Start saving more today with these smart money hacks.
Money, moola, cash, dough, bucks … call it what you want, we could all use a little more of it around this time of year. But how? One way to stretch your rands is to spend less of them. Start thinking like a saver today. Here are 21 ways to save money to get you started.
21 ways to save money:
1. Eat in
Keep a healthy snack with you, skip takeaways and swap restaurants for small, home-based dinners with friends and family and try to support local where possible.
2. Don’t skip breakfast
A healthy breakfast fills you up with energy for the day. This will stop you from splurging on a big lunch out or buying expensive snacks because you’re feeling peckish.
3. Eat less meat
Did you know that protein-packed beans give you a higher protein boost while being far more cost-effective than meat? We’re not saying you need to join the #Veganuary movement (unless that’s your vibe) but replacing some meat meals with high-protein substitutes can be tasty, healthy and great for your bank balance.
4. Stop smoking
Calculate how much you spend each week on cigarettes. Imagine what you could do with that cash? Have your eye on something dope? Use that as a motivation to kick the habit or to try to cut down.
5. Follow the 10-second rule
Many items we buy while out shopping aren’t essential (think sweets, chocolates or special deals at the tills). To limit ‘impulse’ buys, put everything that catches your eye back on the shelf. If you still want it ten seconds later, you can add it to your basket.
6. Stick to your shopping list
One of the easiest ways to save money is to only shop when you have a list. This helps you plan and stick to your budget instead of buying extra food that only goes to waste. You’ll also be able to limit your trips to the store.
7. Track your expenses
Not convinced that you’re guilty of spending more cash than you think you do? There are great (free) apps available on Google Play and the App Store that can help you track on your phone every cent you spend. This is the first step to putting an end to those small buys that really add up each month.
8. Sign up for loyalty programmes and smart shopper rewards
Accumulate loyalty points and receive discounts and special deals from the shops where you buy most of your groceries. Remember, you earn one point for every R10 you spend anywhere when you pay with your yellow TymeBank card, and two points for every R2 when you swipe AND pay with your yellow TymeBank card at Pick n Pay.
9. Buy generic
Generic brands offer the same quality without the price tag of big-name brands. Medicines, staple food items and cleaning supplies are all available in generic options. For example, Pick n Pay’s No Name Brand delivers excellent quality at a lower price.
10. Wait 24 hours before clicking ‘buy’
Always let your online order sit in its ‘basket’ for 24 hours so you can sleep on it. If you’re still happy with your purchase (and it adds real value to your life), you can complete the order. If you aren’t, forget about it and save.
11. Embrace free entertainment
There are so many streaming services to choose from now, but there are also a bunch of free podcasts and Youtube videos to explore. And the best part? Most of them can help you expand your mindset and skills at the same time.
12. Know your own worth
Thinking of dropping some hard-earned cash on something? First, calculate how many hours you work each month. Take your salary or monthly earnings and divide it by that number to get your hourly rate. Now, work out how many hours you need to work for that purchase. Is it still worth it? Sometimes the answer will be absolutely yes, but the number could convince you to walk away from a lot of pricey purchases too.
13. Set a limit on gift spending
You aren’t the only person in your circle who wants to save more and spend less, so get everyone involved. Set a limit on gift purchases for birthdays or other special occasions.
14. Plan gifts well in advance
The most thoughtful gifts don’t need to clear out your bank account. Start planning early and you can look out for great deals or even make homemade gifts. We all have hobbies we can leverage – what are yours?
15. Start a capsule wardrobe
A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of versatile clothing that you love. These basic wardrobe building blocks go with everything and give you a benchmark when you’re shopping. If it doesn’t suit your capsule wardrobe, leave it on the shelf.
16. Stop collecting and start selling
Do you know how much cash is sitting locked up in your unused stuff? Social media marketplaces are a great way to sell items you no longer have use for, giving you the opportunity to reinvest or save that cash. When selling goods online, always be vigilant as fraudsters do pose as legit buyers in an attempt to steal your items. When exchanging goods and cash, make sure you meet in a public place where you feel safe. Read more tips for protecting yourself here.
17. Buy second-hand
Speaking of marketplaces, before you make your next purchase, have you investigated what’s available second hand? There are fantastic ‘pre-loved’ options that can deliver exactly what you’re looking for at a much more attractive price point.
18. Turn off the lights
Switch to LEDs and turn off lights any time you leave your house – or even when you leave the room. You can also turn off your geyser each morning and instal pre-paid electricity to reduce your power bill.
19. Negotiate your insurance
Regularly review your insurance policies and medical aid. Something in your risk profile might have changed, or you could land a great deal if you shop around and compare quotes.
20. Say goodbye to debt
Your monthly debt repayments are the biggest blockers to saving. Start by getting rid of small debt first. This will help you to get into the habit of paying off debt each month, and it’s extremely satisfying to clear a debt.
21. Save money automatically
Did you know you can save money without thinking about it? If you’re serious about making the most of your cash in 2021, TymeBank offers a great tool to get you started. GoalSave is a savings tool linked to your EveryDay account that you can manage and control from your smartphone.