Life as we know it has changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For many South Africans, this change has resulted in financial uncertainty. Shorter working hours, a shrinking economy and the spectre of job losses means everyone is looking for ways to cut costs and save money. Here are a few tips that will help you get to the other side of the Lockdown with your finances intact.
- Budgeting should come first
The first step for any savings plan is to have clear goals in mind. Your next move is to set up a budget. Remember: your commitment to saving and budgeting will determine your success in saving money. Once you’ve decided on your goals and have drawn up a budget, the real work can begin. Not only will you be able to make some adjustments to your spending, but you can also start looking at other ways to invest and save the money you’ll have left at the end of the month.
- You can do without non-essentials
Apart from the rent or bond, food might be your biggest monthly expense right now. Simple changes to your food budget can give you small savings that add up over time. The good news is that you don’t have the option of overspending at restaurants and parties right now. But if you’re treating yourself to a Friday takeout once in a while, consider cutting back and cooking more meals at home instead.
When it comes to shopping for groceries, make a list before going out shopping. Perhaps start by planning your meals and what you will cook for the week, then make a list of the ingredients so that when you go shopping, you know exactly what you will need.
- Lower your water and electricity usage
Cutting down on your water and electricity usage will require some discipline, but the savings will make the effort worthwhile. Making changes like showering instead of bathing, or turning the lights and the geyser off during peak times, will free up more cash in your budget.
- Budget and track your spending
You have heard the saying – a watchful eye is better than an empty wallet! If you can commit to drawing up a budget and using your online banking app to track your spending, you will reap the rewards of this commitment. Not only will this keep you accountable to your savings goals, it will give you a better idea of where you could make a change throughout the month.
- Get a better savings account
Allocate the balance towards a savings account — the money saved from making these changes can be deposited in an African Bank Notice Deposit account. If you want the best investment rates in SA, with access to your funds at short notice, this account is for you. Open this account with just R500 and make deposits as small as R100 each month. Grow your money as you go!