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6 7You can re­duce your fuel costs by mak­ing sure your ve­hi­cle is ser­viced reg­u­larly. If the en­gine has to work harder to com­pen­sate for parts that are not work­ing at their op­ti­mum, this causes a fuel drag and in­creases your costs. You can also im­prove your driv­ing habits: main­tain a steady speed in­stead of ac­cel­er­at­ing and then sharply brak­ing; drive with all the win­dows wound up; and use the air con­di­tioner only when ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary.

8Bud­get for food price hikes. Mohr notes that food prices are likely to rise due to the weak rand and the drought. “Wheat and maize prices will prob­a­bly rise the most, so con­sumers should bud­get for dou­ble-digit in­creases in such food prices – bread and mealiemeal.”

9Cut med­i­cal costs. Use generic medicines wher­ever pos­si­ble. You can cut the amount you spend on medicines, es­pe­cially chronic med­i­ca­tion, by as much as 30% by choos­ing generic medicines. Some med­i­cal schemes make it com­pul­sory to use a generic if it is avail­able on the mar­ket, but check with your doc­tor first. Be mind­ful of the cost of run­ning a ve­hi­cle. Bear in mind that a ve­hi­cle with more af­ford­able and eas­ily avail­able parts will be less ex­pen­sive to in­sure. If the car is not man­u­fac­tured lo­cally, parts will have to be im­ported, which in­creases your costs. The Kin­sey Re­port is a good gauge of parts prices for dif­fer­ent ve­hi­cle brands and is avail­able on the AA’s web­site: aa.co.za/on-theroad/re­ports/kin­sey-re­port.html

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