As I get older my spending habits change, and I start to worry about things like investments, retirement annuities, stocks and shares, funeral policies and owning a home. This adulting business is rather stressful but my goal for 2018 is to adopt an attitude of saving and do some adult things. It has dawned on me that my mum will not be around forever, and that I do need to secure my future and know that I am financially stable. It seems like overnight I have grown up and there is so much I need to do and stop doing. Private Property asked me to think about my financial goals and tips for 2018, and here they are.
Current Financial Situation:
1. I have my own car and this year I will finish paying off my car loan.
2. I own one credit card which I recklessly used a few years ago,but well the last three years I have been paying off what I owe and have stopped using the card.
3.I own one store card only and I am rather proud to say that I have two monthly payments left before that account is paid in full.
4. I have downgraded my mobile phone contract and have a month -to -month contract only. I have not taken a new phone.
5.I help out with bills at home so I intend on setting a budget and sticking to with the budget.
My main goal is to SAVE and be financially secure!
Ways to SAVE money and invest:
1. Have a direct debit into a savings account.
2.Invest in property. I am now looking into property for sale .Also as my car repayments are almost done that money can be diverted here.
3. Save every R5 coin . I actually have a piggy bank that I put these coins into. One year I saved R1000 which I then deposited into my savings account.
4.Buy stocks and shares. Beware of Ponzi schemes; if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is not a good option.
5.Pay with debit card,as sometimes stores only take cash so this way you curb your spending. And my Absa debit card with Absa Bank has a rewards option where I get cash back from each spend.
Everyday Tips & Tricks to Save in 2018 everyday:
1. Pay off debt on store and credit cards because the interest is rather high.
2. Sign up for store reward cards as many of these offer discounts and vouchers for loyal customers. Some store cards can be used at other stores, like the Clicks card that can be swiped at Sorbet, BodyShop, and BP Garages when you fill up.
3.Buy only what you need and shop with a list.
4.Sell unwanted/unused items in your home.
5.Borrow books from a library instead of buying books.
6.Find out which days are half- price at your local cinema. Also find out which reward cards give you discounts.
7.Sign up for a rewards programme at your bank. I bank at Absa so I have a rewards programme that gives me a percentage back in cash after each swipe, as well as discounted movie tickets.
8.Buy an app like the Entertainer app so that you can enjoy discounts on activities, meals and cocktails.
9.Plan your weekly meals to eliminates food waste and last-minute take out orders.
10. Take a packed lunch to work and get a flask for taking in your coffee.
11. Purchase a bag for life instead of paying for a plastic bag each time you go shopping. I found Typo has nifty purses that turn into great cotton bags.
12.One day a week do not cook but rather use up leftovers for dinner.
13. Pasta is a great pantry staple that is a good base for literally all leftovers.
14.Frozen vegetables are often cheaper, especially cauliflower (thank you Banting Diet).
15. Plan your shopping, make a list and shop weekly.
16.Eat before you go shopping to prevent impulse buying of food.
17.Buying store brands is sometimes cheaper than name brands.
18.Send your car in for a service thus preventing huge bills in the long run.
19.Get creative and reuse glass bottles and jars.
20. Look out for specials and know the cost of what you buy.
21.Always check your till slips to make sure you are charged the correct, advertised price, and not overcharged .
22.Invite friends over for a meal rather than going out. iIt is must cheaper if . Each person can prepare a course and bring a bottle of wine.
23. Turn off the lights when you leave a room, to bring down your electricity bill.
23. Drink more water as it is healthier for you and cheaper on your pocket. Invest in a few refillable bottles, even a few fancy ones to infuse your water, and stop buying bottled water. It is okay to ask for water when you are eating out.
24.Batch cooking when you have time saves money and energy, and you can freeze the extra portions. Something like mince meat is a great option as it can be cooked up in a tomato based sauce and used in pies, pastas and cottage pie.
25.Buy a freezer so the extra portions from batch cooking can be stored.
26.Buy dry ingredients, like pulses and legumes, to prevent food spoilage.
27.Cancel unused gym memberships. Go for a walk, join parkrun, and make use of the outdoor gyms. Get up 30 minutes earlier to meditate or do a quick workout.
28.Explore your local area locally and find places of interest and events that are free.
29.Read more; it is a great way to distract you from spending.
30.Find a hobby so you do not go shopping.Adult colouring is a new inexpensive hobby which I love.
31.Shop during sales for birthday and Christmas gifts in advance.
32. Set a budget for spending on gifts.
33.Check your bank statements to find out the fees you are paying. ATM withdrawals are often more expensive than getting cash back from a supermarket.
34. Shop around for better banking deals that suit you.
35.Ask for a rain check if the sale item you want is out of stock.
36.Ask for a discount when paying a bill, like medical bills.
37.Start #MeatlessMonday. Your body, pocket and environment will thank you.
38.Start a book / magazine swap club at work so you don’t buy new books and magazines weekly.
39. Do not leave junk in your car. The heavier your car the more petrol it uses. So remove your shopping, boxes of junk and bags of pet food.
40.Limit the number of trips you make in your car. Plan your day and combine the places you need to go.
I personally will be doing these tips as I have certain goals I want to achieve in 2018. There is no time like the present to start saving and it is never too late to start. Each habit we change can bring us closer to becoming financially stable and saving for what we really want. The time is now to start saving smarter.
Be Inspired !