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Smart tips for dealing with the soaring cost of living

There hasn’t been much to celebrate for South Africans who wish to save in the recent past.

There hasn’t been much to celebrate for South Africans who wish to save in the recent past.

Published Jun 4, 2022

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There hasn’t been much to celebrate for South Africans who wish to save in the recent past. While still coming to grips with the hike in the repo rate within the last month, our ability to save has been further negatively impacted by the petrol price hike, which is in effect from today, the 1st of June.

This petrol price was increased by R2,43 for 93 and R2,33 for 95 petrol classes, while diesel was increased by R1,07. This adds fuel to the fire as South Africans have already been paying a steep petrol price of R21.84, and R21.99 for diesel since March of this year, further pushing up the cost of living.

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With these increases eating away at our pockets, the mindset of the average consumer should be to cut down on unnecessary expenses , and probably eat out less; or necessary expenses that can further be trimmed down. The times call for a ‘sink or swim’ kind of approach. You almost need a second source of income in order to comfortably maintain your lifestyle, or a smart way to save money on a regular basis.

Here are some smart tips for saving money during these tough times:

The amount you spend on motor insurance monthly is one of the things you can control - so look into it and make it work for you, and not the other way around. Motor insurance in this day and age gives you the chance to save when you drive less.

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With many people working from home more than ever, their mileage has gone down and consequently so has the risk of them causing an accident. This is a golden opportunity to cash in, or save on motor insurance.

Keletso Mpisane at digitally-based motor insurer, MiWay Blink, says, “The pay-as-you-drive motor insurance model helps customers get better value because they pay in line with their actual risk profile. This gives them the added advantage of controlling their motor insurance expense throughout the month by monitoring their driving.”

“We use the phone’s GPS and motion feature in our App to track the kilometres that you are driving. MiWay Blink’s car insurance offering allows you to pay less on premiums, when you drive less,” Mpisane adds. Users can receive cashback at the end of the month depending on the distance travelled that month.

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Set and forget micro-savings

Micro-investment, which involves putting away small amounts of money, consistently and over time, makes it possible to save with relatively little effort,” says Tony Mallam, founder of fintech platform upnup. “Consumers are not interested in traditional banking models anymore. They want an online savings solution that gives them control over how much they save, and how these savings are invested, especially when times are tough. ”

Platforms like EasyEquities, upnup and Franc make it possible to save with ease. “Instead of throwing spare change into your car’s cup holder in case you need to pay for parking, you can round up or add on to your transactions so that the extra cash goes into a linked investment account,” explains Mallam. “It’s a transaction that is happening anyway - why not make it work in your favour? This ‘set and forget’ approach to saving is an ideal way to put a bit away at a time when every bit of spare cash counts.”

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Cut your electricity bill

The cost of electricity and load shedding are both going to double over the next five years, says Matthew Cruise of Hohm Energy. By investing in a solar solution now, it could be possible to reduce your electricity bill by 80%.

So for example, if your household spends about R1 500 on electricity each month, you can save R1 215 (while electricity costs R2.50 kWh) on electricity if you add a 3.6kWp, 3.6kW inverter and a 2.8kWh battery to their household. The cost of this system would be R118 450, which would cost +/- R1 400pm when financed.

Also, it is not necessary to invest in a full solar and battery installation initially, explains Cruise. “You can start with just a battery and add some solar panels later, or start with solar panels only. You don’t have to pay for a full system upfront. Taking a staggered approach like this makes it more affordable.” When financed through a bond or a rent-to-own model, the cost of the installation will have a minimal impact on your monthly budget, adds Cruise.

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