Interns, students and volunteers all have one thing in common, the need to save money! Here are a few tips on how to save money that I have learnt,some not exactly in the nicest way, over time.
1. Brown Bag Your Way Through Life
Brown bagging is a term that means carrying your own lunch. It was coined from the fact that in American movies, people always seem to carry their lunch in brown bags. Well explanations aside, carrying lunch to work or school is a cheaper and healthier option. Unlike buying food which means you know what goes into your food and you are certain of the conditions it was prepared in. It is also a great option for those watching their weight as it allows you to track calories that go into your lunch.
2. Pay Bills On Time
Whether it is an M-Shwari loan, an outstanding okoa jahazi loan, a credit card bill or an electricity bill, they all get worse when left unpaid. Pay your bills on time to avoid the extra charges. In addition to this, not paying your loans or credit card bills on time will leave you with a bad credit score. This will become a hindrance in future as banks will not be able to trust you when you need a bigger loan.
3. Track Your Spending
There are myriads of mobile phone apps that are helpful with this. You should note down everything you spend on, from the big spends to the small transactions. At the end of the month, you should go through your transactions to track where you spend your money. I did this recently and I was surprised to realise that the little amounts spent add up to the most horrifying amounts. Doing this helps you notice patterns with your spending and help you cut down on what is not necessary.
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4. Avoid Spending On Unnecessary Items
I am most guilty of this. Ask yourself, do you really need that pair of fishnet stockings? Something I am still learning to internalise is that fashion trends are not the best place to pour your money into. I am learning (and you should too) that as long as I still do not have a disposable income to write home about, I am better off spending money on timeless pieces that I can wear for up to 3 years.
5. Go Out Less
Before you crucify me, let me make a case for staying indoors. Instead of going out for a date at a fancy restaurant, why not make a meal and cozy up with your partner to a movie at home. You will get more quality time without spending a penny. Plus you can carry some leftovers for lunch at work. You can also make it a habit to chill with friends at home and doing fun activities like board games together.
This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Garnet Achieng’.