The challenges of income instability, petrol and electricity price increases require you to manage your expenses effectively and curb unnecessary spending. Here’s how
If there is anything that Covid-19 taught us is that life is unpredictable and that better financial management is essential to better manage what life throws our way.
Here are five areas you can cut back on financially to help you save money:
- Switch off appliances, such as computers once fully charged, and lights that are not in use.
- Switch off your geyser during the day or at night (off-peak) or invest in a timer.
- Check for leaks on taps and fix these because they can cause wastage, which will increase your monthly spending. In addition, reduce the usage of water as much as possible.
- Use data and airtime sparingly. Always shop around for the best prices.
- Check if you still require all your various subscriptions and club memberships. For example, do you require a pay-tv subscription? And if so, can you reduce your expenses by carefully choosing an option suitable for your pocket?
- Review all your various subscriptions for things, such as magazines, clubs, or the gym to see if you are using these.
- Ask yourself – how much do I use this? Do I really need this? Can I live without this?
- Look for activities you can do at home or for free as a family, reducing spending on transport and entrance fees.
- Watch your spending on birthdays, gifts, and celebrations and find less costly ways to give gifts and to celebrate special moments.
- Cook at home as much as possible, cut down on takeaways, when going to work or school, prepare your lunch at home. This will mean you spend less on takeaways and convenience food bought at petrol stations or at work.
- Reduce the number of times you host braais and parties to save on food. Encourage friends to bring and share when hosting.
Track your spending
- You can track how you are spending using pen and paper, excel sheets, collecting all your receipts, slips and adding up how you spend. You can also use apps that help you track your spending and give you alerts when you are over-spending. Certain phone providers allow you to put a limit to how much airtime/data you want to spend per month. Certain banks and finance apps have similar trackers to help you manage your expenses and they send you alerts if you exceed 50% or more of your allocation.
Words: Dhashni Naidoo, FNB consumer education programme manager.