Money-saving tips for 2020

Money-saving tips for 2020

We’ve made it through the festive season, through January (or Januworry as most South Africans call it), and now we’re in February. This is the month to reflect and align future spending with your financial goals for 2020.

Life is becoming increasingly expensive, and most of us try to find ways to save cash each month. It’s essential to set up a monthly budget and categorise your spending. It’s even more crucial to track your transactions monthly to understand the reasons behind your financial decisions.

This article is not necessarily about how to set up a budget, categorise your spending and how to track it, but rather tips to help you save money. If you’re not sure how to set up a budget, follow this link. If you’re looking for something more digital, download the 22seven budgeting tool from Old Mutual or use Discovery’s online budgeting calculator.

Money-saving tips for your home

  • Electricity: Switch off your geyser when leaving home or install a geyser blanket. Air dry your washing on the line and only wash when the washing machine is full.
  • Lightbulbs: Switch to energy-saving lightbulbs which use 80% less electricity than standard bulbs and lasts 10 times longer. Switch off lights when you’re not in the rooms.
  • Appliances: When your stove is on, use it immediately. When you leave your home, switch off all appliances.
  • Kettle: If you’re boiling the kettle for one cup, only fill the kettle for one cup. An overfilled kettle wastes energy. If this is done, rather store the remaining boiled water in a flask for later use.
  • Meals: Plan your meals ahead to avoid purchasing excessive foods, make a grocery list (and stick to it!) and shop for the best deals.
  • Veggies and herbs: Grow your own veggies and herbs and save on having to buy them weekly. It tastes so much better, and you can freeze it and use it later.
  • Detergents: Instead of buying the branded detergents, mix your own with bicarbonate of soda or vinegar and lemon juice. Increase your washing powder by combining it with a box of bicarbonate of soda and a pack of coarse salt.
  • Debts: As soon as your salary comes in each month, prioritise to pay your debt and credit cards to avoid interests piling up.

Money-saving tips for your health

  • Takeaways: Ditch takeaways and make something at home. Instead of sticking the family for dinner at a restaurant, have a braai instead. It’s cheaper, and you get to spend quality time with them.
  • Water: Drink more water, it’s your main source of hydration, and it’s better than unhealthy and expensive sodas.
  • Gym: Cancel gym subscriptions and workout at home or look for cheaper packages. Look for off-peak specials and discounts.
  • Smoking: Quit smoking, your bank balance will look better, and you’ll feel healthier and more energetic.
  • Medical: Consider using cheaper generic medication and always enquire about the consultation fee beforehand. When you’re using a medical aid find a doctor who charges the medical scheme rate, which is much cheaper than SA Medical Association rates.

Money-saving tips for your work

  • Lunch: Plan your lunches ahead and eliminate buying from canteens or shops at work. Not to be rushed in the mornings, ensure to make enough dinner so that leftovers can serve as lunch the following day.
  • Carpool: Combine your journey with someone else and split the cost of travel. This will also save wear and tear on your vehicle.
  • Work socials: Don’t feel obliged to attend work socials. Choose the one you want to attend and then go home early to avoid further spending. Also, attend free or cheap events. The trick is just to find them – Google and Facebook will be your best friends here.

Money-saving tips for your car

  • Drive: Drive slower and smoother. Don’t brake harshly and stay within speed limits. You will save on fuel consumption and upkeep on your car.
  • Maintenance: Keep your car maintained and regularly replace engine oil, air filters, plugs, oxygen filters, etc. When caring for your car, it will be in service for longer.
  • Tyres: Ensure that your tyres are inflated and that your wheel alignment is correct. This saves you on fuel and having to buy new tyres.
  • Free zones: When going to malls, make sure to park in free parking spaces. If it’s close, consider walking or cycling instead.
  • Car insurance: Ask your insurance brokers to review your coverage, negotiate a better price, or shop around for a better deal. Increasing your excess could also lower monthly premiums.

Other saving tips

  • Phone: Rather send SMSs to friends and family than lengthy phone calls.
  • WhatsApp: Even cheaper than SMSs, use WhatsApp for text messages and calls.
  • Holiday: Enjoy a holiday close to home, you’ll spend on a lot of travel expenses like fuel, stops, snacks etc.
  • Movies: Want to watch a movie? Do it at home, rent a DVD. It’s more affordable, anyway.
  • Value vouchers: Keep an eye out for online deals such as Make use of loyalty programmes’ cashback and rewards to save cash.

Use your bank’s ATM: To avoid additional charges, ensure to use only your bank’s ATM. You could save up to R25 with every withdrawal that is not from a different ATM than that of the bank you bank with.