By Alice Paulse; Photography by Unsplash
In January, getting to payday can feel like an epic, often painful, journey. We feel you, which is why we have a few super-smart saving tips that’ll get you there with your wallet – and sanity – intact.
A wallet with wads of receipts or snacking on dry Salticrax? Here’s a round-up of the best saving hacks to stretch every cent.
Ever heard of a self-imposed house arrest? Well, try it. The biggest temptation to spend money you don’t have is to go to places that encourage spending, so staying indoors is your safest option.
Now we do realise that this might seem a bit dramatic, but our expert, Eunice Sibiya, head of consumer education at FNB, says: “Without the temptation of malls or restaurants it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to spend compulsively.”
If you’re invited to visit family, or go to a friend’s place, don’t take any cash or cards with you! And if you must do grocery shopping, take a list – and stick to it. Bonus tip: Avoid shopping “helpers”, who may convince you to toss something extra (and more than likely unnecessary!) into the trolley.
2. Clear Out The Clutter
Look at what you’re wasting your money on. Besides occasionally buying lunch and that much-needed latte (FYI: daily lunch and coffee will easily set you back more than R1 000 a month – ouch!), where’s your cash sinkhole?
If you want a quick cash injection to get you through the month, consider doing a “spring clean”. Get your family or friends to help you do a real clean out – we’re talking no holds barred here, like clothes you haven’t worn in ages, sporting equipment, even an old cellphone.
READ MORE: How To Drop Your Debt- For Good
If you stumble upon clothes that are in tip-top shape, you could easily sell them on a second-hand Facebook page or at flea markets. Otherwise, fill up black bags and deliver them to a charity. You also save as you’ll know exactly what you’ve got in your drawers, so you won’t waste money buying the same item again. Same goes for your kitchen cupboards. Consider it a win-win.
3. Dodge That Emotion-Fuelled Purchase
While there are easy wins, such as packing lunch or foregoing your daily cappuccinos, there are some days when… You. Just. Can’t.
Sound familiar? You had a bad day and decided to hit the shops to de-stress. Yup, we’re all been there. Problem is, it often leaves us feeling guilty afterwards. Try to be vigilant about impulsive shopping. How to fight emotionally-driven spending? Well, when you feel the rush to shop is emotionally charged, take a run around the block to clear your head, or have a cup of tea to settle your emotions. A short distraction may save you from a shopping spree you’d regret.
4. Don’t Keep Up With The Joneses
That fancy restaurant your friends visit so often? Sure, it’s nice to treat yourself now and then, but why not try that new food truck everyone’s been talking about, or host a make-your-own-pizza night? Frugal, but fun…
According to multimillionaire Ann Wilson, author of The Wealth Chef: “We have a need to belong and this can be the greatest risk to our wealth.” Like trying to fit in by spending money on things we don’t really want or that will impact our financial wellbeing negatively…
5. Don’t Give Up All Your Pleasures
You can save until your bank balance is fuller than Scrooge McDuck’s money bin, but if you’re not enjoying life, there’s not much point, is there? And it doesn’t need to cost the earth.
Liden Ludik, head of senior market advice and support at Sanlam Financial Advisors, offers this advice: “The frequency and type of pleasure will depend on the available cash you have after all other financial obligations have been met.”
Seeing a bunch of zero’s? Cash in on that massage your partners’ been offering, or take an hour-long bubble bath instead. Yeah, it’s not a full-day pamper package, but by following a more cautious approach for a while, you’ll free up cash quicker than you realise.
Everyone feels the pinch at this time of year. So challenge your family and friends to cut down on the spending with you!
Why is it so damn hard to bring up money with your honey? Our guide will help you out for the money talk you must have.