Tips to help you save
TRY TO FIND BETTER WAYS TO BE MORE PRUDENT
Consumers are under an immense amount of pressure with rising fuel and energy costs and commodity prices. Insurance is often one of the first costs to be cut when budgets are tight. This can have massive financial implications.
It’s imperative to rather investigate more cost-effective options, re-prioritise spending and adapt your budget to make allowance for the ever-increasing cost of living. – make a list, create weekly meal plans, avoid shopping at convenience stores and compare each item’s cost before buying it. Buy VAT-free items like fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, rice, maize meal and brown bread, and avoid imported or out-of-season products.
– beware of getting caught up in specials and discounts. Even a really good deal costs money. Have a plan and a budget going to prevent getting carried away. Set a limit to how long you spend online and check marketing emails from stores, to avoid unnecessary temptation.
– free apps make budgeting and tracking your spending easy. Some examples are: 22seven, MyFinancialLife, Sage Pastel My Money, Spending Tracker and Money Mammals® Save for a Goal.
– it can become a habit a few times a week. Simple meal planning and cooking in bulk can ease the strain on your energy and wallet.
– at 110km/h your car uses up to 25% more fuel than it would cruising at 90km/h. Keeping a safe following distance, avoiding harsh braking and acceleration and regular vehicle maintenance checks, could save as much as 40% on your fuel spend.
– take advantage of discounts and special offers on movies and shows to meals at restaurants and places of interest. Sign up for newsletters that advertise the latest promotions. Pack snacks whenever possible to avoid paying the high cost of convenience items.
– going to the movies could mean a bill of hundreds of rands if you get popcorn, drinks and sweets for the whole family. With access to dozens of movies and series now easier than ever, enjoy that cinematic experience in your own home rather than in a theatre – refreshments included.
– instead of going out for dinner with friends, have a bring-and-braai, brunch or tea at home. Making finger sandwiches, popping a cake in the oven and putting out a few bags of chips is a cheap, cheerful way to entertain. – a leaking tap, water left running, inefficient bulbs or lights and appliances left on unnecessarily could cost the planet and your pocket dearly.
– paying off your debts will help free up money for day-to-day expenses and saving. Pay off smaller debts – once they’re gone, it frees up money for the next-smallest debt, etc. Pay non-negotiable debts – eg your home loan and car repayments. Pay debts with the highest interest rate first – this can help make monthly repayments more manageable. Susan Steward is marketing manager of Budget Insurance.