Neesa Moodley-Isaacs looks at a few tips to turn a molehill of saved cents into a mountain of banked rands.
While some expenses may seem minimal, you would be surprised at how much money you could save over just a few months:
- Take a packed lunch to work instead of buying sandwiches from the canteen or takeaway around the corner. If you pay an average of R20 for lunch three times a week, that quickly adds up to a saving of R240 a month.
- Shop smart. Check the unit prices on products vs the quantity you are paying for. For example, you might find it’s cheaper to buy a 1kg tub of margarine in one shopping trip rather than two 500g blocks of margarine over two shopping trips.
- Slow down. 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.
- Watch your ATM fees. Use your own bank ATMs wherever possible and avoid making several withdrawals over a short space of time. Rather, work out how much cash you need and then make one withdrawal.
- Repair rather than replace. 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.
- Cancel your satellite television subscription. Do you really need to spend almost R700 a month for more than 300 TV channels? How many channels do you actually watch and how often do you watch TV? Consider spending more quality time together as a family or downgrading your satellite package to a more affordable option.
- Save on your phone bills. With Telkom’s 7pm to 7am Callmore time, Blackberry’s BBM service and Whatsapp, you have little to no excuses for high phone bills. Make calls only when you have to.
- 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!
- 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.
- Instead of shelling out for new uniforms constantly, check out the school second-hand shop. You will pick up good quality clothing that is priced reasonably and is only likely to be used for one year or even just one or two terms, depending on your child’s growth rate!
This article was first published in City Press on 14 July 2013.