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South Africans share 10 hacks to help you be savvy with your money

With the rising cost of petrol, food and electricity, many people would be looking at different ways to save more money. Picture: Freepik

With the rising cost of petrol, food and electricity, many people would be looking at different ways to save more money. Picture: Freepik

Published Jul 24, 2022

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With the rising cost of petrol, food and electricity, many people would be looking at different ways to save more money.

In a Budget Insurance survey, 47% of respondents said that they were saving their money for a rainy day.

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“The pandemic taught us that rainy days are possible, and that they are hard and taxing on our monthly budgets. South Africans know this, and are putting aside whatever funds they can to cushion unexpected blows,” said Susan Steward from Budget Insurance.

Respondents from the survey shared their money savings hacks to help other people save money:

1. Work carpool

To ease the burden of the petrol price hike, 36% of respondents are carpooling to and from work.

However, people need to contact their insurance provider to check the terms and conditions of their contract.

“Insurance will cover lift-club cars as long as the activity of giving lifts to people is not a source of income to the insured, for example, an airport shuttle service,” Steward said.

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2. Stockpile your groceries

Take advantage of discounts and specials. Buying in bulk, at a lower price, will allow you to stretch your rand as well as shrink your monthly shopping budget. Buying fresh produce just before closing time when it is cheaper is another way to save money.

3. Create a budget and stick to it

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In your budget, list your fixed expenditures, monthly deductions and income. If your expenses are more than your income, you need to look for ways to cut down. Make sure you leave room in your budget for savings, too.

A survey respondent said that she uses the 50-30-20 principle in her budget and divides her income in three categories – needs, wants and savings.

4. Have a piggy bank

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A piggy bank is a great way to collect all your loose, small change that will leave you with surprising results. Don’t have a piggy bank? Many South Africans have been using 5-litre plastic bottles as the place to store the money that they are saving.

5. Cook at home instead of buying

One respondent said that her money saving hack was cooking at home rather than buying take-out.

“I always bring in a home cooked lunch to work instead of buying takeaways. My weekly meal plans cost under R300.”

6. Prepare your food in advance

A respondent said: “I use gas stove and open fire to cook and also pre-cook meals then freeze them in batches. It helps me save a lot on electricity.”

Another respondent said that she had her own vegetable garden and as a shopping hack only bought winter clothes in spring and summer clothes in winter when they are on sale.

7. Know your needs and wants

Being honest about your debt obligations and your expenses is an important step in having a clear and realistic picture of your current financial situation.

8. If you can’t afford the item with cash, you can’t afford it

Keep your credit card for emergencies and pay for goods and services with cash or debit card only. This will ensure that you are living within your means and not getting into debt.

9. Pay off your debt

Start paying off your debt obligations. Pay the debts that cost the highest interest rates first. Speak to a qualified debt counsellor if you don’t know where to start.

10. Be wise about your banking

Take a careful look at your bank fees and at the interest you earn on your savings. Check out what other banks offer and look at other ways to invest your money. Speaking to a qualified financial adviser can help you get started.

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