Most of us know that the best way to make your money go further is to create a budget, set financial goals and quickly pay off as much debt as possible. But, in addition to these age-old methods, there are a few ways to stretch your budget that you might not have thought of. Check out these 5 simple money saving tips for when money is tight.
1. Stash your change
One easy way to save money is stash your change as you spend. Of course, these days many of don’t pay with cash very often but there’s still a way to pocket your cents when paying with a card. An app like Liberty’s Stash app offers an easy way to save and invest when times are tough. The easy-to-use app links to your cheque or debit card and every time you spend using the card, Stash detects the transaction, rounds it up to the nearest R10 and invests your spare change in SA’s Top 40 biggest companies. Any debit, credit, or cheque card from FNB, Standard Bank, Absa, Nedbank, Investec, RMB, Capitec and DiscoveryCard (VISA and MasterCard) can be linked to the tax-free savings vehicle.
2. Start a four-week saving challenge
Another popular way to save is the four-week saving challenge. Saving small amounts of cash each week hardly affects your wallet but the sum can quickly add up, giving you real returns. For this challenger, start off small by saving R10 in the first week. The next week double that to R20, double it again to R40 in week three, and finally R80 in week four. That’s a total of R150 for the month. Challenge yourself to do the challenger for a whole year, working on 13 four-week cycles. By the end of 12 months, you will have R1,950 in savings. It’s such a small amount, it’s bound to be money you didn’t even miss.
You can then use this saved money for unplanned expenses like gifts for children’s parties, unexpected items of school uniform or a treat for yourself.
3. Check your grocery bill
Another easy way to spend less and save money is by managing your grocery purchases and keeping an eye on your weekly or monthly grocery bill. Start by working out your monthly food budget, and sticking to it. Go through your monthly grocery bill and see where you can cut back or swap out items for more affordable alternatives.
You can spend less on your monthly grocery bill by planning out meals for the week to avoid waste. Limiting shopping trips to once or twice a week to cut back on unnecessary impulse buys. When you have extra cash, you can also use it to buy grocery vouchers to spend during the holidays or when times are tight. Look for marked down items in the supermarket that are close to sell-by date. This food is still perfectly fresh and is often marked down by as much as 50% of the original price.
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4. Start a piggy bank:
Not just for kids, a piggy bank is a great way to encourage you and your family to save your coins for a rainy day. Many of us have coins in our purse, wallet, bag and drawers that can be gathered and saved in a piggy bank. Over time these small amounts can add up and provide an unexpected cash boost on a rainy day.
You don’t need a fancy piggy bank, even a 2-litre soft drink bottle will do. In fact, a 2-litre plastic bottle filled with R2 coins will add up to about R3,000. If you save R5 coins, a filled bottle bank should contain about R5,000! That’s nothing to sneeze at when times are tight.
5. Make money and save by decluttering your house and wardrobe
There may be money in all that ‘junk’ in your home, or even in your wardrobe. Gathering your unused items and selling them to second-hand shops or directly to bargain hunters can bring in a lot more money than you may realise. You can also go through your wardrobe and sell any lightly worn items you no longer wear to a second-hand clothing store. Or, rather than buying new clothes, use these items to organising a swap party with friends and family to recycle your unwanted threads and refresh your wardrobe without having to spend a cent.
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