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Lockdown 101: 10 things we don’t miss spending money on

Finance & Money

Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2020

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We are all a little over the lockdown. Even though we’re no longer locked up in our homes 24/7, going outside into the world is still a surreal experience and it can be hard to feel positive when things are so upside-down. But it’s not all bad; there’s a silver lining to almost all the negative things we’re facing right now: the savings. Household budgets are loving this lockdown. We bet if you compared your expenses over the last few months to pre-lockdown days, you’d be pleasantly surprised at how much money you’ve saved. 

 

So the next time you’re feeling a little down in the dumps, consider these 10 things you don’t miss spending money on during lockdown.

 

1. Transport/petrol

 

After these seemingly endless days of lockdown, the cabin fever is real. But when you don’t leave the house, you’re not spending money on transport or petrol, so there’s a major saving! 

 

Plus, the global demand for fuel has plummeted due to the lockdown restrictions implemented in most countries. Because people haven’t been able to leave their homes very much, oil reserves have been in oversupply. This has led to lower demand and in turn, lower crude oil prices. This translates to direct savings when filling up.

 

Unfortunately, the fuel price is starting to rise again, with petrol in South Africa going up by R1.18 per litre for petrol and 22 cents per litre for diesel in June. However, this is 16% lower for petrol and 22% lower for diesel than pre-lockdown prices. So we’re still winning at the pumps. Yay!    

 

2. Entertainment

 

With no latest blockbuster releases at the cinema, no spa treatments, and no soccer matches, lockdown is incredibly boring. But add up the costs of your movie tickets, Friday afternoon work drinks, and tobacco for the month, and we bet you’ve saved quite a bit of money by leading a very boring life.

 

3. Clothing

 

With clothing sales only opening up on the lower lockdown levels, we’ve all had to make do with what was already in our wardrobes when the lockdown started. And let’s be honest; you secretly love wearing that pair of lockdown pants every chance you get. By not being tempted by the latest fashion, you’ve likely saved at least a few hundred rand.

 

Additionally, with the reopening of clothing stores, many have offered discounts on their items in order to recoup some of the losses they suffered from having to close for an extended period of time, so that’s a double saving!

 

4. Gym 

 

Not being able to exercise has been one of the hardest parts of the lockdown for many people. It’s a great way to relieve stress in normal times, so doing without it during these strange days has been tough. The bright side, of course, is that many gyms have suspended their membership fees for the duration of the lockdown, so that’s one less bill we’ve had to worry about.

 

5. Holidays 

 

Nobody rejoices at having a holiday cancelled, but if you try really hard, you can still see the positive side. You can save up even more money than you already had for an even bigger and better holiday once traveling and tourism are again allowed. 

 

Or, if times are tough financially right now, you could use that money to get by until you’re back on your feet again.

Learn more COVID-19: How to support a small business

 

6. Phone bills

 

The Wi-Fi at work is great… when you can get it. Many companies limit the amount of data their employees can use at the office, which means you end up using the expensive data on your phone. Now that we spend so much time at home, we’re plugged into the home network all the time, saving money on browsing and social media, like those weekly Zoom catch-ups with your mates.

 

7. Credit

 

At the end of May, the repo rate was at nearly a 50-year low, having dropped to 3.75%. This has led to big savings for consumers with debt.
The repo rate is determined by the South African Reserve Bank. This is the interest rate at which the Reserve Bank lends money to our country’s commercial banks, such as FNB, ABSA, Standard Bank, Capitec, and Nedbank. When the repo rate goes down, the interest we pay on credit also goes down. So if you have a home loan, your monthly repayments have become lower and lower during the lockdown period.

 

8. Lower insurance premiums

 

If you’re a Budget customer, you may have saved money on your monthly payments with our premium relief programme, where we’ve offered several ways for you to reduce your insurance premium during the lockdown period. For example, some of our clients have qualified for between 10% and 20% discount temporarily. We’ve also offered the option to switch to Budget Lite during lockdown, remove certain items from policies for the time being, and paused all annual increases until July 2020.

 

9. Banks

 

Many of the banks have offered small but meaningful relief measures for their clients, such as waiving penalty fees for withdrawing from other banks’ ATMs, collecting social grants at ATMs with no charge, and providing solutions for some clients who can’t afford their monthly payments during the lockdown.

 

10. Food

 

Lunchtime takeaways and restaurant dinners add a bill to your budget that you probably aren’t even aware of. These amounts here and there might seem small and manageable, but you may be surprised to see just how much you spend on food that isn’t homecooked every month. Sure, your grocery bill is probably higher than usual, but for many people, it’s not nearly as high as the drive-thru costs were pre-lockdown.

 

 

Nothing will feel as good as the day when the world has moved past the COVID-19 pandemic and our lives are back to as normal as they can be. But in the meantime, there’s a lot of opportunity to save money every month and make the best of this situation as we can.

 

Looking for a car insurance quote? Get an affordable quote with Budget Insurance online today!

 

 

Sources: Mail & Guardian 

Prices quoted are correct at the time of publishing this article. The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or medical advice.