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Tricks to save money fast and still live your best life - We speak to everyday South Africans

By Time of article published Jul 28, 2021

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By Robyn Edwards

The National Income Dynamics Study - Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey 2020, which investigated the socioeconomic impacts of the national lockdown associated with the State of Disaster declared in South Africa in March 2020, revealed that of the three million South Africans who lost their jobs between February and April 2020 due to pandemic related economic contraction, two million were women. Sixty-five years after 100 000 women marched to the union buildings for liberation on the 9th of August one has to think about how much actual liberation the women in our country have. Particularly when it comes to financial control. In the true spirit of women supporting women, I asked the women in my circle who are all at various life stages about what tricks to save money fast they had in their arsenal to empower them.

Kim, Mother-of-one, 39 years old

When I spoke to Kim, it was very evident that her tricks to save money fast and her healthy lifestyle were very closely linked and thus facilitated each other. She said, “We do more free stuff like going for walks, and going to the park. We eat less meat and more grains.” Her top tricks to save money fast were the following:

  • Discount shopping for food & groceries. Factory shops & specials only. If it’s not on special, it can wait if it’s not a necessity.
  • Saving for the myself as well as the environment. Re-use freezer bags, cloth nappies instead of disposable ones & a cloth instead of expensive wet wipes.
  • Savings automatically deducted on payday. Thus, you only ever budget & spend to a salary total that has had your savings removed already.

Siphokazi, Mother-of-one, 39 years old

Siphokazi’s approach was around boosting her retirement fund which she felt was a priority for her based on her age. She pays a little bit extra into there as her top tricks to save money fast and did this as follows:

  • Unit trusts that automatically deducts each month. Don’t touch this!
  • A savings pocket for short term needs and this is the savings to dip into.

In terms of making her money stretch, Siphokazi keeps to 1. Shopping for clothes only twice a year and 2. Sticking to monthly grocery shopping with a small weekly budget for top ups and sticking to just those trips to the shops. “An ex-boyfriend taught me not to count the last R1000 in my account. As I grow older that amount is increasing but the point is not to spend down to the last cent so that you’re broke by the time your salary comes in,” said Siphokazi.

Raeesa, Newlywed, 31 years old

Raeesa started saving from her very first part time job after receiving reputable advice from a qualified financial advisor. He assisted her with opening unit trusts which she has been investing into since then, as the habit of putting money into it is already established so now when she receives a salary increase, she puts the increase into the unit trusts. These investments go off as automatic deductions via debit order on payday. Raeesa also uses the following tricks to save money fast:

  • Monthly expenses are planned on an excel spreadsheet. This assists with planning how much to save.
  • When shopping, all expenses are recorded in order to identify where costs can be cut back on.
  • Meal prep. Preparing meals beforehand saves unnecessary spending on food.
  • Rewards programme points. Be disciplined with achieving weekly goals & partner accumulated points so that you can earn enough points to convert to cash or shopping items needed.

Overall, these tricks to save money fast revolve around high interest long term savings plans, savings automatically deducted from salaries as well as limiting shopping to sales & necessities only. In these trying times we could all use one of these tips to improve our financial management & empower ourselves as women.

Robyn Edwards is a marketing manager at Momentum Metropolitan Holdings.

PERSONAL FINANCE

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