One of the most important factors of individual and family stability is having a savings culture that ensures financial stability, the ability to meet the necessary living needs, and provides a safety net for emergency financial requirements.
In light of the financial fluctuations that the world is going through, from stagnation at times and inflation at other times, everyone must reconsider their financial positions with regard to actual spending while raising awareness about rationalising spending, and moving towards alternative goods in line with their standard of living.
The inflation rate in the Sultanate of Oman rose, at the end of April of this year, to 2.7 per cent compared to April of last year, according to the data of the monthly survey of consumer prices issued by the National Center for Statistics and Information. Although the level of inflation is less, compared to other Gulf countries, it has had a noticeable impact on the level of the local market and on the purchasing power.
According to the recent World Bank report the spending on food accounts for 24 per cent of the household budget in the Sultanate of Oman, which is the highest percentage in the GCC countries. Another report by Pricewaterhouse Consulting also found that housing, food and transportation account for 70 per cent of the total expenditure of individuals in Oman, compared to 57 per cent in the Gulf countries as a whole.
Hence, enhancing financial awareness among members of society, and developing a culture of savings is important. This is because most of the problems that afflict social and family stability often result from the financial crises of the individual or family, the inability to fulfil their responsibilities and the lack of proper financial planning when borrowing or accumulating consumer debts.
Therefore, experts and specialists in financial affairs urge individuals to save and develop tight financial plans to control consumption that facilitate the individual to reach their goals with greater comfort.
According to financial experts, before knowing how to save, you must determine the amount you want to collect and its purpose. This purpose may be emergencies, travel, or business. Knowing this purpose may be the best incentive for us to discipline and continue to save money.
For a start, divide your salary at the beginning of each month. Among the divisions, put aside an amount designated for saving, and do not use it during the days of the month. By preserving it, even if it is a small part, you will gradually be able to save a larger part of the money.
There are various rules for saving, but the most famous one is the rule of 50:30:20. It urges you to determine one third of your salary for financial obligations, one third for saving, and one third for emergencies. Although this rule may not be consistent with the nature of the current life, which consumes the salary immediately, and fills with irresistible temptations, you can add entertainment along with emergencies.
In order to achieve your savings goals, you need to get into the habit of comparing the prices of the goods and services you consume on a daily basis, such as food, fuel, clothes, phone, and others.
Experts believe that one should be introduced to the concept of smart shopping. It means knowing the ways that contribute to reducing the value of the shopping bill, such as preparing a list of purchases to avoid the rush to buy unwanted products, and using discount coupons to buy the necessary products or take advantage of good offers.
Also, beware of rushing to buy at times of sale, as this can be a trap. So even in these times, one should be satisfied with buying only the things he needs, and not paying attention to other goods, regardless of the size of the discounts.