We have stated a lot in relation to farm financial management and financial literacy for farmers. Financial literacy for farmers intends to equip farmers with the knowledge and understanding of financial matters of farming operations.
This ensures accurate, informed decision-making when it comes to aspects of financial planning, credit management and applications, investments decisions and savings.
Saving is one of the most important aspects of financial literacy as part of farm financial management.
Saving means putting aside a portion of your earnings for future use. In the case of farming, it could come in many forms but the discussion herein is specifically for the cash saved from livestock sales or salary for the part-time farmers who have earnings from farming and full-time employment.
Savings are necessary for what we call rainy days – to be used in times of financial scarcity and when an emergency arises.
The frequency of savings is at the liberty of the farmer. Savings require sacrifice and the forgoing of luxuries, practising delayed gratification, to ensure a better future and readiness when an emergency strikes.
Here, we apply the principle of starting right where you are and exactly with whatever you have. You can start very small.
Anything is better than nothing. Soon, it will all add up to something. For instance, as a farmer, you sell your livestock seasonally; most people sell in the first months of the year when the prices are favourable to sellers.
This means, depending on your planning, this sales income is the funds that are available for savings but also available for the expenditure of the farming operation for the whole year while you await the next best season to sell.
These funds will enable you as a farmer to run your monthly operations without having to run low on funds and being forced to sell your livestock more frequently than necessary.
This requires budgeting and strategic planning for at least a year to be able to know exactly how much to save and what you may require to ensure sustainable farming.
In the next column, we will look at the different saving options available.