July Savings Month Tips

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01/07/2020 July Savings Month Tips

Look everywhere you can to cut [just] a little bit from your expenses. It will all add up to a meaningful sum.

-Suze Orman

The world we live in today is filled with a considerable deal of expenses. It’s an unfortunate reality we live in. Virtually everything competes for our attention [and our wallets]. Exercising the much-needed restraint when it comes to splurging could mean the difference between great wealth and considerable lack. 

We spend a lot on our wellbeing, our youth, and particularly, we love having a good time. But when push comes to shove, how much do we really save? Do we really need to spend? We spend money easier than we save. Taking a trip through our national savings rate, we discover that between 1991 and 2011, according to the South Africans Savings Institute, our savings rate averaged 16% of GDP, a breathtakingly dismal statistic. This propelled the South African Savings Institute (SASI) into a thought block. “What’s the best way to make sure that South Africans cultivate the habit of saving? How can we choose to save more than we spend?”. This conundrum birthed the July Savings Month affair, an avenue set up to create the much-needed awareness on saving and a challenge to exercise the much-needed restraint and build wealth. 


Consciously or subconsciously, we all understand the basic two-way principles behind saving: save before you spend. But it’s no news that saving isn’t as straightforward as those two phrases. Saving involves dedication and restraints. Instant gratification (wanting something now and not choosing to wait) only provides temporary pleasure and does no good to your finances when you look at things in the long run. That’s where investments come in. To invest in something is to allocate some money in the expectation of some benefit in the future. The general expectation is a gain and trust me, it feels good when your investment pays off. 


Before we delve into the tips for ensuring success this savings month of July, let’s breeze through a little analogy. Consider the entirety of your working life as 31 days. Compress your entire working life into 31 days. Would you want to waste a single moment of it? How important would saving be to you if you had just 31 days to earn? Now, let’s build on this analogy:


The key to achieving success in anything is to cultivate a competitive discipline. The July Savings month isn’t just limited to the 31 days in July. Extending the habit of saving into the future could mean the difference between having a comfortable retirement or the opposite. Disciplining yourself in prioritizing your wants vs your needs and establishing the right course of action to take would go a long way in curbing your spending habits and directing you onto the path of financial security.


Having great investments is a key way to rock it this July Savings month. Let’s go back to the 31 days analogy. If I had 31 days to earn, I’d constantly look for ways to increase my returns on my salary. I’d channel money into investments that would have significant returns so that at the end of my working career (the 31 days) I’d have a dynamic system that creates more money for me without having to stress. This is exactly what investments do for you over the course of your working career. They liberate you from the shackles of stagnant finances by creating value.


If you’ve never had an investment manager, then July would be a pretty good time to get one. An investment manager is just like a football coach; a person or platform dedicated to steering you on the right investment track and monitoring your performance.


Drafting a sequence of goals when it comes to spending money could mean the world in improving your quality of life in the long-term. Going back to the 31 day analogy, it would make sense to set a series of spending goals at the beginning of the month and strictly follow them over the course of the 31 days. This same reasoning applies to the entirety of your spending habits. Setting goals and reviewing these goals on a regular basis (say, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly) has a subconscious effect on the psyche. Goals help you to visualize your efforts in the form of tangible results and rewire your brain to do everything possible to keep on keeping on. Saving to accomplish a particular goal in the long-term shifts the focus of your brain from instant gratification to delayed gratification, and you’d get more value from long-term saving than you would from that nudging impulse!


Robert Kiyosaki said, “It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you and how many generations you keep it for”. July Savings month is a simulation that tries to shape your spending habits by spurring you onto the path of saving. This restraint isn’t born out of a thrill. It stems from necessity; the necessity that financial security is a must have for all of us. Nobody wants to work for decades and end up with nothing.

The key – START NOW.