July is indeed the month of savings awareness and this year’s #CrazywaystoSave theme is the ideal encourager to get you and other South Africans invested in creating your own financial freedom, and to, in the end, ensure your overall happiness.
The DebtSafe team celebrates #NationalSavingsMonth and wants to highlight some recent statistics from DebtSafe’s FINANCIAL REALITY survey (May-June 2019). The following feedback stood out from the respondents that completed the survey. And, can perhaps encourage you to get some savings going:
- 61% respondents indicate that they save money. Of this 61%, 38% consumers say they save when they can/sometimes and others (23%) do save on a regular basis.
- Most of these above respondents (that save money) say they tuck money away for their own or their children’s education (55%), and others save for a rainy day or an emergency fund (45%).
- From the feedback from the so-called ‘saving respondents’, the majority (68%) say they use a savings tool/product, like a savings account, for example, to stash their extra cash away. And, over and above this type of savings product, they also use tools like short-term investments, stokvel related products and/or a piggy bank.
Are you by now encouraged or confident enough to be part of a savings generation? During July it is important to ‘train your brain’ and get some out of the box thinking going when it comes to savings ideas and ways that can benefit you and others. Here are some, perhaps unusual, yet interesting savings habits to consider:
REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE
- Minimise and try to prevent waste – what about using cloth napkins instead of paper serviettes?
- Say no to disposable items and use reusable products instead.
- Collect bottles and cans and return them for cash.
WHEN IT COMES TO GROCERIES…
- Buy food from the ‘discount bin’.
- Go to the shopping centre closest to home (or near your office) and do your research on discount buys beforehand. You’ll then save on fuel and grocery expenses.
- Buy bulk but only if it is truly a special or discounted offer.
- Cut on weekly grocery trips – but when you do need to run into the store – do it just before it closes. That roast chicken or butternut soup that is half price can surely still taste yummy.
RESPONSIBLE SAVINGS TECHNIQUES (A BIT WACKY FOR SOME)
- When it is seven degrees outside and you make use of water bottles and blankets instead of the aircon or electric heater… Just think of the electricity bill you are saving on.
- Save some serious money and try out your own DIY cleaning products.
- For you, the gym fanatic, or not-so-much youngsters out there – cancel your gym contract and do body resistance training exercises at home.
DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES
- Do some couch surfing – Overworked and in urgent need of a ‘vacay’ but you can’t afford accommodation? Don’t worry – friends and family members that live in a ‘holiday area’ can come to your rescue. Thus, enjoy crashing on the couch for a while and save money by avoiding expensive accommodation costs.
- Play hair model OR why not cut your own hair? – In some cases, this can be risky, and in other cases – why not ‘own’ this ‘trendy’ move? A haircut these days can indeed cost an arm and a leg.
- Take leftover containers with you to gatherings – Is this crazy and desperate enough for you? What a stretching, yet savings way to cut back on a few meal costs.
- Skip washing your clothes for a few days and wear them again.
- What about showering at a recreation centre or your mother-in-law’s house?
- Ever done bin diving to see what you can find and use? Extreme much?
- Opting to go without toilet paper? EEK – now that is a bit intense. Well, when desperate times are calling…
NO DEBT = MORE SAVINGS
You are going nowhere with your savings if your debt is crazy and out of control. There are four recommended methods you can try to fix your debt to really be able to start tucking money away for a change:
- Make use of the avalanche method – pay off your highest interest rated debt first and then the rest.
- What about the snowball method to psychologically encourage you to pay off your debt? Pay your smallest debt off first and move on to the next one.
- The combination option of the two above methods is called the blizzard method – which is also a good way to fix your debt.
- And, then lastly, if you are trying to protect your assets and are seeking a specific route to fix your serious debt burden – do thorough research and consider a regulated process called Debt Review. You can also send a free SMS with your name and the word: INFO to 30898 for a no-cost assessment to help you to fix your debt problems and to enable you to start saving in future.
Get your own unique aka #CrazywaystoSave going this July. Remember to follow @DebtSafe and other organisations like @SASIsavings on Twitter and other Social Media platforms for some weird, yet effective savings ideas and tips.