It has gradually become some sort of tradition in Sierra Leone for January to be tagged as the most financially difficult month of the year. Unfair but still widely believed since December is when everyone blows steam; folks are left with little funds to go through the first month of the year.
Cash is the most valuable asset of any business and young professionals need to develop healthy financial habits if they’re to build anything serious. Young Sierra Leonean professionals living and practicing in a culture that has accepted January to be difficult, it is vital to be disciplined and not sail with the tides of the times.
Here are 4 principles that, if followed will help young professionals be financially organized:
- START LIVING FRUGALLY:The first step to financial discipline is to track your spending, get a journal/diary or open notes in your phone and pre-plan your purchases for each week. Then you cross out what you can live without because the life of your career depends on it.Freetown is a busy place and the people who want to get things done should move around faster, with that in mind you must remember to watch how much you spend on fares and fuel. Stay away from bikes as much as possible and stick to cheaper forms of transport like taxi’s and keke’s, if you drive; use shorter routes this month and get at least one day every week that is exclusively a “no driving day”. You could also challenge yourself to not buy at supermarkets this month and see how much you’ll end up saving.
- STOP GOING OUT!This is important if you are looking to survive notorious January, this will probably make you feel like you’re going to die if you’re an extrovert, but to grow financially you need to start exploring life outside the social scene.As hard as it sounds those bars, clubs, restaurants and hangouts are draining your wallet of otherwise useful 100-200k which when added could so easily be, in the millions by month’s end. To not sentence yourself to a life of nothing this month, you could use that energy to other productive goals. Make a fitness goal.
- EAT AT HOME
This is perhaps the hardest place to apply restraints. Appetites and cravings hit harder than heavyweight boxers. They break spending habits and New Year’s resolutions easily. You should put your money where your mouth is – but take your calculator along.
Here’s a commitment you could make; eat breakfast and dinner at home this month as much as possible.
- NEGOTIATE SMARTLY
Negotiating doesn’t mean you’re cheap; it goes to show you’re making an effort to stick to a budget.
Whenever possible try to get the lowest price. When making a purchase; get different dealers and options rather than taking the first available one. If this develops into a habit, it will be a valuable skill.
- GET VALUABLE PARTNERS
It is time to start thinking about partnering with businesses that will boost your productivity as you save money this month and make financial plans for the year.
BSI for example offers co-working spaces which are alternatives to traditional office spaces.
With a co-working space, you don’t have to worry about Wi-Fi bills, electricity bills and/or getting an office space setup every day.
Taking advantage of good promotions offered at BSI offers great value to young professionals who are looking to survive the January blues!
Following these guidelines will help you cruise through January and the whole year with ease.
Check out our amazing deals.
Nothing good comes easily, a bit more discipline, a bit more consistency that’s all you need to break cultural cycles of January hardship and develop helpful habits.
Little Commitments Make Big Differences.