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Savings Week: Time to review your financial targets for 2016

The sun is slowly setting on 2016. At the onset of this year, many of us made many plans, from short to extremely long wish lists of things to accomplish this year. For most of us, strengthening our financial muscle was high up on those plans or wish lists.
A woman displays a savings jar. As the year draws to the end, how far have you gone in fulfilling your savings and financial stability goals? (Net photo.)
A woman displays a savings jar. As the year draws to the end, how far have you gone in fulfilling your savings and financial stability goals? (Net photo.)

The sun is slowly setting on 2016. At the onset of this year, many of us made many plans, from short to extremely long wish lists of things to accomplish this year. For most of us, strengthening our financial muscle was high up on those plans or wish lists.

Fast forward, with just about 67 days remaining in the year, how much of our financial and savings goals have we achieved? This reality check is important because as of Monday October 24-31, Rwanda is making its annual Savings Week. The theme of the week, which aims at encouraging Rwandans to cultivate a culture of saving, is “Saving: The Right Path to Self-Reliance”, that is in line with government’s goal of enhancing long-term savings for public and private sector investment.

 

As individuals, we cannot accumulate cash for long-term projects unless we embrace the savings culture, and make it a part of our lifestyle. That’s why it is important that we go back and review our savings and investment plans during this week to measure how far we have come and how much we have achieved; or if we need to review some of the targets as the year comes to the end in just over two months.

 

Depending on one’s success (as far as their savings/investments targets are concerned), adjust accordingly to avoid being left behind by the tide, subjecting you to a hand-to-mouth kind of life. For those that shelved their savings plans and targets, worry not. It is better late than never. You, too, can jump onto the train of savers that dared this monster – savings culture – and conquered it, making it your trophy henceforth.

 

Like everything in life, all one needs is some sacrifice here and there; for instance, you can forego the weekly rendezvous over a platter of spicy pork or goat’s ribs and beer and deposit the money on your special savings account. With discipline and consistence, you will be surprised by the amount of savings you will have accumulated in the remaining nine weeks of the year.

Remember, it does not matter the amount of money one puts aside as savings; what is important is developing the habit and building on it each single day until it becomes second nature to you. Depending on how much you earn, deposit a small part on your special savings account, but ensure your life stays normal without any financial strain.

You need to critically examine your finances, expenses, etc, and see which items that you can do without, and save the money. This way, you will avoid a financial squeeze over the month and lead your life normally despite the small sacrifices. Besides, for those of us that aspire for a better tomorrow, we must make sacrifices today.

For those starting out, remember it’s like taking the first baby steps; one needs dare to take those first, second, and third steps, etc, to make it and reap the benefits.

After all, everyone of us has what it takes to ride on the savings train; let’s take that important first step and dare ourselves, and continue, one step at a time.

With financial discipline and a flexible plan, you can easily save for that dream house or top of the range car within a couple of years or so.

Therefore, time is now to burst the savings ghost keeping you in dreamland, where you are living from one pay cheque to the next. Remember, it’s never too late to start saving nor has it ever been too early to embark on securing your financial future by putting aside a small portion of your earnings. Don’t go it alone, encourage friends and family, too.

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