You work hard for your money so spending it should be your pleasure, right? The irony is that spending your money should be harder than earning it. It might sound absurd, but if you’re really strict when it comes to what you buy, you will soon realise that there’s enough money left at the end of the month.
Here are four everyday things South African consumers are overspending on. Can you relate?
It’s so easy to overspend on groceries because in our minds, groceries aren’t a luxury. Eating is necessary to stay alive, but do you really need to eat meat every single day? Buy only the exact amounts that you need to create your meal. Chances are you won’t buy too much and then eventually end up storing the leftover ingredients in the pantry just to forget about it.
Sure, a pineapple that has been cut into bite sized chunks is convenient. After all, it allows you to spend more time doing something else that you love. But buying a whole pineapple and cutting it up yourself will save you a lot of money. The same applies to ready meals – instead of buying a readymade lasagne, make one yourself and save money. Make the effort worth your while by making a second one and freezing it. You could actually turn it into a fun activity for the family where they all feel that they have contributed to the meal.
- Bottled Water
Yes, it’s filtered. Yes, it actually tastes better than tap water. Yes, it’s convenient… but yes, it’s expensive. Invest in an affordable water filter system at home along with either plastic or glass bottles to use when you’re on the move. That way you always have water on hand that tastes just like bottled water, or maybe even better.
Coffee at your favourite stop on your way to work. Lunch at the office canteen. There are so many habits that cause us to overspend daily. Instead of buying coffee every single day, turn it into a treat on days when you think you need it most. See how much money you can save by bringing a packed lunch to work instead of buying something at the canteen. Do you buy fresh flowers every week? Why not buy a potted plant and see how long it lasts? You’d be surprised at how long a potted plant in bloom can last if well looked after.
These are just four of the everyday things consumers in SA are overspending on. When it comes to the not so everyday purchases like cars, clothing, jewellery, gifts, holidays and the like, the statistics look even worse. According to debt counselling company, Debt Rescue, more than half of the South African population is behind on the debt instalments with as many as three months.
Make the change, even if it is small at first. A strict budget is your ticket to financial stability.