By Michael Kanaabi Dollar
The Covid 19 lockdown experience and the untold suffering that came with it as basic needs became out of reach for most hand to mouth or daily income earners in urban areas that became jobless was a life-changing experience.
“ It is as a result of this that we the founders of Nazzikuno Charity Foundation decided to start a micro-savings project dubbed Afford to prevent another crisis among low-income earners like was the case in the lockdown when they had no money to buy, sugar, salt, soap and other necessities having been rendered jobless and incomeless by the lockdown,” Tonny Ssenfuma Chairman and Founder Nazzikuno Charity Foundation said.
Speaking during the launch of this savings scheme at Busega Community, Lindon Natukwasa an Entrepreneur, Speaker and ICT trainer advised community members to record and watch carefully all their income and expenditure. He said, “Many times when you make proper records and analysis of these figures, you will realise you are spending more than you should on at times unnecessary items minus doing any savings.”
As a result after spending on the basic necessities daily, it is also important for one to put aside some money in savings however small it may be daily.
All this Natukwasa said starts with a personal decision to take a step against all odds which will involve personal sacrifice as you go along the way but the results will be worth it especially when it comes to savings.
“For example, something as simple as choosing between buying more stock in your retail shop instead of taking out your family to a funky dinner may help you grow your business and afford the luxuries you want later. The same is the case with for example postponing a decision to buy a car and acquiring a plot instead which accumulates in value.”
Take decisions that will help you save and invest while keeping a good record of your finances, he emphasized.
Chartered Accountant and Entrepreneur Dorcus Nakiganda Bateefu another keynote speaker at the event advised all those in attendance to indulge in businesses they are passionate about as this makes it easy when it comes to perseverance in the hard times and also keeps one learning continuously and improving because of that genuine interest.
Bateefu said the same principle should be applied to starting a saving culture and sticking to it at an individual level. “You will need to sacrifice a lot to save daily and consistently and this will include cutting down on personal costs and luxuries. With an objective you intend to achieve like expand your business, acquire a plot of land or expand your current project well laid out, the burden will be a little easier she noted.
On top of that, separating personal cash from business finances is key to achieving savings goals and sustainability, reinvestment of profits especially in the early stages of a business will help it grow faster and achieve one's desired goals she added.
Clement Kizza a prominent local Leader in the Busega Kibumbiro Community urged his subjects present not to despise humble beginnings and small jobs because it is from these that one can realise an income to build their savings and get capital for bigger projects.
When it comes to savings, one should follow up on the money they are going to save besides endeavouring to diversify their sources of income and staying focused on their savings goal to achieve their original objective.
Samuel Katamba Nazzikuno Charity Foundation's Head of Programs said they intend to build on Afford’s savings program to encourage more savings in the community and create creditworthy members that can not only access loans from the program but outside it as well given the good savings track record they will have.
With members allowed to save a minimum of 500 shillings daily, the program is open to all, you simply need consistency to be able to save whatever amount you commit to doing consistently so as to achieve your goals besides being assured of accessing basic necessities from member shops on credit when the need arises Katamba concluded.
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