22 Oct 2014

101 Ways To Spend Less Cash In Nigeria (1)


This is a very long article which I will eventually make into an ebook. In the mean time, I have divided it into smaller bits so I will post 10-15 of the methods per article, so I don’t bore you or overload you with too much at once.

Some of these tips will apply to the very rich or upper class, and not to middle or lower income classes, some will apply to an entrepreneur and not to a salary earner. Some will be applicable in some states, and not in others, while some will be applicable during Christmas, for example, and not in June. The whole idea is for you to get the concept behind them and apply them with wisdom.

sijinius.com1.       Reset your mindset about spending. This number one tip on spending less is arguably the most important. While some people are natural savers who will always seek for the best deals on spending, many others are simply spenders. It won’t matter the number of tips I give, or anyone else gives you. If you are not determined to save, if you don’t mind spending more, if you don’t mind giving away cash, then you probably will until you change your mindset about spending. This might require you becoming miserly for a while; do that just so you can reset your mindset from spending to saving. 

2.       Have a goal in mind. If you want to spend less, then have a specific target of how much you want to save. You can tell yourself that you want to save 5% more of your monthly income, so that if you were saving 10% before, then you will be saving 15%. Or you can tell yourself that you want to have some money left in your shopping budget. That means you will shop less for that month.
Image: iwordsofwisdom.com

sijinius.com3.       Have a ‘money mate’, who will hold you accountable. For some people, it is their spouse, business partner or best friend. While for others, it is their accounting software such as Mint, YNAB, Excel budgetsheet, etc. The most important thing is being able to say to your mate at the end of the month/period that you actively sought out ways to append less. 

4.       Communicate your goal to those that matter to you. As I said on DAY 4, your finances are affected most by the 7 closest people to you. If you have any plans to spend less, it is in your best interest to tell them, this will go a long way to reinforcing your own mindset, and telling them that you mean business. Funny thing is, they will begin to show you ways to help you achieve it.

5.       Follow a budget: I cannot overemphasize this. It won’t matter if you make millions every week, if you spend without knowing where your money is going, or how much an hobby or passion is costing you every month, then you can’t make the necessary adjustments. Once you exceed your budget, then don’t spend on that thing anymore.


6.       Go with a shopping list: If you don’t want to overshoot your budget, or buy unimportant items at the expense of/forgetting the important items, then take the pain to write down a shopping list before you go to the market. A shopping list will also help you avoid impulsive spending -if an item looks good and tempting but is not on your list, then it will have to wait to enter the list for the next time you come to the market.

7.       Don’t do cash. Before money was invented man traded by barter. It is never out of date to seek alternatives to using cash. Instead of paying for a bike/cab, walk, instead of paying people for services rendered with cash, offer them a service in return, negotiate how you can repay them by serving them too. For example you can repair your neighbour’s car/clothes/machine, etc in exchange for them babysitting your kids when you travel. Start to think of ways to avoid doing cash, and replacing it with barter, or simply repairing it yourself instead of hiring a repairer.

8.       Do cash; instead of cards, go cardless. This seems to directly antagonize the tip above (I like paradoxes), but in cases where you are tempted to use a credit card or debit card to shop, such as online, or a shopping mall, it might be cheaper to leave your card at home and go with the exact amount in cash that you want to spend.

9.       Buy brand new: My dad once bought a second hand car (not tokunbo oh) that gave him a hell of trouble that he told himself he was never going to buy second hand again. And true to his words, his next car was brand new. Buying brand new might mean you spend more at the outset, but down the years at least in Nigeria, it will save you the stress of having to spend time and money on repairing a second hand/fairly used that break down often.

10.   Buy fairly used: I am sure you will say I have come again with my paradoxes. See these tips as being applicable at different times, such that in some cases, it will be advisable to not buy brand new but second hand. It might be fairly used clothes, or electronics from a neighbour’s garage sale, or a ‘brand new’ car a friend wants to sell not because it is giving him problems, but because (for example) he wants to travel out.
Remember, these tips are not hard and fast rules.

11.   Buy quality. In the book Gifted Hands, by Ben Carson, he talks about a time in his childhood when his mum noticed that the rich people she worked with bought quality clothes/shoes for their children which lasted longer and didn’t need to be replaced every year. When you go for cheap simply because you want to save money, you might actually be throwing away money. Notice I didn’t say buy ‘brand’ or ‘expensive’, I simply said “buy quality” because a branded shirt at double the price, might not be more qualitative than the one sown in Yaba!

12.   When you go shopping, don’t be in a hurry, most times when you are in a hurry, you won’t bargain well, you will buy from the first dealer you see, and you are more likely to buy a fake/damaged/faulty or substandard item, simply because you were in a hurry. Take your time to plan your shopping, and be ready to go round, and round again and again till you get the best deal.

13.   Don’t go with your kids, they will distract you, and they will make you spend more/out of your budget. You are also likely to give in to impulsive buying because of your kids.  

14.   Don’t go with your husband. Women like to take their husband with them to the market, but this can make you spend more (unless you are sure your husband will be the one to pay). If he is in a hurry, you can’t really haggle and price as you want. The price is most times marked up by the sellers when they see a man because they think he won’t want to price or he’ll be in a hurry and won’t want to waste time.

15.   Don’t go shopping when you are hungry. You more likely to overspend when you are hungry, because you will buy more than you need based on the feeling, or you will be in a hurry.

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