In most African families, discussing finances as a family is usually challenging especially when there’s a “bread winner” who takes care of all expenses. Family members usually don’t feel the need to contribute or save. If you’re the bread winner, there are a few things you can do to encourage your family to save.
1. Be transparent about your finances
Have a meeting and talk about your finances. Discuss money that comes in and goes out. After opening up about your finances, identify where there are leakages and expectations causing your family to live beyond their means. Make it clear that this is a family effort, and don’t single out anyone. Draw a weekly/monthly spending budget for each member of the family and keep a record of spending.
2. Set achievable financial goals
Setting goals can make the saving process more enjoyable and evident. Goals can include saving for a holiday together or buying something special for the home. Write these goals out on a large piece of poster paper and display it where everyone can see it. Refer to it often and highlight achieved goals as you accomplish them.
3. Have a loose change jar
Encourage everyone to dump loose change in a jar. It’s surprising how it can add up quick especially when everyone is chipping in. You can use the change for:
- Holiday savings
- Christmas gifts
- Birthday gifts
4. Cut back on takeaways and cook with your family
Eating out a lot can be costly. Refrain from this habit and involve everyone in the cooking process. This will bring you closer while cutting unnecessary costs. Get creative in the kitchen and create fun meals to make it enjoyable for everyone. Leaving all the cooking for the mother of the house gets frustrating and you’ll order more takeaways than usual.
Make easy dishes with fewer ingredients such as a stir-fry so that your kids can be involved at every stage and not lose interest. If your cooking sessions are fun, you’re family members will want to be a part of it and won’t feel the need to get takeaways.
5. Hold a savings competition
Compete with each other to see who can save the most. This is a great way to encourage your family to save. And reward the winner with a movie ticket or candy. This will help encourage the kids to save more.