You want to spend less this year but how do you make it happen? Here’s how! We asked South Africans to share their best savings hacks to help you cut the cost of living in 2023.
It’s all about the budget
If you are serious about saving money, you need a realistic budget. Always allocate money for needs first, which includes savings and insurance, and then wants. If you have difficulty sticking to your budget, which can be quite a challenge at times, try these top tips:
- Understand your triggers, what makes you spend, such as an argument with a family member, so you know when to avoid the malls or leave your cards at home.
- Wait for a day before spending money on a want. You may find you don’t want it on day 2!
- Use an envelope system. Allocate money to each expense in your budget every month, and spend only that. You can do this by placing the cash in an envelope or be ultra disciplined with cards, or load the amount onto one card and only use that card.
Spend less at the shops
The price of some essential items in the shops has soared! South Africans have found some great ways to cut these costs.
- Grow your own veggies! Spinach, tomato, even berries. You can enjoy superfoods on a budget!
- Shop with a list and plan meals in advance so you know exactly what to put on your list.
- Don’t browse! Avoid the temptation of looking at the shiny, appetising items.
- Buy in bulk, just make sure you can use or share perishable items.
- Use promotions, such as 2 for 1.
- Compare prices, even for items on special!
- Cut down on expensive goods and/or brand names. One savvy shopper cut out meat and saved R1 000 a month! That’s R12 000 saved in one year!
- Skip pre-portioned, processed and prepared foods! They are more expensive than separate items, especially unpeeled veggies.
- Leave your children at home! Don’t and you could end up with the extra expense of treats, burgers and ice cream!
- Use your rewards. You can save a lot!
Be prepared! That’s the mantra many follow. It makes good sense and saves more than cents!
- Stockpile on non-perishables, especially when they are on special.
- Buy food stamps when you shop so you have more to spend on special occasions, or in tough budget months.
- Add money to gift cards when you have some spare cash. You can use these for extras, treats, gifts, or even some basics when your budget is stretched.
Keep it in the home
Many are staying away from the mall and hanging out at home. And finding it a lot cheaper!
- Skip takeouts, they really cost a lot
- Make your own gifts
- Prepare food in advance. You can bulk cook and freeze, and save on electricity. And you’ll have some meals ready for those nights when you just want to put your feet up!
Use cash not credit
Spending on credit will just take up more of your income, especially if interest rates are high. Wherever you can, pay cash for everyday items. And, be ruthless about this one, do not rack up any more debt.
- Leave your credit cards at home
- Reduce your credit card limits
- Use lay-bys for things you don’t have the funds for today so you don’t have to pay interest!
Swap and go second hand
This will save money, and is better for the planet. Swap and buy second hand big and small items, from cars to school uniforms and books.
Frugal is fashionable, but there is space for treats
Smart savers know that a frugal life will save money. There are many things you think are essential that you can live without! But, sometimes you need a want! Here’s how to afford them.
- Use rewards for luxury buys
- Set aside money each month, without fail, for a few luxuries or an end of year splurge
- Use birthday freebies available on some apps, from select retailers and restaurants, and rewards programmes
Three final top tips
- Teach your kids about the value of money
- Earn before you spend
- Find ways to make more! Side hustles are big business and big budget boosters, and don’t forget to enter competitions!
When you’ve got a little extra, save it!
Feeling a little less Januworried? We know that with these smart savings hacks you should be able to stick to your savings plans for 2023. Good luck!