We celebrated National Savings Month (aka July) in style. We called on all South Africans to come forward and take part in our #StretchYourBudget competition – and you did not disappoint! You shared your best budget-stretching tips for different scenarios and we were blown away. Turns out there are a lot more financially savvy people out there than we could imagine. You sure know how to make a buck go further, so we thought we’d share some of your tips.
Tip 1: Have a shopping list
Having a list to go by keeps you on track and lessens the chances of you buying things you didn’t budget for. Much like a map, a shopping list guides your shopping experience, i.e. you’re more likely going to go only to the aisles where the items you need are rather than wandering around the store. This also saves you time because you know your in-store destinations.
Tip 2: Want it? Thrift it.
The world of thrift stores holds many reasonably priced gems. That pair of sneakers you’ve been eyeing could be bought at a far more affordable price from a thrift store. Sure it’ll have a little wear and tear, but it’s nothing you can’t fix. There is no limit to the things you can buy from a thrift store and, with the advances in technology, you don’t even have to go into physical stores. You can just shop online from thrift stores like Facebook Marketplace and Yaga.
Tip 3: Price-less entertainment
Over the last year and a half, we’ve learnt to make the most of our time at home. Being stuck at home has encouraged a level of creativity many of us never knew we possessed. It just goes to show that sometimes happiness cannot be bought, but it sure can be made. Looking to expand on your game days or nights but not willing to splurge? Consider some of these:
- No soccer ball? Worry not! Grab some plastic bags and stuff them into one bag. Mould the stuffed bag into a ball – and there you have it!
- Board games! Those classics that have gathered dust in the cupboard would be perfect for game night. No shop-bought board games? Make your own.
- Indigenous games. It’s about time you taught your kids the games you played in your youth that are unique to your neighbourhood or your culture. Bring something different and new to the table. The best part about these games is that most of them don’t cost a thing.
Tip 4: Look at your spending habits
You’ll be surprised how much you would save if you gave up buying those daily coffees or succumbing to those unplanned buys. When you sit down and do the maths, it adds up. Sometimes it helps to stop and think before making that purchase. By asking yourself ‘Is it essential?’ and ‘Can I wait a bit?, you can establish whether it’s an impulsive spend or not. If it is, walk away. That extra R99 you save from cancelling your Netflix subscription will do your budget good. Think about it…
You, our audience, have given us more than enough smart ways and reasons to make better decisions with our money. We’d like to send a special shout-out to you. See? Saving isn’t impossible. Here’s to becoming a master budget stretcher!