When I read in Esther’s blog that one Omobolanle Adeyemo managed to save up ₦224K in her money box in just a year, I was too stunned to speak. I was amazed to learn she had even saved up ₦101K only a year before… I mean, that’s quite a lot of money to save up in a year!
Saving in money boxes (or kolo, as we Nigerians mostly call it) was something I loved doing as a kid. It was also how I got my first smartphone in late 2015 – and how I got my second smartphone two years later after the first one was stolen.
A kolo doesn’t necessarily have to be like those fancy money boxes children use in the movies. Yours can be more… traditional.
As far as I’m concerned, a kolo is practically any container that has a slot that’s wide enough for you to put in your money but narrow enough to stop you from taking out that money. And while some people prefer to buy theirs, some others, like me, prefer to make it themselves.
Seeing as I couldn’t afford a proper kolo when I was little, I made myself one from empty tin cans and plastic water bottles. The experience was always exciting because it wasn’t just me that did it. My friends also did theirs, then we would all take up a challenge to save up as much as we could throughout the year.
Then on Christmas Eve, we would break our kolo and the person with the lowest savings would buy the others a Christmas gift each as some sort of punishment for coming last.
This challenge my friends and I did years ago is similar to the one Omobolanle has challenged herself and her Facebook friends to do.
She calls her challenge the #PiggyBankProject and has provided some useful tips on how to save money for anyone who would like to join #PiggyBankProject2019.
Her tips are:
- “Start today. No procrastination. You never achieve or enjoy the dividends of what you’ve never started.
- How do you start? If you can’t get one at the moment, start with using a plastic bottle. My kolo for this year has been bought already. This is how committed I am to starting on the first day of the year.
- Try as much as possible to put in notes daily; loose notes that you’ll normally spend on frivolities or money from side hustle, cash gifts etc.
- No low domination notes, please. If you must put this into your bank, please have a separate piggy bank for this. The goal here is to get as much as possible at the end of your saving period. Low denomination notes would ruin this.
- Be committed to this. This sounds cliché but you wouldn’t go far in this without discipline. Discipline would keep you in check, prevent you from breaking your bank before your due date.
- It doesn’t matter if you have to break your bank earlier than your probable date to meet a need. That’s the whole essence of this project – to have money handy to meet you during your rainy day.
- Think of the joy of delaying gratification while saving. This would sustain you while you save.
- Remove your savings before any expense. This would prevent you from saving after you’ve spent all your earnings or saving below your target.
- Piggy banks are different from investment plans. I can’t stress this enough. The money in your piggy bank does NOT grow. You only get accumulated funds of what you’ve saved over a period of time.
- Keep your piggy bank away from thieves and external persons. My hubby did an excellent job in helping sage guarding my bank when I was away.
Remember, anyone can develop financial discipline (that includes you!), it just takes a willingness to change and develop new habits. When you do, your finances will take a turn for the better – you’ll have more money, save more money, and build more financial security for you and your family.
So, here is wishing all of you an amazing 2019 filled with accomplished dreams, favours, happiness and love. May you get the courage to pursue all your dreams this new year.
And when it’s finally December 2019, may you look back with gratitude in your hearts, praise in your lips and joy in your hearts.
Have an amazing year! Lots of love.”
That being said, I challenge you, my friends, to decide now to save as much as you possibly can this year. You never know when you would badly need the money.
So start a money box savings plan today, and I assure you that you won’t regret making this decision when the time comes for you to break your box.
I wish you success!
(Below are some pictures Omobolanle put up on her Facebook wall. I hope they inspire you to get your own kolo today.)
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