The Top 12 Money-Saving Strategies in South Africa 

If there is one issue that almost everyone agrees on, it is that they should save more money and spend less. This is much easier to say than it is to do, especially once money is already tight; however, several simple actions can be taken to make the work easier. Here are a few simple money-saving tips to apply as a 

Make Self-pay a Priority

Paying yourself first is possibly the most effective way to reduce costs and save money. Aim to save at least 10% of your gross before-tax income. If you treat your savings like any other bill, you will develop the habit of saving and will be well on your way to having established an emergency fund or nest egg sooner than later. 

Saving money by automating the process is a good way to ensure that users meet their financial goals. Set up a direct debit so that a predetermined amount of money is transferred from your regular salary into a savings account that is completely isolated from your checking account at the start of each month. 

Start Keeping Record of How You Use Your Money

You should be able to cut your overall spending if you are cautious about how and where you spend your cash. To gain a better understanding of your current spending habits, keep a record of the amount of cash you spend each day as well as the debit orders you have set up. 

The next step is to figure out which of your expenses are necessities and which are desires. Keep in mind that your needs must come first. If you have some money left over after leaving aside a certain amount of money, you are free to spend it on whatever you want. You may find that using a template, such as one of Microsoft’s free personal budgeting templates, makes it easier to keep track of it and manage your budget. 

Inspect the Terms Relating to Medical Aid and Insurance, as Well as Bank Charges

You could save thousands of rand per year if you check your medical aid, insurance, and banking expenses every year and either start negotiating better rates or shop around for better offers. It is in your best financial interest to try to negotiate lower rates or to shop around for better medical aid deals. insurance for home construction – Furthermore, ensure that your home’s stock is up to date and needs to undergo regular audits to avoid over-insuring your valuables. 

Bank charges, including facility and credit card fees; don’t be afraid to inquire about the many products available and how fees are packaged together. You can save even more money by avoiding other banks’ ATMs and if at all possible, enrolling in a fully automated bill-paying service to avoid incurring late fees. 

Cut Your Cellphone Costs

Keep track of how much you spend on your phone, how many calls you make, and how much data you use for a few days. The next step is to see whether you are currently enrolled in the best plan or bundle. You should also consider turning off your phone at certain times of the day, and you should search for and delete any application forms that use data without your knowledge. The amount of money saved as a result of this may be several hundred rands. 

Beware of Your Car Expenses

Regular maintenance on your vehicle increases its lifespan and lowers the likelihood of major expenses in the next 3 to 4 years. 

Currently, South Africans spend a larger portion of their earnings on fuel than almost any other country. Also, do everything you can to reduce your fuel costs. For example, you can save money on petrol by planning your routes and consolidating your errands to reduce the number of trips you make. Make sure to have your car serviced at the recommended intervals (but shop around for a good deal on servicing). 

To reduce the amount of resistance your vehicle encounters, have the wheel alignment checked and make sure the tires are properly inflated. Furthermore, if you have the opportunity to relocate closer to your place of work, you should take advantage of it. Rather than spending money on things such as petrol and car maintenance, it makes more sense to invest in property, which is an investment that grows in value over time. 

Control Your Food Spending

You’ll have a better understanding of how much money you’re able to use on food and other necessities once you’ve completed your monthly budget. Maintaining this restriction can be accomplished by planning your meals ahead of time, making a shopping list, and then going shopping all at once. The key to successfully wanting to avoid temptation and excessive spending is to limit the amount of time you spend shopping as well as the number of separate shopping trips you make. 

Additionally, keep an eye out for and be aware of promotions. They can be useful if they are found on products you would have bought anyway. They may, on the other hand, cause you to make rash purchases. You can track sales at grocery stores online, for example, using Food Lovers Market, Checkers or Pick ‘n Pay. As we all know that these stores often have unbeatable promotion offers, so take advantage of these!

Reduce Your Electricity Usage

Eskom’s energy prices increased by around 460% between 2007 and 2020(not accounting for inflation). Even after adjusting due to inflation, the cost of electricity increased by another whopping 180% during that period. So, it is clear that electricity bills is one of the top expenses in South African households and it would be wise to try save on this.

You can save money on power by using some common sense techniques, such as the ones listed below: 

  • Reduce the number of times you access the refrigerator, and when you do, close the door as soon as possible after using it. 
  • Make the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, and when it comes time to replace appliances, invest in models with high energy efficiency ratings. 
  • Reduce the temperature of your geyser to less than 55 degrees celsius, and consider installing a timer (or manually switching it off and on).
  • When you are finished using the TV, appliances, or lights, make sure to turn them off. 
  • Make sure your home has adequate insulation; doing so could result in significant cost savings for heating and cooling. 
  • Always wash full loads and rinse with cold water to get the best possible results from your washing machine and dishwasher. 

Make Eliminating the Credit Card Debt You Owe a Priority

Carrying a balancing act on multiple credit cards can have a significant psychological impact. As a result, stop using credit cards and concentrate on paying off your debt one card at a time. After you’ve arranged the cards in order of interest rate, from highest to lowest, pay down the card with the highest interest rate first, then pay the most you can afford each month. In addition, look into the possibility of lowering your overall debt by making payments that are greater than the required minimum. This will result in a lower amount of payable interest. 

Transition to a Healthier Way of Life

Let’s face it, poor habits can cost a lot of money in the long run. In South Africa, for example, a single pack of premium brand cigarettes can cost up to R53. Quitting smoking would save approximately R1,590 per month or R19,080 per year for someone who smokes one pack of cigarettes per day at that price. Even half of that amount could be put to good use in the right circumstances. 

The same can be said for the compulsive daily consumption of alcoholic beverages, sugary sweets, and expensive takeaway coffees. If you are successful in breaking your bad habits, the money you would’ve spent on those behavioral patterns can be put to better use by assisting you in covering other expenses. You may also be eligible for lower premiums on your life insurance policy, and you will be able to lower your risk of contracting all kinds of diseases in the long run. This is most definitely a win-win situation.

If You Have a Home Loan, Make Additional Payments

Making even a small extra payment of a few hundred rands per month toward your bond can significantly reduce the total amount of interest you pay on the bond and shorten the time it takes to pay off the bond.You can get an estimate of how much you can save in the long run by adding a little extra to your monthly home bond repayments and using online payment calculators. Take into account that the actual value of this sum will be influenced by the terms of your home bond. 

Learn Some Simple Do-it-yourself Skills

Several aspects of household and car maintenance are best handled by trained professionals. However, because there is so much available information online, you can perform many smaller maintenance jobs on your own — and doing so will cost you a lot less money than hiring a contractor would. If you are unable to resolve a problem on your own, you have the option of contacting an expert. 

Always Be Patient With Yourself

It is highly unlikely that you will be able to stick to a strict budget every time you make a purchase, no matter how disciplined you are. Maintain a grounded, realistic perspective, be kind and forgive yourself for big and small mistakes, and make time for periodic rewards. This will ensure that you are in the finest mental state potential to get back on track as soon as possible.

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