Hopefully this article finds you chilling under a candy stripped umbrella somewhere on a sandy South African beach. And if that isn’t the way you are spending your festive season, we hope, at the very least, you are enjoying your downtime with close friends and family.

We almost into a new year! It’s been a tough one, but it’s over and it’s time to look forward.

We know you don’t want to be fed a bunch of New Year’s resolution nonsense while you are vacationing, so we decided to simply list a few money saving strategies you can use when you get your head back in the game in a few weeks’ time.

It’s not always easy to make more money, but we can all sharpen our pencils when it comes to the way we spend our bucks:

  1. Use a few cool budgeting and savings Apps, like 22Seven, Stash (launched by Liberty Life), The Entertainer (free for FNB users), Stocard and Snapnsave. There are a couple of smart people doing some really good work in this tech space, and the benefits are real.
  2. Challenge your better half to a “save-off” and kick off 2021 with a healthy dose of competition. The rules are simple – the person who saves the most money, in the period leading up to Easter, wins and takes 50% of the loser’s loot.
  3. Sign up to every free customer reward programmes – with your bank, clothing stores, insurance companies and food stores. You are spending money with these partners, so take them up on their offer to get something back.
  4. Get rid of unnecessary subscriptions: magazine subscriptions, Netflix, Showmax, gym membership etc that you aren’t getting use out of anymore. Be ruthless. If you haven’t used it in the past few months, what are the chances of you using it in the coming months?
  5. Take some time to plan out your meals for the week. By doing that you won’t end up buying food you don’t need and won’t use, and ultimately you’ll avoid tossing away a bunch of food that cost you a bundle of cash. A little planning goes a long way.
  6. Look at all the food specials at the grocery stores before going on your monthly shop.
  7. Make more meals at home rather than getting takeaways and rather pack lunch for work instead of buying food on the go.
  8. Go out for inexpensive breakfasts and lunches instead of dinners where bills can run into 4 figures, rather than 3.  You’ll still get the experience of dining out, but the bill won’t set you back as much.
  9. Go on dates that cost next to nothing: go on a picnic, have a “no technology night” where your turn off all devices, or have a Netflix marathon, or cook up some food and play board games at your kitchen table.
  10. Entertain friends and family at home. Keeping a social life isn’t always easy to do on a budget but you can save money by entertaining at home. Organise get-togethers where you ask each person or couple to bring a dish and a bottle of wine.
  11. Be brave and have a month where you don’t eat out at all.
  12. If you can, why not start growing your own vegetables?
  13. The art of cheaper travel – follow sites that offer awesome travel deals like MTbeds
  14. Decide not to buy your partner or family members expensive birthday, anniversary or Christmas presents.
  15. Make some lifestyle changes like only drinking on the weekend, and try stop or cut down on smoking.
  16. Shop for new car and/or home insurance.
  17. Check you are getting the best deal for your life insurance – but be aware of any health loadings you may have had with your existing insurer.
  18. Medical expenses: Always ask your doctor if you can get generic equivalent drugs, if you are paying cash for your medicine – they’re invariably a lot cheaper. If you’re on a medical aid, find a doctor who charges the medical aid rate – which is a lot cheaper than private or SA Medical Association rates.
  19. Go through your cell phone bill, look for services you don’t use, and ditch them.
  20. Perhaps downgrade your cellphone plan if you find you are accumulating tons of minutes, SMS and data that you never end up using.
  21. Try and only have one car payment at a time.
  22. Try and cut down on your electricity usage: change lightbulbs to more energy efficient ones, put your geyser/s on a timer, every time you boil the kettle you waste unnecessary energy. Rather boil it once and keep the water hot in a flask.
  23. Automate your savings so that you make sure you are putting away money each month.
  24. Try not to make any impulse purchases: Do you really need that extra pair of shoes? Think twice before you make each purchase. If it helps you to avoid those situations, rather don’t go to shopping malls at all.
  25. Try get the best possible deal on the money you owe. Start by using our free credit report
  26. Cancel credit cards you never use.
  27. Look at your bank charges and see if you are getting the best deal at your bank or move to another one. Every R100 you can save each month, adds up.
  28. Remember, you don’t have to keep up with the Joneses.

From everyone at MoneyShop, we wish you and your family a very blessed festive season. Be safe on the road, be prudent with your money and we look forward to keeping in touch with you in 2021.

The Moneyshop Team