A COUPLE of days ago, on 31st October 2022, Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World Savings Day under the theme; “Sustainable Finance; Savings are globally diverse, we are united in responsibility”. I found this year’s theme quite insightful and thought of sharing a few tips from it.
When I heard this theme, an Ant came to mind.
The Bible in Proverbs 30:24-25 says “There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise; the ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer…”
Ants have mastered the art of doing little things consistently in order to achieve big results.
There are a number of saving lessons we can learn from ants that can help us to achieve big financial goals through doing little things.
The first lesson we can borrow from Ants is the importance of planning in our finances.
The scripture we referred to above says Ants store up their food in the summer.
The summer represents a time of plenty.
When Ants have plenty of food in the summer, they plan for the winter by storing up food knowing that a time will come when they may not have as much food and when the conditions will not be good enough for them to gather food.
We can learn from Ants and develop a habit of saving a portion of our income knowing very well that a time may come when we will not have as much or when we may not be strong enough to work for our income.
With this I will ask the question – are you saving for your retirement?
Be like an ant and plan for your future.
The second lesson we can draw from an Ant is the power of little in saving. Ants have an innate ability to store for the future in small portions.
The common proverb ‘filling a bucket, one drop at a time’ demonstrates the power of small but consistent efforts towards achieving big things in life.
The reason why many people find it difficult to save is that they normally want to save a significant proportion of their income right from the start.
From practice, this tends to be unsustainable because saving soon becomes a burden as opposed to being enjoyable.
We can learn from Ants and start small by saving little amounts that can easily help us to turn saving into an enjoyable habit.
By saving a little over a longtime, we can achieve big things.
The third trait that we can pick from Ants is the importance of discipline. Ants are much disciplined – they know how to distinguish between what is meant for consumption and what is meant for saving.
They are never destructed by the windfall in summer time.
We can learn from this by becoming more disciplined in our saving.
One way you can help yourself to develop this discipline is by automating your saving.
Set an automatic transfer on your current account to sweep a certain amount to your saving account every month.
This will help you to have less access to what you save.
The fourth lesson you and I can learn from ants is that they are consistent.
Ants carry things in very small quantities but because they do so consistently, they are able to do great things. Look at Ant hills, who would imagine that they are built by a creature so tiny. Similarly, when you are consistent with saving, no matter how small, you will be amazed by the kind of results you will be able to achieve. As I often mention on this platform, the power of saving is not in the size of the amounts but in the consistency with which you do it.
The fifth lesson we can learn from Ants is that they live below their means. During summer, the Ants have plenty of supply but instead of using this as a time to fatten themselves, they use it as a time to prepare for the future.
We can learn from Ants by living below our means in order to save for our future. Never live as if there is no tomorrow.
The aim should be to have enough saving to sustain you for at least six months in an event that you lose your job or your business collapses.
Lastly, Ants work as a team – they understand the importance of teamwork and the value of each team member.
Similarly, if you are married, it is important for you and your partner to tackle the issue of saving as a team and to be as open as possible about your saving goals.
By working as a team, you are likely to achieve greater results and to encourage each other to be consistent.
By following these lessons from ants, you can achieve big things by saving a little.
Be money smart and save for your future.
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