10 ways to tighten up your household budget


1.Take a packed lunch to work instead of buying sandwiches from the canteen or takeaway around the corner.

2. If you are contemplating a purchase that is not an absolutely necessary item, give yourself a week to think about whether you really need it before you hand over your hard-earned money.

3. Use your own bank ATMs wherever possible and avoid making several withdrawals over a short space of time. Work out how much cash you need and then make one withdrawal.

4. It can be less costly to repair items rather than simply replacing them at the first sign of trouble. Take the time to find out repair costs before you rush out to the shops for a new appliance.

5. Cancel your satellite television subscription. Do you really need to spend almost R900 a month for more than 300 TV channels? How many channels do you actually watch and how often do you watch TV.

6. Check your car insurance premium annually. Your insurance should be adjusted annually to account for the fact that your car depreciates in value each year. However, not all insurers make this adjustment automatically. You snooze, you lose.

7. If you are on chronic medication, shop around for the best price. Although we have a single exit price for medicines in South Africa, the dispensing fee differs between pharmacies and this can add up to a hefty annual saving. Check which pharmacies are approved by your medical aid scheme and also look out for national chain pharmacies that can offer you lower prices.

8. Instead of shelling out for new uniforms, check out the school second-hand shop. You can pick up good quality clothing that is priced reasonably.

9. If you belong to loyalty schemes, save up all the discounts or points you accumulate over the year and use them in December.

10. Be aware of where you shop. Keep an eye out for specials. Sometimes the extra trip to get to a different shop is worth the effort. Avoid “convenience stores” because they are usually about 30% more expensive!

  • This article was first published in City Press on 13 November 2016.

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