Dollar.
Fortunately, the challenge of creating a domiciliary account has been overcome by the proliferation of Fintech apps as well as the crypto market. It has made saving in other currencies easier for everyone. You do not even need physical bills to start saving.
Now, those fintech apps help people change their Naira to Dollar or any currency of choice at the lowest rate with the lowest risk and the highest profit manageable.
There are financial technology (fintech) apps that help people in saving money like Piggyvest, Cowrywise, and many more you can try out. Through planning and budgeting a savings plan, you are able to create a platform for yourself for investment.
In terms of residing in Nigeria, the best type of investment is Agricultural Investment. It entails long-term real estate and farm products investment with the lowest risk. Real estate is a non-perishable good.
Real Estate never depreciates and if you are able to find a suitable location with a good return on investment, that is a very excellent start. Agricultural investment is a plus to real estate because you can earn from growing farm products as well as maintaining the acquired land over a period of time.
The only major cost to cover might be the maintenance fees. One thing to keep in mind when trying to cultivate a saving habit is ‘It is not about the money, it’s all in the mind.”