Your bank account can feel like a million bucks with these easy saving hacks. By Helen Wallace
In this age of rising costs and the attendant increase in expenses, it’s not always easy to save. So sometimes, we have to resort to cunning measures to help ourselves to stow away more money, curb our spending and shop strategically so that our nest egg not only remains intact but also sees some significant growth in the future. How? We know
a trick or two.
• Pay with notes and create a jar to put your spare change in. These small amounts add up in no time, and seeing your piggy bank fill up will give you more incentive to hold on to those coins.
• The Meat-free Monday initiative encourages people to eat a vegetarian meal at least once a week to reduce their carbon footprint. Because of the high cost of meat, you can even take it up a notch and have a few veggie-filled days during the week, which will help lower your monthly food expenses.
• Tightening up the purse strings does not have to mean compromising on fun. Instead of meeting up with friends at restaurants, why not do some of your entertaining at home? A night in can be just as enjoyable and can be done on a budget as opposed to forking out on hefty food and drinks bills.
• It may seem obvious, but switching off electrical appliances that are not in use and not wasting water can equal big savings, not just on your utility bill, but also for the environment, and that is definitely something more valuable than money.
At the office…
• If some of your colleagues live in your neighbourhood, start a lift club so that you can share the petrol costs and lower your own travel expenses. Alternatively, explore public transport routes in your area and the weekly and monthly ticket options they provide; these are often cheaper than driving to work.
• Pack lunch to take to work, rather than buying food at a nearby shop or vending machine. If you are not a morning person, prepare your meal the night before so it’s ready to go the next day. Not only does this save money, it’s healthier, too.
• Spending a lot of airtime on your phone’s data every month? If you want to connect to the internet using your handset during office hours, make use of the company’s WiFi to save yours for after hours and weekends.
• If your job requires you to spend a lot of time online, it may be tempting to trawl online stores in between tasks. This not only leads to a lot of unproductivity, but can also lead to unnecessary spending, often on luxury items rather than things you actually need.
Out and about…
• To curb any unnecessary spending, draw as much cash as you need, plus a tad extra in case of an emergency, and leave all your cards at home. This forces you to stick to a budget and to plan any purchases in advance.
• When it comes to household consumables, such as kitchen and bathroom products, look out for supermarket specials where you can buy in bulk and save. This can also be done with non-perishable food items and mobile data bundles.
• Start browsing second-hand stores for household goods such as appliances and even cutlery and crockery. Besides the unique pieces that are just waiting to be found, a lot of used items still have plenty of life left in them and come at a fraction of the price.
• Sign up for as many customer-reward programmes as you can at the retail outlets you visit on a regular basis. These usually earn you points with each purchase, which are converted into discount vouchers you can save and redeem at a later stage.
Spend and save
The TFG Rewards & More programme rewards members instantly! Each time you swipe your card in store or make a purchase online, you are eligible for free gifts and awesome savings. To register or get more information, visit tfg.co.za.