South Africans have long been regarded as a nation of spenders rather than savers, but with interest rates up, wage growth down and the middle classes struggling like never before, now is the time for all that to change.
One of the reasons South Africa is currently facing an unprecedented personal debt crisis is because of the impulsive buying behaviour of consumers. The recent Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor found that 80 percent wanted to learn more about how to save. That shows many people know they need to change their ways, they’re just not sure how. With that in mind, we’re here with seven quick-fire changes you can make to keep a little more cash in your wallet in 2018…
- Ban the bottle
Drinking tap water rather than bottled water is a very simple change you can make to save more money. Not only will it have no detrimental impact on your health, but it’ll also help to maintain natural supplies and reduce the amount of plastic waste.
- Drive sensibly
Is the better driver the one who travels as quickly as possible from A to B, or the one who travels smoothly and cheaply? We’d argue it’s the latter. Accelerating and braking lightly requires you to plan ahead and anticipate what other vehicles will do long before they do it. Not only does it require a high level of skill, but it can also knock up to 20 percent off your fuel bill.
- Get rid of the landline
Now that mobiles have truly taken over, do you really that old landline? You could save up to R2000 a year by ditching the landline in favour of your smartphone.
- Buy your groceries online
Buying your groceries in-store is a big mistake, particularly when you’re hungry, as you will often be tempted into buying items you simply don’t need. By doing your shopping online, all those tasty looking treats are a safe distance away so you can keep it strictly business. You’ll also be able to track your expenditure and take items out of your basket if you’re spending too much.
- Keep it generic
Another simple change you can make is to shun the brand names in favour of the generic equivalents. In many cases, the quality of the products is just as good, whether it’s food, drink, beauty products or painkillers and medicines.
- Cut out those impulse buys
Impulse buys are the Achilles heel of many South African consumers. Clothes are the most common impulse buy, but statistically, we only wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time. That means there are lots of clothes in your wardrobe that you probably never wear. The key is to make a list of the essentials you intend to buy before you hit the shops and to be strict with yourself, even if something catches your eye.
- Make the most of cashback
You can get cashback on just about every purchase you make, whether you’re buying contents insurance or a new outfit. You can then save these funds for a rainy day or put them towards achieving your financial goals.
While we think those are some of the simplest ways to save, there are also many more approaches you can take. Here are some suggestions from the loan provider Wonga SA. We’d love to hear how you get on with your efforts in the comments below.