Annual inflation figures in the country continue to increase with headline inflation rising to 6.5% in May from 5.9% in April and March, breaking through the upper limit of the South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy target range.
Inflation coupled with the interest rate increases are putting a strain on the pockets of South Africans and their households, says Himal Parbhoo, CEO of FNB Retail Cash Investments.
“We don’t foresee interest rates and the cost of living to come down any time soon, so we encourage consumers to continue saving money, resisting the urge to dip into their retirement savings and look at how they can maximise their short- or long-term saving goals,” Parbhoo says.
Parbhoo advises consumers to be frugal with their spending and save by making small changes:
1. Plan your week
Plan your week by taking a look at when you will be doing your shopping or travelling to the office. Certain retail stores will have discount or pensioner days, so try and do your shopping on those days. This will allow you to manage your time and your saving.
2. Check your weekly and monthly budget
Create two budgets: a weekly budget and a monthly budget. Then you need to go through your weekly and monthly spending to identify how much you can afford, and how much you can save based on your budget. There are tools available online that can help people create their own budgets.
3. Shopping online
Using online shopping sites and online delivery services can help you save on fuel as well as help you pick up a few bargains that could help you save. The added advantage is that it is easier to stick to a list when shopping and people can make use of discounts exclusive to online shopping.
4. Consider having a savings account
According to Parbhoo, people need to look at savings vehicles that can help them save or invest.
“Short-term savings pockets help you contribute monthly through either seven days or 32 days’ notice account or fixed deposit. Having these savings accounts will help you better manage any emergencies that might creep in as life happens.”
5. Save your change
Save your spare change in a glass jar or box. Then at the end of every month, every three months or at the end of the year, depending on your preference, open your savings box or jar to see much you have saved.