It’s the end of another year, which means lots of additional spending as we head into the festive season. And while we may throw more financial caution to the wind with so many great deals around, presents to buy and holidays to go on, let’s not forget that this year we have had to contend with a trifecta of rising living costs, with increases in fuel, electricity and rates and taxes affecting everything else.
As such, our hard-earned money doesn’t stretch as far as it used to and it’s wise to find creative ways to save now so that we have a little extra in our pockets for the festive season, or to cover costs in the New Year.
Cheslyn Jacobs, Executive: Sales & Service at TymeBank shares his family’s top tips for saving during the festive season:
Go for free! While it’s fun to go to restaurants, bars and to the shops, this eats into your budget and you can easily end up spending far more than intended just by visiting a mall for a casual browse. Instead take your dog for a walk in the park while meeting up with a friend, go to the beach to enjoy the feeling of the sand between your toes, or if you’re the outdoor type, enjoy a hike or run around the block. Even get a team together to play a game of soccer.
Pot-luck clubs are back: While you may be the hostess with the mostess it has become super expensive to serve a full-blown meal to your friends and family, even if it is a special occasion. This festive season why not consider sharing the love and letting everyone bring a dish to complement your theme? Someone could do the starters, add to the main and bring something along for dessert. It not only involves your guests in the party planning, you’ll also save on the washing up.
Cut down on bank fees: Save hundreds of rands a month by choosing a bank that has low to no fees. While you may know how much it costs to draw cash from an ATM, do you know what it costs to transfer money, make a payment, set up a debit order or order a new card? Take 10 minutes and go through your bank statements, calculating all those extra little fees.
Avoid late-night impulse spending: Now that we can shop from the comfort of our lounge or bedroom using our smartphones, the risk of overspending is so much greater. And with social media buttons that let you shop through platforms like Instagram, it’s become harder to say no to just one more item. As a rule of thumb have a discretionary budget and set it at the start of the month. For instance, set aside R300 for new clothes and stick to it. Although the best way to avoid late-night splurging is simply to put the phone down.
Make gifts, don’t buy: Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles will appreciate home-made gifts far more than an impersonal present bought at an overpriced store. Consider making cookies, or upcycling photo frames to personalise them, and print out a beautiful photo that holds a special memory. Or buy an inexpensive plant like a chili from a nursery which will keep on giving for months to come.
Set up a personal debit order: Put a little bit away each month by setting up a debit order that automatically takes e.g. R50 from your account and puts it in another account. An easy way to do this is to open an account with a bank that has no to low fees so that you don’t pay extra on your stash of cash. Using TymeBank’s GoalSave tool is an effective way to do this and what’s more, you’ll earn up to 8*% on your savings too, paying you to save.
Buy and make in bulk: This is sage advice that our grandmothers told us, and they were right. While it’s easier to pop into a convenience store and buy a ready-made meal, especially when both you and your partner work long hours, it’s far more cost-effective to make a dish like a curry or stew that will last a good few days, and freeze it. If time is an issue between Monday and Friday, use your weekends to cook up a storm, and enjoy your handy work while you’re at it. You’ll also only have to wash up once.
Turn off the lights: The price of electricity went up by a whopping 15% in July of this year. This hit households hard across the country. While Eskom is periodically keeping the lights off, when the power is on make sure you don’t waste it: switch off the lights when you’re not in the room, turn the TV off when you’re not watching it, use gas to cook with, do the dishes instead of using the dishwasher, and wear clothes like jeans and jackets more than once to avoid using the washing machine. *subject to specific terms and conditions
Article Issued by Aprio on behalf of TymeBank
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