Saving money is not a simple thing to do even to those salaried or people in businesses earning them some good money and thus it means it’s more difficult to save without a job but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do it.
In 2018 my friend, Lisa (a single mother of two- a boy and a girl) had a job with a monthly pay of Ksh.70000 ($700) and on top of that, she had a shoe selling business where she had employed someone to manage the shop on her behalf. That business per month would accumulate an average net profit of Kshs. 30000($300).
And come December 2019, she had promised her kids vacation in Dubai but unfortunately in January the same year, she was laid off. And now as a friend, she came to me asking what she should do not to heartbreak her kids. The worst thing is that she had no savings and to add chilli pepper on her wounds is that she had a car loan and a mortgage she was supposed to keep servicing for the next 2 and 7 years respectively.
So, what I told her was that she should sell the car and pay off the loan; do mortgage transfer to avoid foreclosure; get a small house and rent; though painfully, lay off her employee and manage the business herself and finally open saving account and start saving a little by little.
The good thing is that she followed my advice and she was able to fulfil her promise and for the whole December’s festive season, together with her kids they spent in Dubai.
Lisa’s situation made me think of that other person who was going through a rough time like her or maybe worse. Somebody who had a job and got laid off or somebody who completely has no job and after a certain time would want some money to invest or maybe do something else and now he or she is stuck on what to do in order to get that money. The good thing is that you can still save even when you do not have a job. And below are six ways to do that (or aid in doing that.)
- OPEN A SAVING ACCOUNT.
You can’t save if you do not have a strategy on how to do it. And the first thing is to open a saving account. And make it a priority to save every time you get some money.
- LOWER YOUR LIVING STANDARDS.
It gets to a point where it makes a very little or no sense at all, behaving like Romans. Do not do something because people are doing it or because you are used in doing it and which now is beyond your means. Like in the case where you initially had a job that had raised your living standards but unfortunately, abruptly lose it, don’t feel ashamed going back to the initial way of life. In order to minimize the expenses and still continue saving, you can try:
Cooking and eating at home.
In addition to cutting out items that are not part of your basic diet, there are plenty of ways to save on the groceries you do need. Try avoiding going out to dinner or grabbing fast food for your meals. Fast food joints might be cheap, but in the long run, eating out all the time can be more expensive than making food at home.
Using alternative transport.
We all know that petrol (or gas as it’s popularly known elsewhere) can be a major expense, especially if you rely solely on your car for transport. Walking, biking or public transportation are not an option at this time. Do not drive unless it is absolutely necessary. Public transportation is even much cheaper than driving. And this will definitely spare some money to save.
- CREATE A REALISTIC SPENDING PLAN.
Make a budget on what to spend your money and clearly separate spending money and saving money and always stick to that no matter what. For example, you can say for every money you happens to get you will be saving 20% and use the remainder to cater for the other expenses.
- SHOP SMART.
You deserve nice things – the nicest! – But really take the time to think about you buy or purchase. Don’t buy a certain design cloth just because your friend is wearing it- try buying what is really necessary.
Save on Groceries
Resisting the urge to dine out and taking advantage of the food shelf is only part of saving on the overall cost of food. There are plenty of ways to save money when you go to the grocery store. Buy in bulk whenever possible, and take advantage of discounted items and coupons. Caveat: never purchase a sale item unless it is something that you buy regularly because you may end up spending more overall.
- GETTING TO WORK.
Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to work. Offering your gardening services around the neighbourhood is one of the best ways to gain extra cash. If you have a knack for reviewing movies or music, drop a line to your favourite websites and pitch them an article you’d be willing to write as a freelancer. You can also start a small business in whatever you are interested in and earn some money. Or, if you’re better with your hands, maybe open up an Etsy shop and sell some of your wares. You have skills. Use them.
- JOIN A SELP HELP GROUP.
Self-help groups, also known as mutual help, mutual aid, or support groups, according to psychcentral:
Are groups of people who provide mutual support for each other. In a self-help group, the members share a common problem. And their mutual goal is to help each other to deal with it.
However, this does not necessarily have to be a problem; friends or workers in an organization might decide to come together and form a Merry go round kind of a self-help group whereby they will be equally contributing a certain stipulated amount of money and the sum be given to one of their members at a time.
It can also be a community-based group with 10-20 members, often people from similar social and economic backgrounds, and with similar interests, all voluntarily coming together to save small sums of money, on a regular basis. They pool their resources to become financially stable, taking loans from their collective savings in times of emergency or financial scarcity, important life events or to purchase assets.
In either way, as a member, you stay knowing that there is your money somewhere and this gives you a sense of security.
In conclusion, as I said from the beginning, saving is not an easy thing and therefore, it requires self-discipline and dedication, driven by the set goals and the purpose you have for doing it as an individual.
Happy and prosperous 2020. And try to save- because you can do it.