As the year starts, we hear plenty advice about how we should be in control of our finances and invest money. But how do you start to invest in a tight economic environment such as ours?
Most South Africans are behind in saving for retirement. Few have little money set aside for emergencies. Whether you’re one of those South Africans with R0 in the bank, or you have a little nest egg, you probably could to save a little more.2017 might have been rough on your wallet. It’s never too late to turn things around and get your finances into shape again. To help we’ve got some great money-saving tips to take into 2018.
Set a budget
The first step to saving money is to take a look at your income and expenses. Make some cuts (it often starts with shop-bought lunches) and plan a budget.
If your goal is to cut spending and save R10, 000 in a pretty short period that is probably not realistic. Especially if that means saving every Rand and go insane not being able to have any fun. If you set realistic spending and saving expectations, you can still not miss out on the things you enjoy.
Build an Emergency Fund
One of the best areas to save first is creating a cushion account, for any large unexpected charges which may come up. Whether that is medical or auto repairs, or if there is an unfortunate job loss. Work at putting a few months’ worth of expenses into an account for when something comes up. By doing this you can avoid using your credit card and risk going further into debt.
Make Savings Automatic
You might not have the discipline to set aside some of your paycheck for savings. So, make your savings automatic. Most banks offer this service, to transfer money to your savings account every month.
Look for ways you can reduce your spending
If your budget reveals there’s a big mismatch between your expenses and income, it’s time to make lifestyle changes.
Even if your budget shows you have some cash left over to save, it’s worth going through your expenses to look for ways to save a little bit more. A few options to consider:
- Reduce the costs of cable
- Take a close look at your cellphone plan
- Make your home more energy efficient
- Change your grocery-shopping process
- Cut your credit card costs
There are dozens of other ways you’re probably wasting money — take a critical look at your spending. Why not join a Money Challenge to get more savings tips.