We’re not quite sure what it is about the South African psyche that makes us such bad savers, but it’s a fact that we can’t ignore. South Africa is a nation of big borrowers and poor savers, with one study showing that the average consumer saves just 15 cents on every R100 they earn.
While tough economic conditions and rising living costs make it difficult for many households to save anything at all, there are still a few clever tips that can help you keep more money in your pocket by the end of the month. There are also plenty of other tips out there about how to save money, so try whatever works for you and stick to it!
- Switch to a bank that offers a free overdraft
If an unexpected cost or expensive month is all it takes to push your bank account into the red, make sure you’re with a bank that offers you an interest-free overdraft facility up to a certain limit. Overdraft charges vary wildly depending on your account provider, so shop around for a current account that offers a free authorised overdraft.
- Sign up for loyalty cards – and use them!
A whole host of shops, restaurants and supermarkets have loyalty cards that give customers rewards in the form of money off and access to special offers. Many of us never get around to signing up to loyalty cards, and if we do, they sit unused in our wallets. However, use them wisely and loyalty cards could save you thousands of rand every year.
- Cancel unnecessary direct debits
The first step in this money-saving tip is to actually read your bank statements. There’s a good chance you’ll be shocked by how many direct debits you’ve set up and how much you’re shelling out for services you simply don’t need. Do you go to the gym frequently enough to warrant your monthly membership? And perhaps it’s time to let that Netflix subscription go?
Buying more might not sound like the best money-saving tip you’ve ever heard, but buying in bulk is a sure way to save money over the longer term. Rather than buying four toilet rolls every time you go to the supermarket, buy a bumper pack of nine. The same can be said for a whole host of other products. Just make sure you look at the unit price of every product to check you’re getting the best deal.
- Search for discount codes online
Whenever you’re about to make a purchase online, pause for a moment, open up a new tab and do a quick search for discount codes for the retailer you’re buying from. There are often codes you can enter at the online checkout that will give you 10% or more off the purchase price. Do that every time you buy a product and you’ll quickly make a healthy saving.
- Do your food shopping at night
It might not be your idea of a good time, but if you head to the supermarket in the evening, after about 7pm, you’ll find there are heavy discounts available on items that must be sold by the end of the day. If you’re flexible about what you buy, you could easily bag lots of fresh produce for a fraction of the price you’d usually pay.
Do you have a money-saving tip you’d like to share with our readers? Then please leave yours in the comments section below.