Bala and Yeni are both gainfully employed. Married for over 15 years, they have four wonderful children around whom their worlds revolve. Like many good mothers, Yeni likes to pay particular attention to each child, ensuring she meets their peculiar needs without favouring one over the other. If you run into Yeni at the mall, you would wonder if she was hosting a party soon. At the jam stand, she would buy four different flavours of jam, one for each child. She would do the same at the cologne stand, the biscuit stand, the margarine stand, the cereal stand, and all other stands. Her husband also had his preferred brands and flavours and she would ensure she got him those too. Of course, she had to cater to her own preferences as well. For her, monthly shopping was a jamboree, not just time and energy sapping but also money draining.
They continued that way for years. Until their first child gained admission into a university overseas and they realised they couldn’t afford to sponsor her despite their comfortable earnings. Convincing her to forfeit the admission and school in Nigeria, they promised to sponsor her post graduate studies in any university of her choice abroad.
Knowing they had just four years to plan, the couple returned to the drawing board. It seemed inconsequential at first but the decision to cut down on their monthly grocery shopping turned out to be the decision that saved the day.
It was hardly convenient as Yeni went from buying varieties to buying essentials. There was now one cereal brand/flavour on the fridge and everyone had to make do regardless of what they would have preferred. The money gained from cutting back on monthly shopping was invested in a mutual fund. Barely a year after, an opportunity dropped in their laps and they were amazed to discover that their mutual fund account had enough to purchase a saloon car which they signed up for a private taxi-service business. They subsequently decided to reinvest the proceeds in their mutual fund account. After about a year, they had enough to buy another car for the taxi business and another car the next year. By the time their first child secured admission for her post graduate studies in the United States, they were able to conveniently sponsor her education without breaking a sweat.
It seems too simple; can such a tiny decision make such a great difference? Yes! It is the little things that sap your resources without drawing your attention.
Looking to save more for that project on your mind? Try saving the little drops. Take your cable subscription for instance, you most likely have three or four top stations you watch every day and they are probably available on the economy family package. Why then do you subscribe for premium? Do you really need to have that many wristwatches? What about Friday night with the boys and always picking up the tab as a big boy that you are? You keep buying expensive hair extensions claiming you are investing but think about it sincerely, are you likely to actually keep reusing that extension or buy another one next month? Such seemingly little things are the little foxes that eat up your finances. Cut back on them, invest what you save and you will be on the way to financial freedom.
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