Rising fuel prices, electricity tariffs, and a projected rise in consumer price inflation will leave Capetonians with a deep dent in their pockets. Not all is lost, with a plethora of financial advice available, here are a few tips on how to cut costs around the house – and have a few spare coins to put away in the piggy bank. ‘By making small changes, it’s possible to reduce household costs to absorb some of the price increases and reduce the budget crunch…However, there are several ways to make households more resilient to these cost pressures, especially as it relates to services. The City also has help available for registered indigent people and pensioners, as well as those who have been severely affected by Covid-19. Residents should please get in touch with the City to see if they qualify for assistance,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Councillor Siseko Mbandezi.
Shop with a List
Check your pantry and make a shopping list to avoid impulsively buying something you don’t need. Collect coupons and join loyalty programs at the shops your frequent, to maximize your savings. Some stores have apps that help you find and list bargains, or have exclusive savings for members! Always compare prices between shops and brands, it may seem cheaper to drive around an area looking for bargains at multiple stores, but it is cheaper to rather do all your shopping at one or two stores.
Pay yourself first
Divide your money into a 50/30/20 budget which has been seen as a flexible approach to budgeting. This means 50% of your pay goes to NEEDS (food, petrol, bills), 30% goes to WANTS (fast foods, accessories, road trips), and 20% goes towards your FUTURE (savings, investing). This will teach you to set priorities for spending and money management. If one of the allocations exceeds these percentages, you can adjust the ratios.
Don’t splurge on payday
Eating out and splurging on good food is one of the few pleasures in life. However, you can save a lot of money by eating at home or planning weekly meals. If you are an avid online shopper, it is recommended that you wait at least 24 hours before buying an item. Additionally, keep a physical record of where you are splurging throughout the month, as shopping like this often happens unconsciously.
Before making a purchase ask yourself the following:
- Why am I here?
- How do I feel?
- Do I need this?
- What if I wait?
- How will I pay for it?
- Where will I put it?
A survey by Nationawide Payday Saveday showed that 1 in 5 people spend over half their spare monthly wages within 48 hours of getting paid. Always ask if you really need something before impulsively buying it.
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Reduce your electric bill
Making big and small changes to your energy usage can help save you hundreds on your electricity bill. Swap in energy-efficient appliances and lightbulbs, and insulate any energy leaks in your home. Always remember, even tiny changes eventually add up to big savings in the long term. Insulating your home is a fantastic way to reduce your electricity bills during winter. Another tip, even when they’re turned off, appliances draw power, so unplug them when not in use.
Cut down on car costs
You can cut car maintenance costs by driving less, removing heavy items from the trunk and avoiding unnecessary rapid acceleration. Never just settle for the first car insurance you find, always shop around and compare regularly – this will help cut costs, instead of simply letting your current policy auto-renew.