By Kaya 959 Lifestyle
The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic has made a lot more people think twice about how they spend their money.
Job security fears have also added to people’s anxiety.
A 2020 survey by research company ADNA found that two-thirds of South Africans are unable to save.
The pandemic has made things worse for household finances, but is it possible to save on a tight budget?
“In reality, it is getting harder to save, but if you do not save and you happen to lose your job, you will be in a far worse position than you would be had you started saving,” says Gerald Mwandiambira, chief executive of the South African Savings Institute.
Let’s look at practical ways to save some cash.
Do your washing in bulk
Whether you are washing your laundry or dishes, you can reduce your water and electricity bill by washing in bulk. This will save you lots of money over a long period.
When it comes to your car
– Wash your car at home. Save yourself some cash by washing your own car at home.
You might think car wash is not that expensive, but the money that you spend on paying for car wash could add up to quite a lot of money over a long period.
When it comes to shopping, there are several things to look out for.
– Compare prices and shops. Don’t just buy things from one store but do price comparison.
– Be mindful of sales and buy only what you need. It’s wiser to buy on sale, but make sure you are not just buying because something is marked ‘sale’.
– Don’t forget to buy quality products to avoid wasting money on products that will soon need replacements.
Pay credit within the no-interest period
If you have a credit card that offers a no-interest period, make sure you pay within that period. Interest can end up costing you a lot of money, which you could have avoided.
When it comes to your accounts and loans, also make sure you don’t skip payments or delay payments, to avoid having to pay penalties.
Reduce electricity usage
There’s no denying that electricity costs a lot in South Africa. By cutting down your electricity usage, especially in the kitchen, you can save yourself a lot of money.
– Use a microwave instead of the stove. A microwave oven is not only fast, but can also have a significant impact on electricity consumption. This is because a microwave oven uses less energy than conventional ovens and stoves.
– Cover your pots with a lid to avoid losing energy.
– Don’t use a small pot on a large burner. You will be wasting heat.
– Cook in bulk and freeze the food. This will reduce your electricity bill and even save you time.
Entertain yourself at home
You would be surprised how much money you can save by not going out for entertainment. Instead of going to the cinema to watch a movie, hire one. Instead of eating take-aways, cook. Entertainment doesn’t have to be costly.
However, if you do happen to go out, stick to your budget.
Sell your old stuff
If your house is full of stuff you don’t use, you can sell them and put the money in your savings account.
Grow your own vegetable garden
Reduce your grocery bill and save yourself some money by growing your own vegetables. The other benefit of this is that you will be eating fresh, organic veggies.
Take your own lunch to work
Buying lunch at work can end up costing you a lot over time. Ensure that you save money by packing your own lunch. If you like snacks, make sure you also stock up on those and take them to work as well.
Do you have any other clever ways to save money? Share with us in the comments section below.
Become DIY savvy
Before calling out to do repairs in your home, consider doing it yourself. While some repair jobs around the home require a professional, some can be easily fixed but watching a YouTube video or Googling “how to”. There are many resources on the internet that can help you figure things out.
Try the 52-week savings challenge
The 52-week savings challenge is one of the easiest and smartest ways to save money. If you are committed, you could save up to R14 000 in a year.
How it works is that you save a set amount of money each week for 52 weeks. You start off with R10 the first week then move to R20 the following week etc. By the end of week 52, you should have managed to save more than R10 000.
But remember to be committed and faithful to the challenge.