As 2019 starts drawing to a close, the preparation for the next year slowly begins. Most “New Year Prep” consists of getting on top of your finances by creating a thorough and thought out financial budget. With the beginning of each new year you’ll need to reassess your medical aid cover and gap covers, update policies and coverage, and then also looking into other ways that you can save money in areas you hadn’t explored yet.
We’ve spent some time researching and have created a quick list to browse through on options to consider when looking for ways to save money in 2020. Here are a few places you might have missed that could be the drain in your budget.
We’re in the middle of a massive coffee culture globally. Gone are the instant coffee moments at work, and welcome in the take away cups of coffee that we enjoy everyday because we…need…them. At the very least you are paying R20 for your daily dose, and over a work week this adds up to a minimum of R100. If we take into consideration the cups of coffee you’ll have over the weekend, your monthly coffee take away habit could end up costing you something close to R500 a month.
That’s a large fee for a small cuppa joe. Try alternatives, and maybe, just maybe, give tea a go.
Every month that comes around brings in new specials on groceries and toiletries. Take a moment to sign up to a few stores newsletters so that you can easily access any specials and plan your shopping accordingly. Taking advantage of specials and planning properly can potentially save you quite a bit. Take time to browse specials, and eventually this will be a natural process that you’ll employ each month.
Ok, so this one might seem a little bizarre in this list, but hear us out. Most of your larger grocery stores now offer online shopping. That means you can sit on your couch in front of your weekly program and grocery shop without any hassle or frustrations. By shopping online, you remove the knee jerk shopping moments that we all have when walking through the grocery store. Plan your meals around the specials that are available and shop only for what you need. You’ll be surprised how much nonsensical items we buy when we grocery shop in person. There are delivery fees, but in all honesty, we’d pay anyone R50 to carry all our grocery parcels up the flight of stairs to our home so really, who’s using who here.
When last did you look into what exactly your bank charges are? Each month you get billed a fee, are you using all the perks that come with this fee? Are you getting charged on processes that you weren’t aware of? A quick call or email to your bank to enquire about your banking profile can clear this up for you. While you’re there, ask your bank for their advice on what type of account you need for each of your needs. And then do your research into what the charges are, when they increase, and how much do they increase by.
In today’s world, we very rarely need hard cash to engage in everyday activities. But it’s good practice to have some handy for those situations that you can’t fully prepare for, or for paying for parking at a mall – we’ve all been there. Avoid using competitor banks ATM as you get charge an inflated fee that will eventually add up to a hefty amount over the course of a year. Plan ahead for the month and withdraw cash from your bank’s ATM’s before you get left with no option. R10 a withdrawal may not seem like much, but by simply doing this 5 times you’ve wasted R50 on fees you could have avoided.
First off, if you have a credit card because you need help breaking even at the end of the month then we suggest sitting down with a financial advisor to help you find ways to break even without the aid of credit i.e. debt.
If you do have a credit cards that are there for life practicalities, then how many do you really need? We suggest consolidating all cards into one card. This will save you on charges each month, and will give you peace of mind if you ever lose the card or if it gets stolen.
With all policies and insurances, you can change them at any time. But be incredibly cautious when changing these. Be thorough with your research, and sit down with a professional before making any brash decisions. Yes, you can potentially save some money here with a cheaper option at a competitor, but do your research before swapping over. DO YOUR RESEARCH!
We know this might not even be a concern once the NHI bill kicks off, but until things are set in stone take a moment to, at the very least, read up on alternative cheaper plans that could better suit you and your family…and your budget.