As a student, there’s a good chance you’re living on a tight budget anyway, and recent changes in the exchange rate aren’t helping, with prices going up all everywhere you shop. At this point, every Rand counts. Let’s look at some easy ways to save money, without feeling too deprived:
Cash up at the supermarket
Drawing money from an ATM is expensive and if you do it a few times a month, it adds up, especially if you’re forced to use the ATM of a different bank. Rather draw cash at the till when you pay for your groceries. It’s much cheaper and it’s a lot safer than using an isolated ATM. Not all supermarkets offer this service but Pick n Pay is always a good bet.
Join rewards programmes
Many companies, including many retailers, airlines, health insurances, etc, offer you points for money spent, which you can then redeem against future purchases. They often run specials too, where you earn extra points or get discount vouchers on certain products.
Shop at factory shops
Once you’ve seen how much lower prices are at some factory shops, you may be reluctant to buy at a normal retailer again. Factory shops are everywhere these days and sell everything from groceries and frozen foods, to clothes and household items. Find out where your nearest ones are, and pop in regularly to see what they have.
Don’t buy on impulse
Decide that if you see something you want, you won’t buy it immediately. Rather go home, write up a list of pros and cons to justify owning the item, then sit with that at least overnight, preferably longer. If you still want it, and are absolutely sure you will use it, then by all means go and get it.
Prepare your own food
If you often eat takeaways or ready-made meals, you’re spending a lot more money on food than you need to. Consider setting a limit on how many times a week/month you’ll eat ready-made, and then make your own meals the rest of the time. You don’t even need to be a great cook – there are loads of simple and quick recipes out there, you can always find some great ideas on our blog – here.
As you can see, once you’ve decided you want to save money, there are loads of ways to do it. The key is simply to start now.