JOHANNESBURG - October 31 is World Savings Day, also known as World Thrift Day. This year, the focus of the #WorldSavingsDay2018 initiative is to celebrate you and the dreams you are saving for (#WhatDoYouWishFor).

Saving is not only beneficial for the global economy, but your individual contribution also plays a crucial role in South Africa’s economic development.

So, what dreams do you want to make sure come true and are you saving money for? Sometimes you have to spend your money to save you money in the long run.

“How on Earth can you save while you spend?” you may ask. According to Matthys Potgieter, the spokesperson for and debt expert at DebtSafe: “It is all about having your bigger financial picture/perspective in mind, and setting your financial dreams of tomorrow into action today.”

Here are 10 things that you need to invest/pay for now, to help save you money in the long term:

1.Retirement fund. Are you dreaming about a nice, well-deserved retirement? Your so-called superannuation may come knocking on your door sooner than you think. Thus, better make preparations for this type of investment and/or dream now to avoid major regret later. Be sure to do your homework regarding various retirement packages or annuities (particularly if your current employer does not include some sort of contribution in your contract of employment).

2.Life assurance. Dreaming about leaving your loved ones with a well thought-out "financial legacy" plan? The unexpected can happen.

3.Car/house insurance and maintenance. Spend money now to pay for your car and house insurance/cover as well as the necessary maintenance (like a separate savings account on the side) thereof. You can set yourself off to avoid big expenses/costs when everything comes crashing down at once (like a car accident or geyser burst, for example).

4.Medical scheme cover or hospital plan. One of the first things you tend to think of when times get tough, is to cancel medical aid, right? Don’t make an impulsive or regretful decision like that. Medical aid, a hospital plan and/or gap cover can really help you financially when the time comes.

5.Pets (sterilisation and insurance). If you are an animal lover and have "fur/feather babies", do consider pet insurance and sterilising your pet(s) to save you money when in due time you’ll need it.

6.Groceries. It is a good idea to stock up on long-life products or "timeless" products (like toiletries or cleaning products) when the sale really offers a discounted price.

7.Gifts. It is a good idea to buy birthday, wedding, baby shower or Christmas gifts throughout the year. This will help you to avoid using a big chunk of your salary for it, in the same particular month, as well as avoiding using extra credit.

8.Clothing. Don’t wait until all your clothes are worn out. As soon as that denim is shabby, throw it out and replace it, and avoid your cash-flow to move into the red when you have to replace many items at the same time.

9.Children (secondary and tertiary education). Your kids are your pride and joy, and it is just natural to want to give them a good, educated life. But tuck money away now to be able to pay for the tours, books and fees needed in future.

10.Debt. Pay off serious debt first before you can start putting your #WhatDoYouWishFor saving-dreams into action. 

- PERSONAL FINANCE