I have always kept a piggy bank. My first piggy bank was a furry toy, which resembled a cute gremlin. I would stuff it with any coins and notes I received as gifts from my parents and relatives. And during Christmas time, I would pour it out and count how much I had saved and buy myself something nice – a jigsaw puzzle or a book.

Today, I still keep a piggy bank. No, I am not joking. It’s the three piglets’ house, with the big bad wolf creeping around the entrance waiting for an opportunity to eat one of them. It’s filled with coins, from 10p to 1cedi. This is my mini household fund, which I use to cater for little groceries needed around the house. Savings has been with me since childhood.

Today, things have changed. As one grows, so does the need to save more for future projects. Whether it’s to buy a new car, finance your future education, get married or finance a business idea. All these require financial planning and a good savings plan towards achieving that goal. Some say, ‘Money has wings. It goes where it wishes’. Without the right savings controls and plans, this can be true. I believe that as a woman, getting my finances right is key. This enables me to have funds in case of emergency and to see to my everyday needs. It also teaches me to manage my future family financial needs with my husband.

A good financial plan helps me to invest for wealth generation for my future children. That’s why I decided to buy a plot of land after saving a bonus paid by my previous company. This land can serve as a source of generational wealth to generate income for my children. I think that buying land is a great way to grow and accumulate wealth because the value of land keeps increasing.

Saving doesn’t come without challenges. Keeping records of every expense to ensure that I don’t overspend can be daunting. I decided I needed to know how much I had spent every month and what to cut out of my expenditure. I started keeping a little book to record every expense and soon that book got forgotten. Then, I bought and downloaded an iOS App called Expense, which was great! It categorized my expenses and I could see my total expenses and income in a month. I forgot about it for a while, but I am back on it. But one thing I was sure about was that I wasn’t spending more than my earnings and I was channeling the rest of my salary into my savings.

Why this post on savings and investments? I am taking up the Barclays Savings Challenge to save towards a particular goal. I will be sharing my journey towards my financial goal on Facebook, Twitter and my blog. What is my financial goal? I’m saving towards my wedding next year. Weddings are expensive. And, although I am all for a cost effective wedding, I also believe that saving towards the day itself is key for unplanned expenses.

Follow the hashtag #AfricaSaves on social media and let’s get talking about the challenges in savings and how to overcome them.

Do you have challenges in saving? What are they? How are you overcoming them? Please share in the comments below.

This article is the first in a series of sponsored posts for the Barclays Savings Challenge. Follow the discussion on Twitter and Facebook and share your own experience by using #AfricaSaves.

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