5 easy ways to stretch your income

Mandi Smallhorne
2013-07-01 07:48
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Johannesburg - Stretch your income so you can save.

How can you save when you have no money?

1.  Plug the leaks that are wasting money!

Here’s how:

Write down everything you spend, every day, for one month.

Go through your notes and highlight everything that is NOT a necessity:

* the daily newspaper
* the airtime/data;
* the fast-food lunches and
* the music download.

Now ask yourself if there are ways you can reduce this spend: can you share the newspaper – and the costs – with a colleague? That’ll save you about R50 a month.

You can probably save another couple of hundred rand if you make your own sarmies to bring to work (and you’ll be healthier – bonus!); and you can skip one family outing to the movies a month and replace it with a picnic in the park.

Simply knowing what you’re spending makes it possible to be more disciplined.

2.  Go for price rather than convenience

Many shoppers spend way more than they need to by visiting shops that are convenient rather than seeking out the inexpensive outlets.

Going to a warehouse store for toilet rolls in bulk, for instance, can save you more than R1 per roll.

Buying vegetables in season, when they’re cheaper, is another saving, as is keeping an eye on specials advertised in the knock-and-drop newspapers.

By being a conscious consumer, alert to prices, you can save hundreds of rand every month.

3.   Negotiate prices or rates

Talk to your bank and ask them what they can do to decrease your bank charges or interest rates.

When you buy appliances, builders' wares or services, don’t be ashamed to ask about discounts for cash or speedy payment.

4.  Research benefits available to you

If your child excels in any area, search for scholarships.

If you or your spouse is over 55, there may be discounts available – some greengrocers have pensioners’ days, for example; so do hairdressers, entertainment services such as movie houses and tourism packages and many more.

5.  Be canny about premiums

How much insurance premium are you paying for your car? People often simply let the insurer raise the premium each year, but the book-value of the vehicle might not match the insured value. Make sure you’re not over-paying there.

And while you want a good medical scheme which covers unforeseen health disasters, check with a broker that you’re not paying for frills that you don’t need.

- Fin24

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