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011. How to Save Money for a Rainy Day

Our conversation today is with Zainab. Zainab has been working in the financial sector for 7 years. She’s had various roles within the finance sector from investment banking, working in financial crime to a diversity & inclusion manager for a well known bank. Zainab shines a new light on the cliched term “save money for a rainy day” 😃

Episode Highlights with Zainab:

  • She discusses the state of affairs of minorities saving money
  • Simple actionable steps to make a budget work for you
  • How not to get frustrated on the journey to financial wellness

Show Transcript

Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Wellness Surge podcast with Dr. Adeola Oke. Each week we discuss our wellness journey with real people like you and me. We have conversations about food, fitness, mental health, financial wellness, and much more. So you can get back to the real you. To make sure that you’re up to date with this and other wellness topics, visit wellnesssurge.com. Information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of the information presented here without first speaking with your primary care. Now let’s head onto the show.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:00:35] Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Wellness Surge podcast. My name is Dr Adeola Oke. I’m your host for today, and I have the awesome Zainab with me, and we are going to be discussing how to save money for a rainy day. So Zainab has been working in the financial sector for about seven years now, and she has had various positions within the finance sector. From investment banking, working in the financial arena and now doing diversity and inclusion management for a well known bank.

She believes that financial wellness plays a critical role in our life because not having enough money can have affect your health and your wellbeing. So Zainab, thank you so much for being here all the way from the United Kingdom. Yay. So happy to have you! So say hi and welcome to our show.

Zainab: [00:01:27] Um, Salaam alaikum, everyone. Hope you’re all. Well, today I’m just going to be talking about how to save for a rainy day.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:01:35] Alrighty. Thank you Zainab. Alrighty. So based on your experience, right? Doing all sorts of things in the finance world and banking arena, what is the state of affairs of minorities saving money?

Zainab: [00:01:46] Well, first of alll, I would  like to say that I think a lot of minorities actually find it really hard to save money in the first place. And that’s probably because they are maybe doing jobs that well, they’re not really well paid in the first place. So it’s harder for them to save the money. I found majority of people, I would say the older generation, they save, but they don’t use the popular means of saving.

So, for example, you’d find that a lot of them would send money, um, back home to invest in properties or invest in businesses. For example, when they do retire, they can go back home and then, you know, that’s   their means of them making money. So, and then the need to find that generations such as like people, my generation.  When it comes to saving, they’re quite good at saving.

So for example: they’ll save for say like a mortgage, they’ll save for a deposit. They,…they would save for I don’t know, whatever it is that they need to save for those say for it. And then you have the generation after my generation.  They would save, but they would save for things like luxury goods or holidays. You know, it wouldn’t be something that’s like for them to use in the future, if that makes sense. 

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:03:08] tangible, right?

Zainab: [00:03:10] Yes. Yes.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:03:10] Okay. Okay. Alrighty. So in general, people find it sometimes a little difficult to save because they’re not making enough money. And if they do save, the older generation, they are saving it and sending it back. But the likelihood of the money being available back home, It’s not a hundred percent, right?

Zainab: [00:03:29] Yeah. It’s not a hundred percent. It depends on who they are actually sending the money to. And if the, you know, the person they’re sending the money to someone they trust. Or if they’re just spending the money and is being saved in say a bank account or company. Cause you do hear stories, a lot of stories about people that have sent money back home to like build something and then they’ve gone to wherever it  is and actually what they’re sending the money for hasn’t been done.  Whoever they’ve been sending the money to had taken the money or whatever. So you did get those sorts of situations, but it’s very unlikely.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:04:06] Okay. Cause that’s kind of sad. Is there like a right way to do it? And like, because if you’re saying people are saving, then that’s good.

But my own, from my own little experience, I, I’m not sure if people are really saving. Okay. So if they’re saving, that’s all good. Um, if people don’t change course, right. If they don’t start saving,  What will happen? What will continue to happen? Because from my experience, I don’t think  minorites are saving enough.

Right? And I feel like it continues to cost this generational gap of poverty, like this cycle of poverty and the other races and other majority group groups continue to. Um, be ahead of us… kind of thing. Right. And I feel it’s the time to change. Right.  The times we’re living in this is the time to change.

If there’s no other time, this is it. All right. So what do you say about that?

Zainab: [00:04:57] Um, let’s see, when it comes to save it. And I would say, for example, the example you just gave. If we don’t change pools, then it’s going to become a problem. It’s for example, like, you know, when you have generational wealth, like you have families that maybe they’ll buy a house and I know pass it on to their children and their children can then pass it on to their children’s children, et cetera. At the moment. that’s no t happening. Definitely. It’s not happening. Minorities are not saving enough money. And definitely, it does need to change. Not just for  like their generation, but for our generation and the generations to come. We do need to take advantage of, you know,  being able to maybe invest in stock markets.

And invest in properties. Like not just abroad, but like wherever you are. It’s, you know, you need to start at home. Um, what else? I would say  they need to invest especially when it comes to investing your children’s education as well, that’s very important. You need to invest in their children’s education. You need to invest in your children or teach them about finances.

Cause I think that’s a lot of it. When it comes to like finances, we don’t seem to talk about.  Even  within , you know, people that are married, they just assume that person is making X amount. You know, it’s really important, like with you and your spouse to say, actually, this is how much I’m making.

And, you know, if you are going to buy a property together, you need to make it very clear so that, you know, you’re not going to actually ,in the end, put yourself into debt.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:06:29] Yeah, absolutely. , I started giving my kids books on financing and trying to teach them about finances, like a year or two ago, like the older of my teenagers.

But when it comes to spouses, that’s a different case because the kids I can control. Right. Well, when it comes to spouses, sometimes you really just don’t know what your spouse is making. You’re like, ah, you just assume. And sometimes it causes friction. Right? And so you’re right. People both have to come to be on the same page.

And because from where we come from, right. People don’t always share. Right. Let’s be real here. People don’t always share. And that’s what- if  , we want to change. We all have to be transparent. Right. And. Come to the table with what you’ve got.  No hiding. No hiding kind of thing. So, yeah.

But yeah, that’s absolutely right. I totally, I got it. So do you have about three actionable steps, right? I’m not trying to sound cliched and stuff, but yeah. Do you have about three actionable steps that we can use to save money for a rainy day?

Zainab: [00:07:34] So the first thing I’d like to say regarding that is obviously the first step to saving money is actually know how much money you are spending in the first place. A lot of us don’t realize this, but we do spend money on non-essential things all the time. Be it, say, for example, you’re going to work Monday to Friday. You’d find yourself in, I don’t know, a coffee shop. You’d find yourself buying a sandwich or coffee or just, I don’t know, buying lunch every single day of the week.

Like by the end of the week, you don’t realize this, but  you would have probably saved at least a quarter or half of that money if you just brought lunch from home.  But I would definitely say know how much you’re spending in the first place. Um, and then also what I would say is you need to, it’s like, we all have bills, but we can all cut down on our bills.

So I would say maybe use like a comparison site to find like things like,-  I’m just going to give this example, payment insurance or car insurance, or like any type of bill that you pay. You can always find it cheaper, even if is only like, I don’t know, five pounds cheaper. Whatever you still save that money at the end of the day, my three tips on say the money would be outside. I live on a budget, put money aside. Even if it’s not, even if you’re not actually actively saving for something, but just put money aside, only spend money that you have. So try to live within your means and avoid things like buying things on credit cards or buy a thing or credit. Even if you are going to pay them back the amount of interest you’re going to get is not worth it. Yeah. Literally that’s what I would say. The three things that I would say.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:09:16] Okay. So let me just rephrase.  One. Have a budget. That has always been my problem. I have to be real here. That has always been my problem. I create the budget and there’s no… I guess I need to start using cash.

Right? I create a budget. I say, okay, this is how much is coming in. This is how much it’s going out. How am I going to. Like spend how much I think I need to start using cash. I think maybe that will be the smart thing. What do you think? Is that how you do it or how do you make it easy? Because for accountants and finance people, you guys make sounds so easy, but come on now, we, that we’re not used to stuff like that.

Break it down for us. Okay.

Zainab: [00:09:54] I think I was talking to my mum about this. And she said that a lot of peopl-. She surprised that actually people didn’t have to save, because my mom is like, she’s like me, basically. I’m a saver. And my mum is a saver as well. Um, I’m not sure about my dad. Yeah. I literally as soon as my money comes in, like I get paid.

What I do is I’ll put that money aside, the money that I’m saving. Literally, I would not touch that money. Like, and then whatever money I have left that’s outreach. Like, Hey, this is what I need to do this month. Or is there like anything I need to do this month that I would need like a large amount of money for if there’s not, then it’s literally case by case basis.

I would just be like, if I don’t need to buy it, I’m not going to buy it.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:10:39] Okay. Okay. Okay. So you’re right. I do. I pay myself first. Let’s yeah. We’re not going to get that wrong. I have white buses. It means comes out without even a automated that, because if you leave it to me, it’s not happening. So I automated that.

I’m not, I’m not as good as you. I will not put the money aside. No, I pay myself first  to meet that savings. And then what’s left is what I’m talking about. When you say, live within a budget. That’s a part I’m like, um, how do we… sometimes you just want to spoil yourself, right? So is there like an easy way it’s a do it?

Is, is cash, is a cash system the best way to do it. Or are there, other ways to do it with like, um, like a check card and stuff.

Zainab: [00:11:21] I mean, some people have like, some people will really go into detail. They literally have like spreadsheets, Excel to say, like, this is how much they have. This is how much they’re going to spend in a week.

So I think to make it easier for yourself, you could just go by what, by week basis. So you can say like this week I’m going to spend X amount of money and wherever I have left from this, you know, money from the first week, I might. Put it into my certain week and see whatever it is. And then, you know, just keep moving your money as you go along.

I mean, it’s not the easiest thing. It’s easier said than done. When you get into that mind frame, it is really easy. Like there’s nothing easier to actually save the money.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:12:00] Okay. No, that makes sense. That makes it easier for me now that you’ve broken it into actionable step. Like one week I can deal with that.

Okay. Maybe in about a month, one week seems like bite size. Totally do that. Seven days. I’m good. Right? I’m not going anywhere. So it’s only on the weekend. Like maybe spoil  myself. Right. And I spoil the kids. So yes, I can do that. Okay. That makes it easier. All right. I learned something. Okay. So that was number one, right?

Have a budget. Number two was-

Zainab: [00:12:32] put money aside,

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:12:33] put money aside. Okay. Yeah. I always say pay yourself first. Okay. There’s this guy. Listen to Robert Kiyosaki. Pay yourself first. So no. Okay. And then number three is.

Zainab: [00:12:43] Only spend what you have  yes. Avoid credit.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:12:48] Stop borrowing money to travel to places you couldn’t afford to go in the first place. I have had.

Yeah. I’m not even gonna go there, but yeah. Stuff like that happens. Okay. Awesome. Okay. Alrighty. So is there like, like I was talking about, right, this is all. People that I am the finance world. I’m like when I talk to my cousins or friends that are accountants, like, Oh, just have the budget. I’m like, Oh, come on.

But you’ve made it easy for me seriously by telling me. Take one week at a time because yeah, we all want to get- I feel like I need to get better at this because it’s not my background. When people start talking numbers, I’m like, well, what are you saying? I just do the basic, okay. So is there like a way not to lose faith. And not because like, Oh, I keep trying and I keep trying, is there any tips on how not to lose faith and not get frustrated in the whole process of like I’m saving?

It’s just not getting there. So. I don’t know. I’ve always like you talk about investment and stocks, right? I that’s something I struggle with, honestly, because I always think about how am I saving in halal funds right. And so like, I am, so do you have anything to say to that? Like how to not to get frustrated with this whole saving thing and saving properly where you, your money works for you, you’re not working for your money kind of thing.

Zainab: [00:14:08] I think the only thing could really say is that obviously, as I said, it’s not something that some people just, you know, you wake up when you do share away. It does take a lot of discipline and you just need to talk to yourself and, you know, say to yourself, like at the end of the day, like, you know, I could just either save this money for something I really need, or I could just blow all this money in one, go for like one luxurious item or.

But yeah, like it’s not easy, but you know, it’s a step by step. You just have to have faith in yourself first of all and just try and stick to the budget as much as you can. And obviously, um, I, for me, I think that finance does play a critical role in our lives. For example, like, you know, you find that not having enough money can actually sometimes impact on your life in a negative way.

You just need to live within your means. I know it’s easier said than done. Especially now, nowadays, but honestly, if you live within your means that you just find that things are just so much more easier and you’re just. You know, peaceful sleep at night and stuff like that. So, yeah.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:15:22] Okay. You’ve said that like twice I’m getting that, that’s one thing you want people to make sure they take away from this live within your means.

Am I correct? Okay. Alrighty. Very good. Very good. Thank you. So now, Thank you so much. Zainab. It was a pleasure having you here today and try, and I’m finally putting a face to the name. So thank you, Zainab. Um, you have a good day, everybody. I learned something seven days. I can do that.  Budget 7 days I can do that.

Totally. Alrighty. Well, y’all have a wonderful week and we’ll see you in the next episode. Goodbye.

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