Staying prudent while earning
My name is Jennifer, and I’m the Content Producer at Team Paylater, and I joined the team in June. I’ve been working for a total of 2 years, but I’ve only been consistently prudent this year; I guess working in a fintech company does that to you.
Apart from my salary, I occasionally earn some extra money doing a thing or two. Before now, I spent some time getting my finances wrong – impulse buying, not saving enough or forgetting to save at all sometimes, and I noticed a trend.
When my paycheck comes in, I’d blitz through the first week paying bills and treating myself, then promise to stay prudent in the next week. In the third week, I’m regretting all my impulse purchases, and in the final week, I’m hoping I don’t encounter an emergency expense. I’m not always lucky; sometimes I have to take some money out of what I’ve already put away. So, you get the picture.
I thought about it a lot, and it struck me – you could just take out a huge chunk of your income right when it comes in, and save or invest that. This method has helped me a lot by limiting the amount of disposable cash I have to spend on not-so-necessary things.
What the festive season means to me
This year has gone by so fast, and many interesting things have happened. The festive season is fast approaching, and being one of my favourite times of the year, what it means to me is family, rest, joy, and laughter. It also means fun and great meals, gifts, and other nice things money can buy.
What I’ll be saving for
During the festive period, we tend to eat our best, look our best, and do our best. I plan to do all of that too. I’ve been saving for presents for family and friends, a new phone (as a present for myself), and maybe a trip to somewhere nice.
How I’ll be saving for this
Well, I’m not just starting to save. Months ago, when we launched Payvest here at Paylater, I took out my regular savings quota from the month’s salary (60%) and invested. I’ve done that constantly since. My money has been growing [at a rate my bank would never give me], and it has made me very proud of myself.
If you haven’t invested or saved this year, it’s okay, you can actually start now. I suggest you work with a budget and find ways to make extra money to supplement what you have. In addition to the few investments I made, I’ll be doing these things:
1. Avoiding sales
Toward the end of the year, there are lots of special offer sales where many items are sold at a much lower price. Sales are great especially when you’ve saved for a particular thing, but they have a downside as well. What these offers do is make you believe you’re saving by buying a cheaper item, but you eventually buy more items (that you might not need) just because they appear cheaper. This means you’ve spent more money than you planned to or should have.
2. Staying within my budget
I’ve been working with a budget, and it’s been very helpful. I’ll continue to stay within my budget and my regular pattern of spending, so that I don’t do anything financially erratic. I’m also making certain changes to my budget; I plan to be stricter in certain areas.
I’ll also be making a special budget for the festive period and the start of the new year.
When the festive period gets in full swing
When we get into the festive season proper, I’ll be shopping for those gifts and other items I saved for, and going out to fun places. To track my expenses, I’ll be using the Finance manager in the Paylater app. It will let me know when I’m close to my spending target, and prevent me from overdoing it.
The start of a new year is usually a tricky time, but keeping your festive season spending in check will give you a better financial start.
If you stay prudent during the festive period, you’ll have enough to lean back on when the year starts because January is known to feel like two months in one.
Whatever you do this festive period, take care of yourself and your finances.