Everybody loves to save – which is why our blog on 9 ways to save R300 a month was one of our top blogs of 2016. We’ve turned our minds to thinking of 9 more great ways that you can save R300 – and it’s up to you to decide how many of them you put into practice.
1. Don’t get a cell phone at your next upgrade Sure, it’s nice to have a new phone every two years, but the one you have is probably still good enough for all the calling, posting on social media and app downloading that you want to do. Instead of paying off a R10 000 smartphone over 12 months, simply opt to renew your contract without a phone (or change to pay as you go), and you’ll save yourself a packet.
Potential saving: An MTN MyChoice 350 package with a Samsung S8 phone costs R839 per month. The same package without a phone costs only R369. That’s a monthly saving of R470.
2. Ditch the pool filter and chemicals in winter Here’s a secret that the pool maintenance guys probably won’t share with you: your pool hardly needs any attention in winter. The colder water temperature is very inhospitable to all that green stuff that appears in summer, so you don’t need to run your filter or put in chemicals nearly as much. This obviously only saves you money in the winter months, but at a time when you’re probably spending money on heating, it’s great to be able to save somewhere else.
Potential saving: The costs of running your pool pump and putting chlorine, acid and stabiliser in your pool can easily run to R300 per month.
3. Join the library or a book club If you’re an avid reader, you are probably shuddering at what it costs to get your bookworm fix. You can reduce the costs of buying books by joining a library and borrowing theirs. They might not have the full selection of the latest reads, but even reducing your purchases by one book a month will make a difference to your budget.
Alternatively, if you don’t mind a bit of extra admin and you like socialising over literature, you could form or join a book club and benefit from book store discounts AND buying communally.
Potential saving: Buying one less book a month could save you R300.
4. Get your kids to ditch one extra-mural activity If your children have activity-packed afternoons, sit down with them and discuss which they like the least and if they would prefer not to do them at all. If you can drop one round of piano lessons, French club or gymnastics, chances are your budget will start looking a whole lot more well-rounded.
Potential saving: Ditching piano lessons at R150 a lesson, once a week, will save you R600 per month.
5. Learn basic DIY and do home repairs yourself A plumber, electrician or burglar alarm repairman will probably charge you between R400 and R800 just to come and look at whatever it is that’s leaking, bleeping or not switching on. If you school yourself in the basics of DIY you can save yourself a packet in repairman fees. You can search on YouTube for the particular DIY challenge you are faced with, or you can follow HouseholdHacker or Home & Garden for Mere Mortals for inspiration. Your local hardware store is another good source of advice. We’re not suggesting you start rewiring your house, but leaky loos, dripping taps, faulty light switches and flat alarm batteries can be replaced with relatively little expertise and at only the cost of the materials.
If you school yourself in the basics of DIY, you can save yourself a packet in repairman fees.
Potential saving: Call out fees are between R400 and R800 an hour – so depending on the frequency and cost of the call-out, you could be saving yourself R400 each time you DIY.
6. Arrange a carpool If you spend R1 000 in petrol getting to and from work each month, and you find one or two co-workers to split this cost with, you could come away R333 to R666 richer at payday. You’ll need to structure your meeting or site visit schedule around days that you have your own car, but you’ll be helping to ease the congestion on the roads AND environmental pollution as well as saving yourself some money.
Potential saving: If one month’s petrol costs you R1 000, you will save R333 or R666 by carpooling with one or two other people.
7. Or ditch your car altogether Uber has made it possible for people to give up on owning their own cars, or to downscale from a two-car to a one-car family, and rely on the taxi-on-demand service when needed. The convenience and relaxation of being driven in an Uber are benefits in themselves, but it often works out that using Uber (or Taxify) is cheaper than owning, maintaining and insuring your own vehicle. Check out this app to work out if it makes financial sense to ditch your ride, and embrace the sharing economy.
Potential saving: Use the app to work out whether you’d come out saving or not.
8. Do a plant swap with your friends A simple trip to the nursery in the spring can easily cost you thousands of rands. But rather than buying your flowers and vegetation, you can swap plants with your friends – share seeds, seedlings, or plants that can be divided. You might also find a seed and vegetable exchange in your area. Of course, you’ll have to have something to swap to make this exchange work for everyone, so put on your gardening hat and start propagating the plants that get your green finger glowing.
Potential saving: At R1 000 for a visit to a nursery for new plants in the spring, you could save the whole amount by swapping with friends.
9. Form a lunch club at the office Rather than buying your work lunch from a local shop or the office canteen, arrange with two colleagues to each bring in some ingredients and make a healthy office lunch to share three ways. Or take it in turns to bring lunch for three. The costs shared between you will result in savings for sure!
Potential saving: A canteen or bought lunch can cost between R30 and R50 a day – but a shared lunch can cost you as little as R10 each. Multiply the difference by 21 working days, and you get a saving of R630 per month.
The bottom line Saving always takes some sacrifice and discipline, but if you set yourself a goal and work enthusiastically towards it, you’ll soon find that there’s a little extra money in your bank account at the end of every month. Don’t forget to invest what you’ve saved.