Saving is pretty difficult for most people, and when I say most, I mean like 99.9% of people (this is an exaggeration but you get my point). Money-hungry corporations and marketing tactics, entice you to spend with adverts everywhere you look whether it be while sitting at home watching TV, browsing through social media, or even on billboards while driving to work. So, the question is, how do us regular folk who don’t have trust funds or copious amounts of money, save? Below are a few tips I have put together;
Tip 1: Always Pay Yourself First
Assuming you are not working in personal overdraft (credit card debt etc.), then always pay yourself first. The reason I say this is because your interest rate on a personal overdraft is often higher than the interest rate earned on an investment or saving. So, if you are “saving” but have debt where you are being charged a high interest then you are effectively losing money. Anyway, my point is, straight after pay day, deposit money into your money market account before doing anything else.
Get a money market account, interest rates are more attractive than standard bank accounts.
Tip 2: Manage your Annual Increase
When yearly increase time comes around, don’t start looking to see where you can spend that well-earned, extra percent. Take at least half of the rand value of this increase and increase your monthly investment premium by this. The other half of your increase you can use for dealing with price increases and improving your lifestyle. See what Liberty has to offer for the individual for monthly investments (and then give me a call).
Liberty Investment Offerings
Make sure you have an investment debit order coming off each month, ensuring you save every single month
Tip 3: Manage your Wardrobe
Since I am a guy, this is mainly directed at guys, although ladies there is a take away for you as well. Clothes can be pricey, but there is a way to look good without hammering your pocket. Pair your clothes well, and take time to plan your clothing purchases wisely. I am not saying don’t spend on clothes, what I am saying is that when you do, don’t spend on items that will date (i.e. pink slacks). I normally splash out on neutral items because they are not only classy and practical but pair well with everything. For personality and colour, I mix it up with less expensive items (because I don’t always want to look like an old guy who rolled out of Wallstreet). Doing this I can pair my inexpensive pink slacks and white shirt with a more pricey pair of tan shoes and suave navy blazer. For the record, I don’t own pink slacks but you get my point. I will be posting fashion tips on my Instagram so be sure to follow @smbfinancialplanner
to stay up-to-date.
Make sure you have two different colour dress shoes, these will suit all occasions and last for years. My preference a black pair and a timeless tan option. Also, go shopping for clothes and longer lasting items every two months, this will take a bit of planning, but will pay off in the long run. Your savings and back pocket will thank you in the long run.
Tip 4: Check your Toiletries
Have a closer look at how you spend your money on toiletries, face wash, shaving cream, shavers, body wash, and body lotion. Always use a good quality SPF face cream to ensure you are protected from the harsh sun. The most expensive shaving blades are not always the best, find what works for you and keep it consistent. Honestly, I get my toiletries from Clicks because they have some really awesome toiletry specials such especially their buy 3 and get the cheapest one free. You may be spending more upfront but taking advantage of the points offerings and specials adds up.
Tip 5: Skip the daily coffee stop
Ok, so some people may find this harder to do than others, but over time your coffee purchases add up. If you like good coffee (and not the instant stuff) investing in a good quality coffee for the home or office is definitely something to think about. If you prefer instant coffee then go for it, my preference, however, is a good quality filter coffee from a lesser known spot of the midlands meander in KZN, called SteamPunk
and a more well-known brand (also from the Midlands) Teabodore
. But driving all the way there to get it would render this tip null and void, but the point is find something you like and get it. Why not make your coffee for your morning commute in a flask cup? It’s environmental ethical because you are not using a single-use cup and financially sound because of your savings. If you bought a cup of coffee at R30 for every day of the work week (21 days), your coffee spend per month would be around R630 per month. A 500g bag of premium coffee beans for about R150 is going to give you approximately 60 cups of coffee. Even if you take the initial investment of a filter coffee machine, plunger and/or coffee grinder, over time you are still going to come out on top. I am not saying don’t buy coffee from a coffee shop because let’s be honest it’s a nice social experience but just be aware of how often you go.
Tip 6: Make it a Game
If you are competitive like me, then this one may work. Turn your saving and money into a game. Try and scrape extra hard for the last few days before payday and whatever is left over stick into your money market account or into your investment with your Financial Adviser. Try each month to increase this amount and push yourself to improve.
Most of all, remember to enjoy life. Life does not always have to be expensive, plan and prepare for life’s unexpected events. In between saving enjoy quality time with those that mean the most to you.