The majority of South Africans are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the country’s rising cost of living. The majority of citizens have had a challenging year due to a cascade of negative events, such as rising fuel prices and interest rate hikes.
Inflation necessitates that South Africans reduce costs wherever possible. In this article, we ask business leaders from a variety of industries for advice on how consumers can save money.
- Extra payments – where you can
If you have a few rands to spare for saving each month, consider making an extra payment on your bond, advises Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond. “Making extra bond payments could mean massive reductions in interest on your home loan. And by paying more than the required monthly installments, you could also shave years off your repayment period.”
Remember, it does not have to be a large amount. As little as R200 extra each month (the cost of a takeaway meal) on a R2 million bond at the current prime rate of 11,75% will trim two months off the term of your home loan and save you R136,432 in interest over a 20-year loan period. “It is not about putting all your savings into your bond, but rather about being disciplined and putting whatever extra you have into your bond regularly. This little bit extra will help reduce the balance, which in turn reduces the interest that the bank will charge,” says Coetzee.
- Adjust your excess
Insurance, according to Mishaya Chettiar, Executive Head at Everything.Insure, is one of the first places people look for ways to save money. Although cheaper is not always better when it comes to insurance, using your excess to reduce your cost is one of the tips if you are looking to reduce the premium price.
The higher the excess the lower the premium, which is the amount of money you are willing to spend before the insurance company pays its portion of a claim. “Be sure to select an excess that you can actually afford to pay in the event of a claim,” Chettiar advises. “Another piece of advice is to get multiple quotes to find the best product at the best price for you,” Chettiar suggests.
- Upcycle food
As the cost of living rises, some of the changes we’ll make in our kitchens will arise out of necessity too. As it turns out, opting to upcycle food – using the same ingredients for multiple meals or growing home garden plants out of used veggies – is a means to make eating more affordable and sustainable at the same time.
“The idea of using one ingredient over several days has been around for decades. Today, this is known as food upcycling. Sunday roast chicken leftovers become Monday’s chicken mayo sandwiches, and the bones and leftover chicken then become Wednesday’s broth. This could turn into frozen chicken stock to be used for future soups, stews, pie fillings, and more,” says Norman Heath, Executive Chef at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront
Upcycling food saves you money because it reduces food waste and gives your food a longer life cycle. There are so many things that can be done with foods that one wouldn’t ordinarily think to use.
“Vegetables like celery, radishes, green onions, lettuce, and sprouts can all be grown on a kitchen windowsill. Instead of discarding their roots after using them, immerse the bottom of the vegetable in a glass with a little water in it and place it in partial to full sun. Watch the vegetables grow and use them as desired,” he explains
- Spend less on non-negotiable items
Smartphones have become essential devices for most people. However, as things have become so expensive lately, we’re all looking to save where we can. One way is by spending less on our non-negotiable devices, such as smartphones. Before your next upgrade, consider this, could you buy a good quality, good looking and efficient phone with your current monthly payment?
When shopping for a smartphone, a great value for money option is the new Nokia 02-4G which costs as little as R1,299. This phone is built to take on life’s little knocks. Plus, all day battery life will keep you powered and connected longer. Nokia smartphones come with fewer pre-loaded apps, so you have more space for the things you love. Michelle Wynne, Head of Marketing, SSA.