We can use all the help we can get to cut spending and save some serious cash. Here’s how we do it at Multiply.
Home and car:
• In winter, we only use the heater on absolutely freezing days. Investing in a few high-quality blankets is far cheaper.
• I only choose energy-efficient appliances. The saving is massive in the long run, especially with the cost of electricity in South Africa.
• I make my own beauty products using coconut oil, shea butter and essential oils. You can find lots of good recipes on Pinterest. I save money and it’s better for my skin and the environment.
• I’m not ashamed to say, I cut open my shampoo, conditioner and lotion bottles to use the very last drop. You’ll be surprised at how much is left at the bottom!
• I regularly fill tyre pressure as properly inflated tyres improve fuel efficiency.
• I grow my own herbs and small vegetables in pots at home. Seeds are about R20 a pack and I have a constant supply.
• I look up each store’s weekly or monthly specials and plan what I’m going to buy from each store.
• I drink mostly water, rather than juice or fizzy drinks. Water is free and so much healthier.
• My sister and I buy a whole lamb from the butcher every two months and split it between us. It’s much cheaper than buying small packages of meat.
Family and fun:
• I limit and rotate toys the kids can play with at any given time. This makes them appreciate their toys so much more and lets them “miss” their toys so we don’t have to buy more.
• Our extended family (parents and siblings and kids) get together once a month and swap books, movies and video games. We make a family gathering out of it with a hearty meal. It’s a nice way to spend time together and save money at the same time.
• Check if your bank has an option to put away your spare change. For example, when I swipe, let’s say R56, that amount is rounded up and the R4 goes into a savings account. Nifty!
• When I get my salary, I pay myself first by putting away money into a 32-day fixed savings account so that I can’t easily access it.
• I set challenges for myself to not spend a cent on weekdays. So on the weekend, I buy all my groceries and prepare lunches to take to work.
• I put every R5 I get into a jar. This really adds up after a few months.
Finally, the most important way to reduce spending and start saving is to first set up a realistic budget, and then stick to it.