The Richest Man in Babylon is one of the simplest and most relatable books on personal financial management. It’s a good resource to refer to if you are looking to start your personal finance journey or you just want to get a refresher on managing your income. Every time I think of the book, I remember one of its first principles: start thy purse to fattening, which encourages paying oneself first before making any other payment.


Saving is a practice many of us have been encouraged to adopt but how many of us save actively? Putting aside some money for future needs, wants, and emergencies may just make the difference between what you have now and what you desire tomorrow.


Times have been tough and for many people, their income keeps getting eroded as the economy worsens. With the rising cost of living, one tends to spend more to purchase the same items that they had recently paid less for. Also, income doesn't always rise to meet inflation and this presents a problem. So many people are managing to stretch their income and saving money is probably the last thing they want to consider. Saving funds provides a potential income source for the future but how does one save from an already stretched income when there are pressing needs all around? Cultivating a savings habit is key because we will never arrive in the future and find money that we have not saved up.


Everyone can save irrespective of how much their income is. Many people are discouraged from saving because their income is stretched and they don't see how they can save when they have so many things to pay for. The key is to remember that saving today, no matter how little, will provide for the future. One must also get creative about expenses and earnings.


Cultivating a savings habit is an essential skill that can help you achieve financial stability and security. Here are some steps that you can take to cultivate a savings habit:

  1. Set a goal: Setting a goal (a well-thought-out and inspiring one) makes it easier to start and maintain a savings habit. Your goal could be as simple as saving a specific amount of money each month or saving up for a specific purchase. What the goal does is motivate you to keep saving because you know what you want to achieve


  1. Create a budget: A budget helps you identify how much money you truly have available by considering your inflows and expenses. Creating a budget can help you identify areas where you can cut back on expenses and save more money. It also helps if you factor saving into your budget


  1. Automate your savings: You can set up a direct debit instruction from your main account to a dedicated savings account each month (this could even be an account with another financial institution). That way, you don't have to think about separating the amount earmarked for savings by yourself, it just happens as you have programmed it to


  1. Track your progress: You should monitor your savings regularly to see how much you are saving and how close you are to reaching your goal. You should also consider the interest on your savings to ensure that you are getting good returns, otherwise you should find a better savings vehicle. This will encourage you to maintain the habit. Celebrate small milestones to stay motivated


  1. Find ways to save: Look for ways to save money. You could actively seek out discounts so you pay less for essential items, buy goods in bulk, or cut out every unnecessary expense. The more you save, the more you can put towards your savings goal


  1. Avoid unplanned expenses: Try to avoid impulse purchases and unnecessary expenses. Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it is something you need or if you can do without it. Don’t be fooled because an item has been offered on sale. If you weren't going to buy it at its original price, it should not become attractive on sale


  1. Commit to your goals: Cultivating a savings habit takes time and effort, but it is worth it in the long run. Stay committed to your goal and keep working towards it, even if it means making some sacrifices in the short term


You can develop a savings habit by following these steps and start the journey of achieving your financial goals. Remember that consistency and discipline are key to success, and with time and effort, you can develop a healthy savings habit that will serve you well for years to come.

Gbubemi is a contributing writer to

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