One thing I think we can all agree on is that life is expensive. Seriously, there are days I think I pay for breathing.
Do you also get to a certain point in the month where you look at your bank account, or in your wallet and you’re like “where did all my money go?”
Well, hopefully these tips and tricks will make that moment a thing of the past.
Use an app to track your spending
Or go old school and actually keep a money diary, because tracking every cent you spend helps you know where exactly your money is going and what you should stop spending money on. Great apps to try are 22seven, Jam Jar, Goodbudget, or Budget Buddy.
Shop the sales
My colleagues are always joking that I’m addicted to online shopping and, truth is, I kind of am. But to cheap online shopping in particular. I usually shop sales, especially end of season ones since they’re usually marked down quite a bit. This often means that I buy my summer clothes before winter and vice versa, but it works out quite well.
Sign up to coupon and promotion sites for deals
So, if you, like me, are addicted to online shopping (although some of these are for IRL department stores too), or you often use Uber, then you need to be aware of sites like Picodi, Voucher Cloud and Coupons SA. They’ll offer you deals like 20% off your next Spree purchase, or spend a certain amount and get so much off, etc.
Buy classic fashion pieces
Even if you do buy your summer/winter wardrobe on sale like I do, you should still invest in classic fashion pieces like a really beautiful leather jacket, a great coat, or pair of boots that you know will last you for many seasons. This way you’ll always have that one outfit staple to fall back on and you’ll save money in the long run.
Buy second hand or do clothes swaps
A former colleague of mine participated in clothing swaps all the time and once swapped a cheap Mr Price dress for a dress that was bought for nearly 4 times the amount that her original dress was worth. I once bought a crop top at a second hand market for R50 and it’s one of my favourite items of clothing. You have to search a bit, but you can usually find incredible bargains.
Save your change
And I don’t mean in the bottom of your handbag, or in the ashtray in your car. I mean make an actual thing of it. Get a jar, give it a label (depending on whether you want to save some cash for a holiday or a new tattoo), and save all your spare change in there. It might take a while, but you’ll slowly reach your goal and you’ll know where all your money went!
Make your own coffee
A cappuccino costs about R24 a cup, multiply that by five for every work day, then by about 48 for every work week and you get R 5760. So rather invest in that jar of freeze dried coffee, or buy some beans and brew them yourself and you could save a thousand or two by the end of the year.
Image: Department of coffee
Pack your own lunch
Here, I’m going to do the same calculation, except, let’s say your lunch costs you about R50 every day. (We’re being conservative though.) That adds up to R12 000 every year. TWELVE THOUSAND RAND for what would probably be a smallish lunch every day. Consider either buying things to make lunch at work, or packing your own lunch every morning or the evening before.
Image: Snack Attak TV
Stick to using cash
A friend of mine thinks it’s ridiculous that I draw money all the time and only spend my cash when I go out or to the shops instead of swiping, but I find that it makes me a lot more conscious of how much money I actually have. It’s a lot easier to just swipe your card and not worry until you try to pay for that cappuccino and your card gets declined. With cold, hard cash you can see how much you’re spending in real time and be more aware of your spending habits.