With thanks: Solidarity World – By Emsie Martin
Published: 24 July 2019
July is the saving awareness month and this year’s #CrazywaystoSave theme is the ideal encourager to make you and other South Africans invest in your own financial freedom in order to ensure your absolute happiness.
DebtSafe would like to show you the latest statistics to encourage you to get your savings going:
- 61% of respondents say they are saving money. 38% of these say that they save occasionally and 23% intimated that they save regularly.
- Most (55%) of this group of individuals (who save money) confirm that the money they save is for their own or their children’s tuition and/or education costs, while others (45%) confirm that they are saving for a rainy day.
- The feedback from the majority of the so-called “savings respondents” (68%) emphasise that they use a savings product, for instance a savings account, to put away money. In addition to this type of savings product they also use mechanisms such as short-term investments, stokvel-related products and/or a piggy bank.
Hopefully by this time you are properly motivated to become part of the savings generation.
Here are a few interesting saving habits that you could consider:
- Why not rather use cloth serviettes instead of paper serviettes and in so doing reducing and avoiding waste?
- Use reusable products.
- Collect bottles and cans and trade them in for cash.
- Check what food and products there are in the discount bin.
- Use the shopping mall closest to your home (or close to your place of work) and do research beforehand about discount items. You will save on fuel and grocery costs.
- Buy in bulk, but only if it really is a special offer. If it is too much, share with somebody.
- Cut out the weekly grocery outings and if you do have to pop into a shop, do it just before closing time. That half-price roast chicken or butternut soup will still taste delicious.
- If you have to eat in a restaurant, first ask about the special of the day if it is not shown somewhere.
- Just think about how much you save on electricity if it is seven degrees outside but you use hot-water bottles and blankets instead of the air-conditioner or electric heater.
- For the gym fanatic – cancel your gymnasium contract and do your own effective exercises at home.
- Avoid brand names, they usually last just as long as a cheaper make.
No debt = more savings
Carla Oberholzer, debt adviser at DebtSafe, emphasises that you will get nowhere with your savings if your debt is extravagant and out of control. There are four recommended methods that you can try to fix your debt problems so that you can really begin to put away money.
- Use the avalanche method – first pay off your debt with the highest interest rate(s) and then the rest of your debt.
- What about the snowball method to nudge you psychologically to pay off your debt? Pay off your smallest debt or credit first and move on to your next debt.
- The combined option of the above-mentioned two methods is called the blizzard method – which is also a good way of trying to rectify your debt situation.
- And lastly – if you are trying to protect your assets and are looking for a specific route for rectifying your serious burden of debt, do adequate research and consider a regulated process such as debt counselling.