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Getting in Shape for a strong financial future, make it make cents!

close up of coins stacked on each other

You’ve probably heard enough already about finances, I know. I am also intrigued by how much it’s discussed, but I’m curious as to why it’s discussed all the time. Perhaps people haven’t fully grasped the whole concept and it needs to be repeated several times for people to listen and act on it?

As young people, it’s easy to fall into the trap of living in the moment and not thinking too much about our financial futures. However, the truth is that becoming financially fit is an essential step towards securing a stable and prosperous future.

In Rwanda, where youth make up the majority of the population, it is especially essential to start teaching financial literacy and healthy habits at a young age. We can set ourselves up for long-term success and achieve our financial goals by taking the time to educate ourselves about money management and establish healthy financial habits. So, let’s dive into some financial fitness strategies and tricks for securing a strong financial future.

Kick things off with a budget!

The first step to financial success is creating a budget. Make a list of your monthly expenses, including rent, food, transportation, and any other bills. Be honest with yourself about where most of your money is going, and see if there are any areas you can cut back. Then, set a budget for each category and stick to it. You can use a budgeting app or a simple pen and paper to keep track of your spending.

Eugenie Nkundimana, a student at the University of Rwanda Huye campus says having a budget have saved her from countless shopping sprees and unnecessary spending.

She says, “I think a budget made me realize how much I was spending on unnecessary things. I used to spend money without really seeing that I would need it later cause I had it. But when I could not pay certain bills because I have run out of money… I got my life straight.”

Maybe you are like Nkundimana, maybe you see a cute dress in a shop and buy it without really thinking about it twice because you have the money. They key is budgeting!

Save, save, save

Saving money is crucial for building a strong financial future. Even if you’re just starting out, try to save a portion of your income each month. Set a savings goal and work towards it. You can start by putting your money into a savings account or investing it in a mutual fund. When you start seeing your savings grow, you’ll be motivated to keep going.

Statistics show in the percentage of people that save only 13% are young people. The Rwanda Social Security Service (RSSB), shows that young people do not participate in long-term savings in the Ejo Heza program, compared to the situation in other categories of the population.

Tumukunde Vivine, who studies at the University of Rwanda, Department of Accounting, says that the problem is not money, but lack of access to information is what makes the number of young people who save still low.

“Savings don’t cost a lot of money. You can save small amounts which will generate interest over a period of time. You know, the money we receive [scholarship] is sometimes seen as insufficient, but you can save a little today just to plan for tomorrow.”

Master the art of investing like a boss

Investing might sound scary, but it’s a great way to make your money work for you. Start by learning about the basics of investing and the different types of investments available, like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. You can also attend workshops or talk to financial advisors to get more information. Remember, investing involves risks, so make sure to do your research and invest wisely.

As I wrap this up, getting financially fit is an essential step towards building a strong financial future. By creating a budget, saving money, being smart with credit, learning about investing, you can set yourself up for success. So don’t wait – start taking control of your money today and watch your financial fitness grow. Make it make cents!

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