Investment is a step into a financially free future. I am sure a lot of you may be wondering what the value preposition for getting into investment in the first place is. Aside the fact that we all need extra money, we want to be able to provide for ourselves and others in every way possible. Say you want to go on a vacation in Abu Dhabi: You have calculated your cost; – Visa – Ticket – hotel – shopping – food and explore money and it all amounts to N3 million. You want to go in December and this is May. This means you ought to have started saving for your vacation before now or at least by now. Whether it is rent, school fees, the gym, vacation, a treat, birthday etc. saving towards a goal is critical to your finances.
Saving towards a goal is the genesis of investment. That is how it all begins. If you desire to be a bad-ass investor you need to be bad-ass at saving towards a goal. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
- PICK A REASON TO SAVE MONEY
You need to determine what you are saving money for, it could be for one reason or many reasons. Your savings goal may be for paying your rent or buying a new home. You may be saving for a dream vacation or to pay for your next car. You may be saving for retirement or for an emergency fund. Once you know what you are saving for, then you need to determine how much you need in order to reach each goal. Then create a plan/ strategy to remove specific amounts from your income every week or month, as the case may be.
2. CREATE A TIMELINE FOR YOUR GOAL
When you have the savings goal (what you are saving towards) and the amount that you need to save, you certainly reach your goal faster if you have timelines. This will give you additional motivation to meet your savings goals. Some timelines are simple for example you may want to go on vacation at the end of the year or pay the rent for your house in a year’s time. Other goals, such as saving for retirement or an emergency fund, you may want to set benchmarks and dates that you want to reach these benchmarks by. For example, you may determine that you want to have N10 million in your retirement savings account when you are age forty.
3. SET MONTHLY SAVINGS GOALS TO MEET YOUR TIMELINE
In order to make the timeline for your savings goal, you need to determine how much you need to save each month in order to reach it. This should be pretty straightforward for most of your goals, but your retirement account you should adjust to so that you consider your contributions and your rate of return that will be added to it.
4. USE THE RIGHT SAVINGS TOOL:
You should also find the right type of account for your savings goal. If you are looking at saving money for longer than five years, you should look at mutual funds. Otherwise, you should look for a high rate of return savings account. Money market accounts through your bank or other credible funds often offer good rates of returns. In the past, Certificates of Deposit (CDs) have offered good rates of return, but you should compare them to other accounts. You do not want to put an emergency fund into a CD because you can be penalized if you need to access the money before the term is complete.
- If you are working towards more than one savings goal, you should have several options available. You may choose to put all of the money into one account and simply keep a ledger at home of what amount goes to which goal. Or you may choose to have separate accounts for your savings goals. For example, you may opt to have one savings account that is simply for your emergency fund, and another account that you use to save for rent or vacation. Saving up for your vacation can help you prevent it from ruining your budget. This will help to protect the money that you are saving for those goals. That way, if you do end up needing to use your emergency fund, you will have access to it
- If you are working towards a larger goal, you may want to reward yourself as you achieve some basic milestones along the way. This can help you stay motivated. A few splurges along the way can help you stay motivated for bigger goals. It is important to make sure your goals are achievable so that you do not get discouraged as you go.
As you do all this, you see it is no different from buying a stock and you would notice that they are interwoven. To properly save, you have to invest. Think about it
About The Writer
Benedicta Omoruyi is a professional security and investment officer (CIS), marketer and technical evangelist for InfoWARE Limited. She is a fierce writer, content creator, investment enthusiast and advocate, and an all round creative female. She writes weekly for Glazia on the column, Money Talk.