Besides the coronavirus pandemic, finances seem to be the next big thing on a lot of South Africans’ minds. The lockdown has affected many people’s incomes, which has resulted in the government finding ways to compensate them. Read more: Weddings, funerals and other life events that have gone online since Covid-19As the number of positive cases continues to grow, it does not seem like life as we know it will go back to normal anytime soon. In the meantime, there are ways to save money and work your way around the lockdown restrains. Here are 5 ways you can save money during the lockdown: 1. Online shopping is the way to go Although many stores are open now that we are on level 4, you still run the risk of contracting the virus when you go shopping at your favourite clothing store. Shopping online decreases the risk of contracting the virus, or spreading it, and takes less time to compare the prices of items you’re looking for. 2. Claim those benefitsGovernment has announced a number of grants that South Africans can claim – you are entitled to the benefits of those grants if you meet the requirements. Read up on the different types of grants/allowances that you can receive during this time and apply for them. However, remember that those who are less fortunate might need the grant more than those of us who still have incomes. 3. Get refunds for services that are no longer of useYou are fully entitled to getting a refund for a product or service that you are no longer using. Gym memberships or vouchers to use at closed stores are examples of places to start. You may be talked out of your decision by being promised deals once that service or product is available again, but don’t fall for it. Be persistent, be polite, get your money back and use it for something that is of importance during this time. 4. Return items Although many stores are closed, you can still return a faulty item or an item that does not look the way it did online. The best way to do this is to keep it in a safe place and return the item within the days that the store’s return policy states. It is better to email the store than to call them so you can leave a “paper” trail. From there on, a safe way forward can be discussed. 5. Review your savings account If you have a savings account, check your bank’s website or app to see if you can get a better return, for example. Interest rates are changing because of where the economy stands during this time and your bank may either be generous or not. Banks are open during lockdown so the option of visiting your nearest branch to get more information is available. It is important to keep track of all your accounts and look for an account plan that will help your current financial state.