If you are on your journey to becoming debt-free or you’re looking for simple ways to tighten up those leaks in your monthly budget, today I am sharing with you 10 tips which help us save money every day. They may be small things but at the end of the month, they do add up! And wouldn’t you much rather save that bit of money? I know I would!
- Brew your own favourite brew in the morning
A cup of coffee could easily cost R20.00 at a coffee shop nowadays. When you multiply that by 21, the average number of working days in a month, that’s R420.00 you could be saving each month. If you only occasionally go out for a cup of coffee with friends and colleagues at work that could be part of your entertainment budget for the month.
- Prepare your own breakfast/lunch/snack for work
Avoid last minute takeaway orders. A lunch could easily set you back R50.00 a pop and for that much money my husband and I could each have 2 delicious homemade meals! Utilising last night’s leftovers and getting creative with your sandwiches, who needs takeaways at work every day? Again, if you occasionally go out for lunch with your colleagues during the working week, make that part of your monthly entertainment budget.
- Can you carpool or take the bus to work?
I wish I could! But none of my co-workers stay in the same area so carpooling is not an option for me. Taking the bus isn’t an option either – we’re nowhere near a bus route, but I so wish we were! Either of these options would save us a ton of money each month that we otherwise have to spend on fuel.
- Drive with a light foot
Being gentler on the gas pedal both in the mornings and in the afternoons can save you quite a bit overall on your fuel consumption per month. You are also burning less fuel and thus reducing your carbon footprint. If possible, leave for work a bit earlier in the mornings, for example, so that you avoid the rush hour traffic and your car idling for long periods of time which consumes even more fuel.
- Unplug appliances when you leave for work
This includes the microwave, the kettle, the TV, your laptop, in fact everything but the essentials such as your fridge. Even though you’re not using your appliances as long as they remain plugged in the wall, or the switch on the wall socket is on, they are drawing electricity.
- Don’t go window shopping during your lunch hour
You might just be tempted to blow your budget. A packet of sweets here and a pair of shoes there and just that lovely top that you think you might need to wear next Saturday… you get the point. Is it worth blowing your budget over that? You’ll regret it, trust me on that one. Instead, stay in during your lunch hour and chat to your co-workers as you munch on your delicious, homemade leftovers that still taste so yum!
- Don’t hang out with the smokers in the smoking section
Quit completely if you can, and in fact you should. Not only is smoking bad for your health but how much is a packet of smokes nowadays? Anywhere between R20.00 – 40.00. Do you want to be spending that much money every day? Let’s say a packet of cigarettes costs on average of R30.00. That’s R900.00 per month or a whole R10,800.00 per year that you could have in your savings account and not in someone else’s pocket!
- Drinks after work?
While you don’t want to be a total Scrooge or an anti-social recluse, be intentional about your spending on this one. Have a drink instead of several. Or, have a glass of water or a glass of soda instead, there is no shame in that. Your real friends will understand that you are working towards specific goals, such as paying off your debt or saving money for your emergency fund, and will support you.
- Avoid stopping at the supermarket on your way home
If you plan your meals ahead of time or have a bunch of homemade meals in your freezer waiting for you to defrost when you get home, there won’t be any need to venture into a supermarket when you’re tired and hungry and bound to buy a whole lot more stuff on a whim.
- Switch off all the lights
How many of you remember your mom, dad, grandad, grandma, aunt and uncle going around the house, switching off all the lights in empty rooms and shouting that electricity doesn’t pay for itself? Well, they were right. Electricity didn’t pay for itself then and it sure doesn’t pay for itself now. You’re paying for it, so switch it off if you’re not using it.
What simple things do you do each day to help you save and stay on track with your monthly budget? Share your ideas in the comments below.
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