Kirstie

Kirstie

SABEST

6 Lockdown money tips for South Africans

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Dealing with change is not easy, especially change as drastic as a nation-wide lockdown. 

Even though the lockdown is easing in South Africa, we’re still dealing with heavy financial impacts. People who were financially comfortable are now struggling to make ends meet. And, people who were on the breadline are battling to survive.

The South African government has put initiatives in place to help ease financial burdens, but the drastic changes will still have long-lasting effects. Being financially responsible and savvy is immensely important during this time.

Although your financial situation may seem out of your control, you can try to manage your money a little better to get by the best you can.

While we don’t know how long this crisis will last, we need to best prepare for future challenges.

FNB consumer education programme manager, Dhashni Naidoo, stated that “top of mind, for many consumers, are the financial concerns and uncertainty during this difficult time. We need to to do is be incredibly disciplined in how we manage our money, during this period and to the foreseeable future.”

Below are a few money tips to help you get through this tough time.

1. List every single expense you have

Once you have a list of every expense, you can find ways to change your spending habits to free up money. Here are a few ways you can free up money:

  • Cancel subscriptions you don’t need, such as exercise apps, live-streaming apps, etc. You can re-subscribe once you have a steady income again.
  • Don’t order takeouts.
  • Shop carefully and avoid unnecessary trips to shops.

Even if you’re able to make ends meet comfortably, consider cutting down on luxuries and unnecessary spending. You can use any extra money you have to create an emergency fund for in case things go south in the future.

2. Speak to your creditors about readjusting your repayment plan

For some, the lockdown has had a drastic impact on salaries and has even resulted in job loss. If you’re unable to keep up with any payments, like your credit card for example, contact your provider instead of just not paying. They may be able to readjust your repayment plan.

3. Avoid debt like the Coronavirus!

Racking up debt now is extremely dangerous! You need to do your best to avoid personal loans, payday loans, credit cards, etc. If you do have to take out a loan, make sure you’re well aware of the conditions of the loan:

  • The time it takes to pay off the loan
  • The amount you will pay on the monthly installments
  • The amount you will pay on interest

And then, ask yourself: Can I afford this loan if I receive less income in the future?

4. Find ways to earn more money

Struggling to get through the month? Well, there are ways you can create an additional income. It isn’t always easy to generate more income, but if you’re willing to work hard, you will succeed. Debt Rescue mentioned 3 ways in their article How To Manage Your Money During Lockdown.

Side hustle

Set yourself up as a freelancer with sites like Fivver, Freelancer, Upwork and The Resource.

Sell products online

Shopify, one of the biggest e-commerce platforms, allows you to manage your own online shop easily.

Become a freelance writer

If you enjoy writing, there are so many opportunities for you to turn your talent into cash. Don’t know where to start? Visit Contena Community for guidance.

5. Stop wasting money on things you don’t need

Now is not the time to buy luxury items, such as new cellphones, streaming platforms, fancy clothing or new furniture. Your focus should be on buying what you need – NOT what you want. Before making any purchase, ask yourself: “do I really need this?”. If the answer is no, don’t get it!

6. Think long and hard before making any big financial decision

A huge financial decision could backfire in the future. Make sure you seek professional advice if you need it. Don’t be impulsive.

SABEST

Fun ideas for the Easter weekend

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Easter doesn’t have to be dull, whether you are surrounded by family and friends or not. Here are some great ideas to keep you entertained this Easter weekend. 

Get cooking!

Easter breakfast

Start off the day with a bunny breakfast. Get the recipe here!

Later on in the day, enjoy a cooking competition with your family. Let each member choose a dish to make and then vote on the tastiest dish.

If you’re by yourself, perhaps you and your friends can post your dishes on social media and vote for the best looking dish! After all, isn’t presentation more important than taste?

Play!

Easter games

Play some good old fashioned games and get creative with arts and crafts this Easter weekend! Here are some fun suggestions: 

Chocolate bunny game 

  1. Place a chocolate bunny, hat, scarf, knife, fork and pair of oven gloves in the middle of a table. Tell your family to gather around.
  2. Everyone gets a chance to throw a dice, aiming for a 6.
  3. When a player gets a 6, they must put on the hat, scarf and oven gloves and then use the utensils to cut up the bunny and eat the pieces.
  4. Their chance ends when the next person gets a 6.
  5. The game ends once the bunny has been demolished.

Seek the bunnies

Hiding Easter eggs and finding them is always great fun but not all of us live in big houses with big yards. If you do not have a big yard you can add a twist to the game – find the eggs in 7 seconds! Eat what you manage to find!

Guess the flavor!

Players get blindfolded and are asked to guess the flavour of chocolate. The one with the most correct guesses wins. 

Madlips

This is a great game to play virtually with your friends and family if you are alone. Get a template of a story online or download an app for templates. Each person provides their own nouns, adjectives, etc. to complete the story before seeing the template. Each story then gets read aloud.  Try not to laugh, we dare you!

Good old fashioned board games

This is the best time to dust off those board games you haven’t played in forever. Here are the top 10 board games according to parent24.com.

Arts and crafts 

Let your creative juices flow with some Easter arts and crafts. Click here for a bunch of great ideas for you and the family.

Watch movies! 

Easter Movies

Make some popcorn and get cozy on the couch. Here are some fantastic easter movies for the whole family: 

  • The dog who saved Easter 
  • It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown 
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Hop (2011)
  • The Easter Egg Adventure 

Have your own Easter Weekend fun list? Share your ideas with us in the comment section below. 

SABEST

How to support local businesses in SA during lockdown

During Lockdown

Rumours are flying around South Africa that lockdown may be extended. Whether this happens or not, many small and medium businesses in the country will suffer from the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

South Africans are called to unite and do their best to support local businesses. Although it may be difficult to do so while stuck at home, there are a few ways you can show your support in the meantime.

Here’s how you can support local businesses in South Africa during lockdown:

  1. Buy in advance. Make appointments or buy vouchers that you can use once the lockdown is over.
  2. Use their websites. Shop/ use their services and resources online if possible.
  3. Leave a Google Review. Write a favourable Google Review for a local business to let others know that you had a positive experience with them. 
  4. Leave a Facebook Review. Write a favourable Facebook Review on a local business’s Facebook page to show their audience that you love their products and/or services.
  5. Connect with local businesses on social media platforms. Follow and like their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social platforms they’re active on.
  6. Interact with their posts. Like, comment and share their posts to help them reach a wider audience online.
  7. Stay signed up. Keep memberships and services that they offer online.

Many businesses face uncertainty. While the government has introduced COVID-19 lockdown relief measures for businesses, some businesses will not be able to apply for relief as an option.

Make sure you do your part in supporting local businesses. Click here for more information about Covid-19.

Stay safe and healthy!

SABEST

Easy chocolate chip cookies for Valentine’s Day

Chocolate chip cookies

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! Hip hip hooray! Are you doing something special for your other half? If you haven’t bought or planned anything yet, we have a great recipe for you. And, we know most South Africans are a bit cash strapped, so we’ve made sure these delicious chocolate chip cookies won’t cost much.

Chocolate chip cookies recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • ¾ cup of white sugar
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 ½ cups of chocolate chips

Directions

chocolate chip cookie mixture
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  2. Mix flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl.
  3. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric beater – or mix with a spoon with super speed arms – until fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla.
  4. Add flour mix to the large bowl other ingredients. Mix together.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Add tablespoonfuls of mix to cookie sheets – about 5 cm apart.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes or until light brown.
  8. Let cool, then enjoy.

This mixture should make about 48 cookies. ♥

Also, check out our chocolate brownie recipe.