Great Ways to Save Money - The Simple Dollar
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If you are working with only food, it is quite easy to set a daily budget for example, I need to feed my family of 4 for R per day including all meals, packed lunches, snacks etc. From there you can work out your monthly budget. R for a family of 4 for a day month.
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The less you earn the greater this percentage will be. Someone that takes home R10 per month, needs to budget on no more than R for groceries which works out at R83 per day. Be realistic about your budget. If you make it too small you will never be able to stick to it. Include at least one night off per week which could be a toasted sandwich, or a ready cooked meal or a meal out etc. Change your thinking The biggest step for me was to change my thinking and consequently my habits.
I think this was the hardest part for me. It took me a concerted, determined effort, and a few months to get used to new ways of doing things. Remember every penny counts, even if they seem like small savings they all add up. Forget about cash envelopes? A lot of budgets suggest a cash envelope system i.
When it is spent it is finished until the beginning of next month. It is expensive to withdraw cash 2. No one wants to carry thousands of rands in cash around with them 3. My family needs to eat and if I exceed my budget for whatever reason, I still need to make sure that there is food on the table and therefore it needs to be slightly flexible 4.
Using my credit card gains me quite a bit in cash-back, and discounts. Cash envelopes DO work well for luxuries like takeaway coffee. Once it is used it is used. No one is going to die without a takeaway coffee. Make it at home. Avoiding credit card debt To avoid overspending and running up a large credit card bill, consider loading money onto your credit card at the beginning of the month in lieu of cash in an envelope.
Having said that, I am well aware that people reading an article on how to budget have most likely already been using their credit cards to purchase groceries and probably already have some debt. It belongs to the bank and you are paying for the service. If you have credit card debt, start the journey by actively trying to reduce it. That means any savings go directly into your credit card.
It may take a few months or even years to get out of debt.
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Make use of coupons, specials and loyalty programmes In the South African context, coupons are relatively rare. I do make use of coupons at the supermarket, if they are available. Keep an eye out for supermarket specials and plan your meals around them, and if there are items that you routinely buy and they are on a special - stock up a bit I usually buy two if I have space to store it. I do get a lot more savings or cash back by using loyalty programmes. Find out which ones are offered at the various stores, and sign up. Make sure you swipe each time. I leave my savings to build up for a full year, so come Christmas time, I use all my points and cash back to buy Christmas dinner and gifts.
Also check on the cost to you for these programmes, make sure the benefits are worth the cost. Shop less regularly I stopped shopping every week and started shopping once every two weeks. At first, I only stretched to a week and a half, but I gradually got better and better at planning and now I only need to do a big shop once a fortnight. Now I am working up to a once a month shop with a top up of fresh stuff once a week.
Meal planning and not shopping off-list I started planning our weekly meals. Nothing comprehensive, but along the lines of Monday will be a pasta dish, Tuesday will be a mince dish etc. I buy only what is on the list, and I allow myself five items not on the list things I forgot to list or if I was diligent with making my list then I reward myself with a treat item. Eat cheaper food I guess this sounds obvious, but I started doing more meals like burgers and stews, using cheaper cuts of meat. Make sure your fruit and veg is in season, and not imported. Convenience and pre-prepared food also add a lot to your bill.
There are a few layers of convenience; for instance, if you buy a butternut it might cost you R If you buy pre-cut butternut you will get less and it might cost you R Then the final tier is to buy pre-cooked butternut which might be even less in quantity and will cost you double again.
Think carefully about what you can manage in terms of food preparation. Resolve to spend the extra 5 minutes to prepare your own veg. Shopping around I used online shops to compare prices. No one in the world has time to go to various shops to compare prices. But by looking at the online prices I could compare and make a specific list for each shop.
Fruit and veg for instance, can vary greatly in price and quality. If I shopped at the green grocer, I chose carefully from their specials, often finding better value. Online shopping Online shopping may cost more in the sense of paying more for delivery.
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