Ways to improve your savings account – Punch Newspapers

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Many young adults in Africa do not have the basic skills needed to handle their personal finance, with the importance of saving often overlooked.

Saving is a vital ingredient in the recipe for financial independence, but so  often people find it difficult to put money aside each month. According to http://www.mastercard.com, here are a few tips on how consumers can become savvy savers by cutting unnecessary expenses and putting a basic plan in place to save for the future.

Create a monthly budget, be disciplined, and stick to it

List all your expenses for the month and take a hard look at what you can  potentially cut back on or remove completely. This is an important step to better understanding how much money you have to work with each month, and how much you have to save. Budgeting makes you think twice before spending, and it helps you to plan ahead.

 Be price-savvy and shop around

Consumers have the benefit of choice, and can either shop around for the best deal or go online and search product benefits, read up on reviews, and compare prices online. For larger items such as house appliances, don’t feel forced to buy the first product you see, rather gather all the information and save money. Other day-to day items like buying groceries make an impact on your monthly budget; so ensure you find a store that can offer you consistently lower prices.

 Keeping your money safe

Going cashless will allow you to monitor your spending habits, thus empowering you to better handle your budget. Payment cards such as the prepaid, debit and credit cards offered by Mastercard through your bank enables you to carry out banking transactions safely without the need to carry cash around. These payment cards offer you a strong barrier of  protection with the globally recognised EMV chip and pin technology. This means that if your card is stolen or lost, no one can withdraw or spend your money as it is protected by the unique  pin you selected. Never give this pin out, and ensure it is not written down and placed with the card in your wallet or handbag.

The system operates payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in different territories.

The products and solutions make everyday commerce activities –  such as shopping, travelling, running a business and managing finances –easier, more secure and more efficient.

 Plan for your future, and develop a growth mindset

Changing your mindset is important, get into the habit of focusing not on the limitations of a situation but rather on ways to better your future financial  outlook. Along with developing your work skills, also work on developing your personal financial skills. Get into the habit of thinking, ‘How can I invest in my future’, and plot out a plan to achieve your goals. Think about your money as a tool to achieving these goals.

Address lingering money problems and ask for help

Don’t get trapped by lingering debt, have a plan to pay off short-term and long-term debt as quickly as possible. Budgeting will also give you the chance to plot out these items and helps you monitor your plan. Don’t look at savings as another debt, adjust the amount of money you save each month until  your short-term debts are paid off. Remember, becoming a savvy saver is a process  and starts with good habits and lots of practice. You need to start  somewhere; so why not start today?

 Paying it forward – teach your children from an early age

It is important to ensure the future generation understands the importance  of saving for their future; so involve them from an early age and speak to them about the lessons you have learnt.

 Why you should save

Unless you are expecting a big inheritance sometime in your future, the only way to accumulate a net worth worthy of the label is to make a habit of spending less money than you are taking in, according to http://www.kiplinger.com.

Budgeting is a good way to practice this particular fiscal religion. On a modest income, the difference between half-hearted money management and smart money management can be thousands of naira a year, which can be cash in your pocket or cash down the drain. As the years go by, the difference can amount to thousands and thousands of naira added to your net worth.

How to reach this blessed state? Start with simple, common sense principles of smart money management.

Don’t surround yourself with cash. Do you keep large amounts of cash around the house instead of putting it in the bank, where it will earn interest, or in an investment plan, where it can grow? This will deprive you of chances to let your money make more money.

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