Economists are not positive about the growth of investments this year as they foresee a tighter budgetary approach from investors who are feeling the pinch of rising costs. This means that all of us should be doing whatever we can to engage with our monthly spending plans and pull back on unnecessary costs.
With that in mind, here are my regular ‘end of the month’ saving tips!
1. PREPARE MEALS YOURSELF, AT HOME
The demand for convenience meals is on the rise. Since the late 1950’s ‘TV dinners’ have been steadily growing in popularity and have become a major industry with virtually every supermarket chain offering their variety of ready-to-eat meals. The reason it’s a growing industry is because it’s making money; from you and me. We pay top-dollar prices for meals that should be costing us around 50% less than the pre-portioned, reheatable and convenient options that we now purchase out of habit. A habit that’s costing you cash.
The solution? Spend 15 minutes at your local Readers Warehouse or, Bargian Books, in the cooking section and choose from a wide variety of cooking books that will offer you recipes that can be prepped and cooked in under half-an-hour, using fairly standard off-the-shelf grocery items. Then work through the recipes, marking off the ones that you and your family would really like to try, and then add the items to your shopping list for your next trip to the supermarket.
Think about the time it takes to drive to the shops, find parking, navigate the shopping isles and tills to buy your pre-packaged meals and get back home; versus driving straight home and spending 25 minutes to make a fresh meal that will most likely taste better. You’ll save money, you’ll actually save time and you’ll be happier for it!
2. GO FOR RELIABILITY AND FUEL EFFICIENCY WHEN BUYING A CAR
A reliable and fuel-efficient car will save you thousands over the long haul. Let’s say you drive a vehicle for 80,000 km over five years. If you choose a car with a consumption of 5 litres per 100km over one that drinks 12 litres per 100km, you will save you save 5 600 litres! At R14 a litre that’s R78 400 in savings right there.
Reliability can pay the same dividends. Do the research – it will pay off for you.
3. DON’T GO TO STORES OR SHOPPING CENTRES FOR ENTERTAINMENT
Doing so is just an encouragement to spend money you don’t really have on stuff you don’t really need. Instead, find other places to entertain yourself – the park, a museum, a friend’s house, or even in your own home. Don’t confuse shopping for entertainment and you’ll be way better off.
4. MASTER THE TEN SECOND RULE
Whenever you pick up an item in order to add it to your trolley or to take it to the tills, stop for ten seconds and ask yourself why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it or not. If you can’t find a good answer, put the item back. This keeps me from making impulse buys on a regular basis!
Remember, whatever you are able to save now will always pay you back later!