The Millennial’s Guide to Saving Money
MOOKH, derived from Mukwanja, Swahili slang (sheng) word for Money
For millennials, nothing has proved harder than making our paychecks last to the end of the month let alone setting aside something small for our savings. This article by the Business Daily suggests that millennials are too consumed by worries of their day-to-day survival to be concerned with managing their finances. The one thing that most millennials have in common is their shared sense of economic insecurity and the looming threat that they are likely to end up worse than their parents and grandparents.
So, what in the world can we do to change this narrative? While this is not a situation that can be changed overnight, we can start taking small steps towards establishing financial security. With that being said, here are some little things you can do to help you save some coins
Establish Your Goals
Don’t just save to save. What are you saving towards? What is the one thing you really want but can't afford right now without robbing a bank? A goal in mind motivates you to keep working at it, for example, moving out, paying for a course/masters, a vacation, or even planning a lil something special for bae on Valentine's Day. Once you have a goal, set up a timeline and plan for it. Let's say you want to buy a camera worth ksh 45,000. If you set aside ksh 5,000 every month, you can have enough in 9 months but if you set aside ksh 10,000 you will have it in 4.5 months. Figure how much you can set aside and what period of time it will take to reach your target and start working towards it.
Use Money Management Apps
Let’s face it, we’re all not financial gurus and the thought of managing our finances can be kind of daunting. Having a budget is one thing but how do you make sure you stick to it? The first step to making sound financial decisions is understanding what you spend on by tracking your expenses. This will help you identify areas where you can cut back or eliminate entirely. You might be surprised by how much you spend on some things. A quick google search will give you numerous solutions in the way of money management apps. Apps like Mint, Money Manager and Level, just to name a few, can help you keep track of your income and expenditure therefore allowing you to always stay on budget.
Who’s Your Drip Plug?
As a millennial you probably live by the phrase “drip is forever” because let’s face it, who doesn’t want to stay looking fly? But how much is that drip really running you? Name brands and high-end boutiques can cost you a pretty penny all in the name of looking good. A quick solution to staying drippy on a budget? Get thrifty! Thrifting clothes can have you looking good AF at a fraction of the price. And, with the emergence of Instapreneurs, you can skip the hustle of having to go to the market and have your thrift drip delivered straight to your doorstep.
If you are good at following trends, a lot of what’s hitting the runway now is inspired by fashion that was big in the 70s and 80s. You know who’s still haording some drip from the 70s and 80s – your folks! Ask, take a trip to shagz to look through boxes, find some dope prints and styles, then bring that back to your local fundi to pimp out. Those are 1 of 1s yo!
Alternatively, shop local! There is lots of super dope designers and fashion brands coming out of the greater East Africa that are dope, accessible and (considering they will be the big-name brands of the future) relatively affordable. Shop a piece a month, don’t go too crazy ... but build a timeless, must-have collection.
Stay Home or Get a Roommate
If you take financial advice from your grandparents, it’s probably themed along the lines of “save half your salary” While that might have been feasible for our parents, for millennials it can prove a little difficult especially cause half your salary (or maybe even more) is rent. Therefore, it’s important to not be in a rush when it comes to moving out. Don’t let the independence hype fool you.
Living with your parents for some time after graduating from university means free housing and food while you’re still earning an income. This allows you to save up and move out when you’re really ready - the bills will still be waiting, TRUST! Also, when you’re ready to move out it’s always a good idea to find a roommate to shack up with for a couple of years before getting your own place because splitting bills makes adulting a whole lot easier and more sustainable.
Let the Spare Change Add Up
A little goes a long way and small savings here and there, eventually, add up to whole lot. So, little things like switching off lights that are not being used and not letting water run when you don’t need it can help shave off a few coins on your monthly bills. If you work out, consider taking a shower at the gym instead of showering when you get home. Or, how about you skip the morning coffee from the café on your way to work and have breakfast at home? You’ll find that the little you save here and there will add up and maybe even pay for an extra bill or two.
Also, keep a coin jar (that’s what we call piggy banks for adults). Instead of the 20bobs all going to your local kiosk guy for sweets and cancer sticks, just remember that a hundred 20bobs = KSHS. 2,000, and that’s good MOOKH.
Packed Lunches Are A Life Hack
Say you have a lunch lady at the office that delivers packed lunch every day for about ksh 200 a day. You’re at the office for about 22 days in a month. That’s about 4,400/- a month. If you skip the lunch lady and carry lunch from home during the week, that’s an extra 2,000/- a month that can go straight into your savings! Definitely brown bag your lunch if you can.
Find Alternative Transport Options
Because we’re all about letting the little things add up, how about you skip the taxi app and consider a couple alternative transport options. If you’re going somewhere close by, consider walking. Investing in a bicycle and taking up cycling to work can be your daily workout while still helping you save a lot of money on transport. Consider using public transport in order to save a couple hundred shillings on a daily basis and probably thousands a month. Bora ufike, or?
Get a Side Hustle
Once you have implemented these saving hacks, get a side hustle to pad up the income column. Having a day job will get the bills paid but having a side hustle can help you get a little more money in the bank. If you’re particularly good at something you enjoy doing then find a way to MONETIZE YOUR PASSION. If you bake then sell cakes on the weekend. If you’re stylish then buy thrift items and sell them at a profit. Get some freelance photography (remember the camera?) or writing gigs on the side. With social media, starting a side hustle has become a whole lot easier. All you have to do is start sharing what you do and how people can access it. Get paid and smile all the way to the bank.
Any More Dope Hacks on Money Saving you want to add to the list?
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PS: In isolation, these tips might save you a couple thousands here and there, but together, you’d be surprised at how much you’d be able to save in a year! Give it a try. Let’s make that MOOKH go a long way.