In your early twenties and thirties you’re so explosive with energy that you genuinely believe you could one day, prayers and nightly toil permitting, rule the world. These are the days of bars and boozy nights filled with conversations about what you might do given the right opportunity and a moment of despair is a productive session wasted. Every fibre in your being is dedicated to living your best life, no matter what it may be.
At this point it may not occur to you that to live your best life through 50 and 60 and 70, you’ll need to put a little aside every month or so. If the life you lead is so intoxicating that you postpone your duty to save till your pay increases substantially, you’re making a mistake with grave consequences.
No matter how late you’ve left it, there’s no time like the present to make a new beginning. Here are some tips to guide you along the way.
As Plato said in The Republic, “The beginning is the most important start of the work.” It really doesn’t matter how much you earn, because you’re saving for the future, not for rent next month. If you commit to putting twenty thousand naira away for a year, at the end of the year, you’ll have N200,000, which isn’t that small a sum of money. And let’s not forget that you won’t just leave it sitting in a hole underneath your bed. If you put that money on FINT, you could earn as much as N78,000 in your first year, and in your second year you’d earn as much as 108,420 and that would bring your 200k to just over 360k. That’s what anyone with half a brain would call making your money work for you. That’s why they say the more you invest when you’re young the better your returns.
PAY YOURSELF FIRST
Procrastination and productivity are mutually exclusive. If you’re procrastinating then you’re not being productive and if you’re being productive, chances are you’re not procrastinating. The same should be applied to your attitude to retirement. The moment you get paid, don’t wait. Take out a percentage or a lump sum and send it to your platform of choice. That way, whatever comes up that month, you know you’ve met your obligation to your future.
CUT THE CRAP
We all have certain expenses that don’t make sense. Costly habits accumulated over the years that bring no measurable value to us and the world at large. A good example of this is Charlie. He’s a guy that likes to cut his hair every 3 days, and each hair cut costs N1,500, and that adds up to N182,500 a year. Truth be told, he could cut it once a week and there’d be no visible difference. His edges would stay just as sharp as they are now. If Charlie takes our advice and cuts his hair every seven days as opposed to every three, then he stands to save N104,286. And if he signs up to be a lender on FINT, then he could grow that by as much as 36% every year.
UP THE ANTE
It’s often said that we’re creatures of habit. We like to dedicate ourselves to a set of actions without considering that it may be time to change them. As you progress in your careers, you must remember to increase the amount you stash away for your holiday years with every pay raise.
With these tips, you won’t be far off from having the retirement fund of your dreams.