Saving money can be difficult for the best of us – overwhelming rent payments, car bills, medical expenses and day-to-day spending can mean you have no money left at the end of the month in which to save. Even the most financially acute person may find it difficult to get the money to stretch to all the different accounts and accumulate any kind of savings.
But when it comes to tips for saving money, small sacrifices can go a long way. The important thing to note here is that making a start is the first step to saving – even a little effort to start with can help you to build up your money. Once you start seeing your money in your bank account going up each month, it can give you a positive feeling that encourages you to accumulate more.
With that in mind, we’ve listed 7 great little tips that could make a big difference. If this isn’t enough for you though, here’s a list of 40 that will help you save money in just about every aspect of your daily life.
Do not shop for branded food, drink or medicines – Why not consider buying generic items rather than branded ones. Wonga gives painkillers as an example: “A packet of 30 branded painkillers costs around R70 in comparison to R40 for the same generic medication.”
Grow your own food – According to essentials, in South Africa, April until the end of May is a great time to plant vegetables to grow in winter. Some key examples are shallots, cauliflower and broad beans. Spinach is another good one- sow spinach seeds thinly, 15mm deep in rows 30cm apart and they will germinate in 5 to 9 days.
Make lunches at home – It is so easy to leave home without lunch, assuming you will buy it when you get to work. However, you could save around R150 a week (R7000 a year!) if you buy your lunch every day at work, compared to making your own at home.
Use public transport – What about ditching the car and going on public transport instead? If you use two cars in your household, do you really need those two cars or can you cut down on one? If you do drive your car, can you drive more wisely to conserve fuel?
Turn unused electronics off – Leaving a TV on standby can use up electricity, which costs you money. If you are not using it, turn it off at the plug.
Think about where you shop – Can you buy second hand? Can you go to flea markets? Can you haggle? All of these little actions can help you to save money. That extra money can go right into your savings account.
Save what you can on payday – Research has showed that if you put your money straight into your savings account when you get paid, it is more likely to stay there. So, set up a direct debit to take a certain amount away from you straight away, so that you are not tempted to spend it throughout the month.