There are only two types of people in the world: Dangote and the rest of us. In other words, people who may want to save and people who NEED to save. In other words, people who get their names mentioned in hit songs by Burna Boy and you (and, ahem, me). In other words, people who are on multiple Forbes lists and those who are yet to make it into their church’s magazine. In other words, people who have paid their assistant to read this piece to them and you. In other words…you get the idea.
For those of us who aren’t Dangote, it’s always going to be tempting to go out and blow, in a single night, the money it took days, weeks or even months to make. You don’t even have to go out — modern technology has made it so the temptation to get another bag, another pair of sneakers, another bowl of isi-ewu finds you right at your doorstep. Our ancestors never had such problems. If they could stay at home, their only struggle would be fighting the urge to have yet another child.
Today, you probably already have the apps draining your cash right there on your phone. It’s no longer enough to simply turn down your friend’s invitation to a shopping session or a night out; you need to actively do more to spend less. It’s just the way we live now.
What’s the solution?
Well, the “more” you need to do if your last name isn’t Dangote is save. And why is it so important? Because to save your money is to give yourself more options. It’s to defer minor purchases for a major chopping of life. And, let’s face it, there are not that many paths to becoming a Dangote — not that saving alone can get you there, but on the list of potential options, it’s way above reckless spending and somewhere under getting married to one. So, you need to save some of what you earn. If you haven’t started, you can start now. And with as low as ₦1000 (on Android and iPhone).
One reason saving is important is the amount of control you could have over your life if you’re able to say an emphatic no to the impulse to spend or splurge on non-essentials. There is even a psychological benefit to saving, as a study from 2013 asserted in very clear terms. According to the study, research shows that “[saving] can relieve future-related anxiety and provide people with a sense of control over their fate, thereby rendering death thoughts less threatening.”
If that sounds scary, imagine the reverse.
Another reason is the sheer scale of the saver’s choices. Yeah, it’s probably true that, as they say, “more money, more problems,” but that is no reason to not have enough of it.
If you decline the impulse to spend on those shoes that are on sale, simply because they are on sale, you could have the option of getting them or better ones. If you wait and save long enough, who is to say, you can’t get both? As with many things that appear hard, the key lies in starting. You may be able to pay for that certification if you save towards it. Ditto a trip to a much-fancied destination.
Quite clearly, there are people for whom saving to have significantly large sums to spend is needless. But as we already said, if you are not a Dangote, then you are likely not one of them. Check your surname again.
There is nothing to be ashamed of, though, even if that old Eldee rap song “Big Boy” with the mocking lines “Y’all gat to save, me I get it now now” says otherwise. You’ll just have to ignore statements like that, either from popstars or from friends. Eyes on the prize, which has to be financial freedom. Clearly, part of the problem is discipline, how to say no to that new item, how to take out the money you need to save yourself. Fortunately, in the same manner technology has brought the temptation closer than ever, the solution is also now right there in your pocket. The process can even be automated, so you don’t have to think about it. Try it now.
Someday, you may be in the position that your name, too, will get its place in a pop song’s chorus and your face will adorn a list in Forbes. It’s entirely possible, one paycheck at a time, one deal at a time, one smart money decision at a time. (Don’t worry, we’ll be here to drop as many useful tips as we can.) In the meantime, though, close that shopping website. Saving your cash just might save your life.