Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PERSONALFINANCE -

A per­son who has made it a pri­or­ity to save is some­one who plans ahead, knows their weak­nesses and is cost-con­scious, Der­ick Fer­reira, the head of prod­uct man­age­ment at Old Mu­tual, says.

◆ Plan ahead. A per­son with a plan­ning mind­set goes shop­ping with a list that’s based on a meal plan. That way, you plan to eat in, rather than eat out and you avoid buy­ing last-minute take-aways for din­ner and waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture from buy­ing with­out a meal plan in mind, he says. “Buy what you need and only what you need. Be dis­ci­plined when you shop and com­mit­ted to your bud­get. Don’t spend more than you have al­lo­cated to spend.”

◆ Know your weak­nesses. If you en­joy in­dulging your chil­dren, or find it hard to say no to them, don’t take them shop­ping with you. And if you en­joy in­dulging your­self, don’t shop on an empty stom­ach, he says. “Or you might be a sucker for a spe­cial deal like those ‘buythree-get-one-free’. It may well be a sav­ing to buy in bulk, but only if you can af­ford it. Re­mem­ber, you need only one, not three.” It may seem triv­ial, but the point is that all those lit­tle spe­cials and treats for your­self or your chil­dren add up – and you could be al­lo­cat­ing that money to­wards an in­vest­ment to fund your chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion or your re­tire­ment.

◆ Be cost-con­scious. Check your bank state­ments and tally up all your costs and charges. Con­sider if you could be on a more cost-ef­fec­tive ac­count. Check all your debit or­ders to make sure they are all le­git. If you have both a land­line and a cell­phone, con­sider if you need both. When you be­come due for an up­grade on your cell­phone, con­sider for­go­ing the up­grade if it means buy­ing an­other top-of-the-range phone. Con­sider what you could save by not in­cur­ring that ex­pense.

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