How to hack your budget

While the country waits to hear what the national budget reveals later this week, I have looked at some ways to cut your budget.

Hack your spending: What spending behaviours are undermining your long-term goals or are leading to unnecessary expenditure?

Go through your statements to categorise expenditure and look for patterns, such as regular trips to the grocery shop or sneaky online shopping.

Once you identify the habits, you could start to change them.

For example: Eat in more regularly, pack lunches for work, and buy in bulk when you can.

Maximise your rewards programmes: You probably have rewards programmes with your bank or insurer that offer vouchers and discounts at retailers.

Make sure you are aware of these benefits and take advantage of them.

Many retailers also offer rewards ‘stamps’ or points that accumulate to offer significant savings.

Figure out when different loyalty programmes offer double points and then set a reminder, or change your shopping patterns so you could benefit from this.

Websites could help you save: The easiest way to do this is to log in for online shopping, and then use it to compare prices across different retailers.

Steer clear of cellphone contracts: Save and buy your phone cash, or use the one from your last contract and switch to prepaid.

“I’ve probably saved R1 000 per month for the last 10 years. And you don’t need the most expensive phone either,” says Craig Adams.

Stop riding the clutch: Sally Hodges says: “Nine out of 10 motorists I see, sit with their foot on the clutch and accelerator, inching forward, instead of using the hand brake. Laziness, impatience, and a waste of fuel!”

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