The journey to financial freedom may seem daunting, but with a strong will and some great money-saving tips, you can turn your financial life around and start saving. Saving money and staying debt-free are critical steps in your financial journey but these tasks are however no small feat. At such a critical time, a time of financial uncertainty – a person couldn’t have a greater need to achieve a higher level of financial security. Try these intelligent ways to save money, and you may be amazed by how much you can save over time.
Here are 100 ways to save money in 2021:
The journey to financial freedom starts with a budget. You can’t save money when you have no idea where your money is going. Budgeting strengthens your resolve to achieve your goals and avoid the temptation to splurge money.
You want to make a list of your monthly expenses including housing, utilities, groceries, debt payments, and entertainment. Once you have a clear picture of how much you’re spending in a typical month, you can look for trends and problem areas.
Failing to budget will have you stressed and wondering as to where your money went every single month!
The reason you hear this tip so much is that it works! If buying lunch at work costs R50, but making lunch at home costs only R25, then in a year, you could afford to create R5000 emergency fund and still have money left over. You can create something quite enjoyable for your brown bag lunch – and save a fistful of cash each time you do. It’s a fantastic way to do everyday savings.
Breaking fast food and restaurant habits are the easiest ways to cut your overall spending. A meal for two at a mid-range restaurant can cost up to R500-R1000, and in the case that you eat out twice or thrice a week that means R2000 is lost on meals monthly.
It may not seem like much but multiply that by 12 and you will have R24, 000. This extra money could be a big jump on your savings for long-term or short-term. Plan your food, stock up on your favourite ingredients and convenient food, and have a backup plan for days when cooking is a dread.
For some, the day doesn’t start until they get their kick of caffeine. But do you really have to buy it when making it at home is such an economic option? The average price for coffee in S.A is R27-35. Sounds like change right, but multiply that by 20days on a monthly basis.
That’s R600 more for savings or to redirect to more essential needs. Invest in a high-quality coffee machine and filters, buy the right seeds, develop your brewing skills and be innovative with your coffee creations.
Movies are a big part of our social lives…from movie dates to just a regular movie night with the girls, the theatre is where we go. But ITS ALSO a luxury that comes at a great cost and leaves a dent on our pockets.
Saving means cutting out on luxury so sometimes you may have to sacrifice your seat at the theatre and watch movies in the comfort of your own home. The best part is with this option you’re spoilt for choice.
You can pick a movie on Box office or Netflix or borrow a DVD from a friend. If that’s out for you then you can consider cutting out all the luxury extras to save money and switching to off-peak viewing days.
You would be surprised at how much money is lost on energy bills. But what might surprise you more is how much you can save by tweaking your usage. Small adjustments to your home’s energy usage can help you save electricity and money.
Insurance might be one of the major bills on your budget but that doesn’t mean you must be comfortable with whatever premiums you are paying.
Find ways to minimize the burden on your wallet by shopping around for insurance. Compare insurance options to find your best rates, this will help you choose between staying with your current insurer and switching to a better one. We provide information on all insurance outlets that can offer you fair and convenient insurance at favourable premiums.
You will likely get a better deal by paying upfront. They are no charges on interest and this also allows you to negotiate if you are in a position to negotiate. Just make sure you can afford it. Insurance companies also offer discounts for paying in full. You might actually save up 7%-9%.
Insurance is usually cheaper when you bundle up a home, car or life insurance under one policy. Not only do bundles reduce insurance premiums paid but it also reduces the headaches and hassles that come with multiple insurances.
On average, policyholders who opt for a bundled insurance can reduce the total cost of insurance by 3%-22%.
Quitting smoking is not only good for health but can also produce large monetary savings from just no longer buying cigarettes. Cigarettes are an expensive habit. During Level 5 of the Lockdown, smokers had to pay over R1000 for a box of cigarettes just to get their fix of nicotine. Imagine how much you can save by quitting. It will be like giving yourself a pay raise.
By quitting smoking, you also get to lower your insurance premiums with most insurance service providers. For example, Discovery lowers its’ clients premiums when they quit smoking and can give them cashback on their premiums for doing so.
Ask around or organize a carpool spreadsheet at work to see if anyone lives near you, who you can swap rides with. For your kids, enlist nearby parents or friends’ parents to help lighten the burden of the school drop-off lines.
Carpooling can also be done for getting groceries, going to functions, going to religious services and almost anything else you might do regularly.
Every now and then, your kids may deserve a treat every now and then but you don’t always have to spend a fortune on new clothes and toys. Save baby clothes for the next baby and don’t be shy to ask friends and family for toys, bedding etc. Why spend a fortune on it if your child will outgrow it in a few months right.
Fuel efficiency is simply an enormous financial consideration when buying a car. Fuel prices are so unpredictable that driving has become a guilty pleasure owing to the dent it leaves on your wallet.
But with a car that saves on fuel, you can cut down the costs. When you make fuel economy a priority when shopping for cars, you can make driving a not-so-guilty-pleasure again.
Affording a new car doesn’t necessarily mean that you should buy one. If you can borrow one habit from the wealthy then let it be the habit of buying used cars that are in good condition and still have good mileage.
Cars depreciate in value so why spend a fortune if you can maximise on savings for driving away in the same high end model for almost 40% less.
The majority of cars operate perfectly on regular or mid-grade gasoline so if your car does not specifically require premium grade, stick to the lower grades. Your car manual might say it’s recommended but confirm with your mechanic and cut back on the money you spend on gas monthly.
Living a frugal life also entails taking up projects you would have previously paid a professional to do. You don’t need to be a mechanic or auto expert to handle uncomplicated issues like hanging your battery, air filters, oil and air filter.
Missing that visit to your mechanic can save you dough, as long as you know what not to touch because that may leave you with no car at all.
They are two groups of people, those who just love yard sales and those who write them off as castoffs of other people’s trash. If you in this group then you might be missing out on a chance to score some really great deals.
Yard sales offer incredible deals on everything from cookware to garden equipment and just about everything else. The best part is amidst the pandemic, garage sales have gone online! How convenient!!
Exercise is pivotal in maintaining a healthy lifestyle but do you really need that gym membership? Cancelling a gym subscription for those expensive gym classes you never attend might just be the thing you need to save more money.
Get creative and find ways to keep fit at a minimum cost, running and biking are good exercise routines that cost close to nothing.
Men need their regular haircut and shave but is there really a need to visit the barber for that. Investing in a good electric trimmer and clippers can save you hundreds of rands and save you money on fuel for those visits to the salon.
While some subscriptions can add value to your life, others can slowly drain your accounts—to the tune of hundreds of rands each year. It’s important to track and manage your monthly subscriptions because you might find yourself paying for services you never use or free trials that converted into paid subscriptions.
Rather than stock up on books that you might never even read, just visit the library to borrow books that you need. You can also make use of free Wi-Fi and free use the computers. If you work from home, the library is also a good place to visit to find a convenient workspace.
Every now and then, we have to replace torn clothes but you can save all that money by just learning to saw. Instead of having to buy new ones you can mend/repair old ones or put buttons rather than have a tailor do it for you.
Plan your holiday 3-24months in advance as this will save you money. Most companies offer early booking incentives so you’ll likely find really good deals on accommodation and other holiday packages. Moreover, when you book early you will find the best prices on airfares possible.
If they is one thing I learnt on Lockdown, it’s the skill of DIY. Rather than splurge money, you can download videos or use your knowledge to make anything from homemade crafts to sanitizer and even your own re-usable face mask. You might even find yourself enjoying this and in the process save on household essentials!
Life is far much simpler and cheaper when you live it on your terms, striving to please only your inner positive self. Work for a cause and not applause. What’s the point in going broke, trying to look rich?
Not everything is set in stone…where they is room to negotiate, do just that! Negotiate better deals on whatever you can and save your hard-earned money.
Shopping with a grocery list will keep you grounded and help you stick to your budget. A list not only keeps you from going overboard with your shopping but it also saves you that extra trip back to the mall after forgetting to pick one or two essentials.
Many South African retailers and stores offer cash back on groceries for cardholders. PicknPay, Checkers, Clicks and many others also offer massive discounts for a card and club members, so get yourself those cards and start saving and benefiting from your shopping.
It’s always cheaper to buy everything in bulk because you can buy everything you want at wholesale price or at massive discounts. Get a chest freezer and stock up on both perishables and non-perishables during times when they are on sale.
Be wary when buying organic: Organic products are good for your health but the products are sometimes insanely expensive. Ensure you getting value for the premium prices you are paying for that organic label. Make sure the label is worth the price.
Produce in season typically costs less in comparison to off-season produce. Target your grocery list choices on products that are in season as this will help you stretch your budget. Your wallet will thank you!
Generic goods are mostly just as good as branded goods on quality but at far much lower prices. The main difference is on marketing so next time you go shopping, try picking generic and if it’s up to your liking, stick to it!
This may sound silly but it is actually a great tool for saving. Discount signs are very appealing, a Buy 1 get 1 free discount or a buy 3 for 2 are simply hard to resist. Retailers know you can’t resist the urge to spend on discounted products, don’t fall for the scam.
Wisdom is doing your calculations to see if the discount is what they say. You might be surprised to find that a buy one for two special is only a discount of less than 15%.
Always check your receipt and scan it at the door before leaving the store. Security guards are only human and can make mistakes. Checking your receipt before leaving the store will save you the extra trip back to the shops to buy something that you have already paid for.
You already have a cupboard full of those so next time you go shopping, save and re-use the bags that you already have. It may not be much but those cents you save on every shopping visit counts
Going shopping on an empty, rumbling tummy will make you spend more on food items as everything you love and see on the shelf will catch your fancy. Hunger will make you think with your tummy and not your brain.
Imagine making money from products that you were going to buy anyway and getting paid for shopping. This may sound too good to be true but you can actually make money from doing your shopping by simply scanning your receipt. Try SNAPnSAVE among other apps and start earning for your purchases.
Cook your meals in bulk. This will save you money, time and energy. While some meals are better when freshly cooked and steaming hot, you can cook meals like stew and whatever else you can and store it up in containers in the freezer.
Don’t stick with one retailer. Get value for your money every time by comparing prices from different shops and buying from the cheapest one. Check websites of different stores beforehand so you can head straight to the shop that offers you the best deal.
Become a coupon king/queen. Maximize on every discount you can get through coupons either on groceries or anything else. Everyone at some point has felt like coupons don’t work for them. At times they may feel like a hassle but do your research and find a way to make them work for you. Just make sure you spend coupons only on things that are on your budget.
Cheap is expensive. Don’t settle for cheap, invest in quality. High quality products are durable and usually worth every cent. Poor quality goods may be cheaper but will cost you far much more as you may have to replace it sooner. You may even find it’s not even good enough for the purpose for which you bought it.
Extended warranties are seldom worth the money you pay for them. In fact, it is better to use the money to set up an emergency fund and draw from it when the product breaks. It’s cheaper to pay for repairs than incur costs for an extended warrant. In the case that it doesn’t break, just leave the money to grow under savings.
One trick I have learnt is to buy goods just as their season ends. Winter clothes are cheapest around August as winter ends while summer clothes are cheapest around April when the winter chills are starting. Buying branded clothes, footwear and bags when they are out of season will save you a fortune.
Everything is expensive during holiday times. Shop for your holiday gifts and buy decorations well-in-advance. Chocolates and teddy bears are most expensive towards Valentine’s Day and Christmas decorations are cheapest after 25December.
Window shopping seldom ends there. The intention may be just to take a casual look around but oftentimes this is the time we make those unintentional purchases that blow the budget.
Loyalty to your bank is folly if it’s costing you too much. Find a bank that offers you the lowest banking fees while still providing quality service.
Growing your savings isn’t too much hard work when you put them in a high yield savings account. High-interest savings accounts are a valuable middle ground for your money, offering fortification of your principal and a yield that’s higher than a regular savings account.
You may be wondering on what the best plan of action is for that sudden cash windfall you receive. Here’s some advice; SAVE IT! You might also use it to clear off existing debts, pay off taxes and use a little bit of it for fun but just make sure not to fritter away all of it. Your best plan is to preserve it for the future.
Salary increase means more cash but that doesn’t have to mean being frivolous in your spending. While it’s okay to reward yourself for that promotion or salary increase, it’s also very wise to dedicate the amount added to savings. You have been coping on your normal salary so keep managing on that and watch your savings grow.
Pay physical cash instead of swiping/using cash. When you physically hand over your money to someone else and watch it disappear you feel the implications of spending. It’s painful. This will teach you to be more cautious with your purchases. Moreover, there are zero charges on spending cash as compared to digital money so you are guaranteed to save.
This is one of the tried and tested methods of saving money. Save up all your lose money and store it up in a jar. It may not seem like much but make the effort to deposit the money into your savings account every now and then. Eventually, what seemed like pennies will grow into a nest egg.
While some service providers charge you for using their credit cards, rewards credit cards offer you incentives for using your card more. These credit cards reward you for every rand you spend.
You can lose a lot of money on debt interest so your financial plan should always involve a strategy to clear off the high-interest debt as fast as possible.
With a zero percent transfer credit card, you can move your debt from your current, high-interest card to a new card and pay no interest on it for a specified period of time.
The balance under a 0% APR balance transfer offer won’t accrue interest during the stipulated period for as long minimum payments are made on time.
This will provide you with a little breathing room in your budget so that you can pay down the debt quicker. If used wisely, 0% balance transfer credit cards are tremendous money-saving tools. However, if mismanaged can shove you into a worse financial state.
Automated bill payments make the task of paying bills less tedious and time-consuming. Just put recurring bills on autopilot. Without the headache of doing it yourself, you can pay more attention to other aspects of managing your financial life. Plus, you can rest at ease knowing they will be no extra interest to be paid for late payments.
Establishing a good credit score will save you money and make your financial life and saving so much easier. A good credit score will give you more negotiating power, a better chance for approval for loans and better chances for low insurance rates among other benefits.
Overdraft fees can be hefty so make sure to spend only that which you have. Stay on the safe by adding a small cash cushion to your account and keeping it there. You can even opt-out for overdraft coverage service with your bank.
Start planning for your retirement as early as possible. Maximize on your Registered Retirement Savings Plan and leave it there to grow tax free until withdrawal.
Employer-sponsored savings plans cover a range of services including healthcare and retirement savings at either no cost or relatively low prices. It’s currently not compulsory to have such a plan in South Africa but that’s no reason not to capitalize on the benefit of these discounted services.
Implement measures around the house that reduce water usage and ultimately cut down the bill. Take shorter showers, collect rain water to water your garden, inspect your appliances for leaks and run full loads in washing machine and dishwasher.
Rent out the extra room in your house to make extra cash. If you are comfortable with sharing your space you may even consider finding a roommate. Find good tenants who are reliable and pay timely because the last thing you need is tenants who give you a headache. You can use that money to pay for utilities or just add it to your savings.
There’s no such thing as good debt so do your best to pay off your mortgage as soon as you can. This will save you money in the long term. Do biweekly mortgage payments, pay a little extra, refinance your mortgage or round up your mortgage payments.
Interest rates are at 47year low in South Africa. This has prompted the best interest rates for home loans which means it’s a great time to borrow. Don’t settle for whatever your traditional bank offers you. Shop around for the best deals and make sure to only settle for the best mortgage rate possible.
A variable rate is a money saver if the timing is right. The monthly payments and interest rate are usually much lower as compared to fixed mortgage rates.
Decreasing cover is expensive and definitely not worth the cost. Instead, use a standard life and disability insurance to cover and protect those you love.
The higher the amount your pay upfront, the lower your loan will be. Not only will a bigger down payment minimize your borrowing but it might also qualify you for a lower interest rate from the lender.
67, Replace Incandescent Bulbs
Opt for more energy and environment-friendly lights like LED and CFL bulbs. These types of bulbs are energy-efficient and long-lasting which means you cut down on electricity costs and also not have to replace your bulbs ever so often.
Install an automatic light timer for all your outdoor lights. This way you won’t have to worry about forgetting to switch off your lights. It’s an efficient, budget-wise way to save money and avoid wasting energy by forgetting lights on.
Whenever you go shopping for appliances, always go for the most energy efficient ones. This will lead to a significant reduction of energy cost.
South African winters can get extremely cold, but that doesn’t mean every measure to keep warm should increase your electricity bills. Winter-proof your home by insulating it, getting new window treatments and getting warm blankets and throws that will keep you snuggled up and warm on freezing cold nights.
The factory savings of your geyser is set at a higher temperature. Lower your water temperature to cut down on energy costs. Ensure that you achieve optimum temperatures for both your convenience and to cut down energy costs.
Dress warmly in winter so you won’t have much need for heaters unless it’s really cold. And in summer, dress light to stay cool so that you can survive the heat even without the use of an air conditioner.
Pick a thermostat that suits your scheduling needs so you can “set it and forget it”. Proper and correct use of a programmable thermostat will save you 10-35% on heating and cooling bills.
Furnaces must be checked annually, or monthly for the new ones but there is no need to call in a professional every time. This may not be an easy task but your wallet will show for all the hard work because DIY furnace servicing will save you lots of money.
You don’t have to call in an HVAC repair technician every time your conditioning system starts acting up. A simple conditioner service costs around R1000-R4000. Imagine, so much more money to spend on your necessities or add to your savings. Invest in knowledge on how to DIY clean and service your air conditioner from YouTube videos and other reliable online materials.
If there were ever a great time to plant a garden, it’s now. 2020 has brought so many changes and spending more time at home is one such change. Rather than waste it on t.v games, invest your time into a garden.
Plant your own vegetables and herbs so that you don’t have to buy then at the market every time. Prices are skyrocketing, don’t pay a fortune when you have the option of growing your own quality ingredients. Plus, you might just discover a new passion and subsequently, a new stream of income.
Declutter your home by putting up everything that can be used up for sale. This will give you extra bucks to buy the things that you actually need and you can save up all the extra funds.
I know some people who work 9-5jobs, have very little time to spend in front of the t.v. but still, afford to pay for a full bouquet DSTV subscription. Cut down your channels and leave only those that you really need. If you have Netflix, then you won’t need Hulu. Find out how you can reduce costs on your cable and do it to the best of your abilities.
Borrow the equipment and stuff that you know you will only need for a day, or maybe only for a season and may not have much use for them after that. Buy only those things that have recurring use and are essential.
Staycations are the trend for 2020 across the world. Cross border travelling has plummeted to unprecedented costs, and the costs are not just monetary. International travel amid the pandemic is exposing your life to risk. South Africa is a beautiful rich place with so much to be discovered and explored so be it in your home town or just around the country, let a staycation be your holiday plan of choice.
Automatic savings make the habit of saving so much easier. You don’t have to second guess yourself or have trouble on deciding how much to save as the flow keeps moving and your savings grow unattended. All you have to do is do is do the initial setup and it’s hands-off the rest of the way.
Debt means every paycheck has someone’s name written on it, so if you want to make strides in financial freedom then, by all means, avoid debt! If you have any outstanding debts then pay it off as fast as you can. I t will save you lots of money on interest too.
Don’t make impulsive purchases, rather than to rush into buying give yourself thirty days to decide if you really need to make the purchase. Put the money in your savings account while you await the period. If you decide to make the purchase, you can go ahead but if not then just leave the funds in the account as savings.
We all have that one thing we just can’t wait to buy. You have been waiting since forever to buy it, the funds have finally come together just right. However, not every time is best to buy it. Timing is everything! If you can be patient till around late November then you can score up to 50% on your purchase during Black Friday.
Bottled water is expensive. In some restaurants, you pan more for a bottle of water than you do for a 2litre juice at a retail store. Funny enough, you might find that the substitute, tap water is available for free. If you trust the water source, drink tap water or if you have still water at home then carry a water bottle with your clean water.
Spending online when your credit number is stored on an account is as easy as “click and buy”. It opens room for impulsive buying and overspending. Make sure you remove your credit card numbers from online accounts.
Life always has a way of happening. And when it does, you don’t want to fall back on your savings. Set up an emergency fund that will act as your contingency plan when the unexpected happens. Your emergency fund should have at least 6month’s worth of savings so that you are ready for the rainy days, even when you are facing a storm.
While in the spirit of saving through DIY, try making whatever you can in your own kitchen. Don’t buy everything readymade, buy the ingredients and make it from scratch. Make your bread, baked stuff and birthday cakes if you can. Or even if you can’t, it sure wouldn’t hurt to learn a new skill and try out a few recipes for practice. You might just save money and discover you like your own cooking better in the process.
89. Ditch the paper/re-use
Paper towels, unlike dish towels, have to be replaced every now and then and this can be costly. Dish towels are permanent and durable thus making them a more cost-effective solution to paper towels.
Making your own gifts is a creative way to be generous and save money. Plus they come with a personal touch, that’s something you can’t buy! You can make just about anything you know the receiver would love easily and inexpensively.
Your internet service package might be way more than you need to last through the month. Especially considering that most people spend time at work and only have a few hours to utilize the internet they pay for at home. Assess how much data you use over the course of a month and compare that to how much data you pay for. In the case that you are paying for more, it might be time to switch and stop paying for things you don’t use.
This is one of the main reasons for wasting money in most South African households. Use food before it goes bad and don’t throw away everything that’s nearing its expiry date. “Best before” dates indicate the last day of peak quality and not safety. So, always assess the condition of the food inside the package before throwing it away.
Don’t make impulsive purchases. For smaller purchases, rather than buy something just because you think you need it, take 24 hours to make the decision. If within that time you decide you want to go ahead with the purchase then go ahead but if not then re-direct the money towards savings.
This is the first step to achieving financial freedom. It’s easier to save money when you are working towards a goal. You see the bigger picture and know all your efforts are not in vain.
Use ATM’s sparingly. Withdraw a set amount of cash at least once a week and try to manage on that amount. If you find that it’s not enough, you might want to review your spending habits or set a higher amount for next week. Planned withdrawals will help you cut down the amount spent on charges.
Using cold water for your washing machine could save you up to 50% on your heating bills. While warm/hot water is more efficient and cleans better, reserve it for the most soiled clothes and use cold water for everything else.
Whatever you do to maintain or improve your health is an investment towards financial freedom. Adopt good eating habits, exercise regularly and do whatever else is good for your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
Investing in your health will save your money in health care costs and also result in lower life insurance premiums. Moreover, your productivity levels are higher when you are in good health which means you have the potential to make more income.
When shopping for clothes, avoid stuff with “dry clean only” tags which cost an arm and a leg to maintain. Stick to easy to maintain fabrics that you will be able to wash on your machine or by simply hand wash. For delicate fabrics like silk and tough to clean fabrics like wool and rayon, hand wash with mild soap instead of sending them to the dry cleaners.
Set apart days where you won’t spend money on anything, unless it’s very important like meds etc. Be it for a month, or maybe just a few days, it’s good to reset and find a way to re-commit to your savings goals.
We are social beings, and our need to mingle and socialize is as fundamental to our wellbeing as the need to it. Rather take the kids out every weekend or book expensive venues for every social gathering, host events at home. You could alternate between homes of all the people within the group or stick to the house of the person with the biggest space. Consider a “bring and share” or “bring your own bottle” to cut down costs on food and drinks.
Every now and then, it’s okay to treat yourself to something you don’t really need. Buy that bag you so badly want or get yourself that new video game. Regularly spoiling yourself will help you feel less constrained and this will help you stay on course with your budget. So, go ahead and treat yourself (with some self-restraint of course)!!