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8 Easy ways to save

Words: Nandi Ndlovu; Photography: Jonathan Taylor

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Real women, real money-saving tips, no more impulsive spending!

Save bit by bit
“Even if it isn’t much, try to save wherever you can. I’m always looking for special offers on household products and groceries, especially when it comes to pricey items like nappies.” Paballo Thebehali, mother of one

Be style savvy
“I only shop for clothes when the sales are on. This means that I buy all of my summer clothes at the beginning of winter, and all of my winter clothes at the beginning of summer. I think about what I want to buy before I go shopping, and decide how much I’m prepared to spend in advance. And if there’s an item that I’ve seen for a certain price, I’ll shop for that thing until I find it. All of this helps me to avoid impulse purchases.” – Tanyaradzwa Dzumbunu, student

Try several bank accounts
“I’ve found that breaking up my money and putting it into separate accounts helps me to keep control of my finances. When I kept all of my money in one account, I’d spend too much of it without even noticing – and then there was nothing left to save or use as a safety net.” – Zwivhuya Shikwambana, accountant

Only use cash
“I grew up knowing the importance of budgeting and this has stuck with me. During the week I avoid shops and, if I do need to go to the store, I carry only R200 in cash. This ensures that I buy only what’s needed.
“Another tip: plan all your menus at the start of the month and just buy ingredients for those meals. When it comes to the times when I’m invited out for drinks or dinner, I put R100 in my hubby’s pocket and R100 in mine as our evening’s allowance. I take my bank card just in case, but the intention is not to use it.” Carren Field, lecturer

Think before you eat (out, that is!)
“Want to eat out, but not blow the budget? Start by looking for special offers – many restaurants do seasonal promotions. And how about sharing a starter or a mains platter, or skipping dessert and buying a sweet treat, like a chocolate, on your way home?”Tobela Pemba, restaurant manager

Choose classic fashion pieces
“If you love fashion and want unique pieces at good prices, explore vintage markets and stores. For the rest of your wardrobe, invest in basics you can wear throughout the year, like a white shirt and terrific jeans. You can add colour with accessories but, for the most part, stick to a neutral, non-seasonal colour palette, like black and white. And don’t blow your budget on extreme trends, which won’t last.”– Jessica Collins, boutique manager

Say cheers the smart way
“As a barman, I see people spend a lot on alcohol, but you can easily save on drinks. Start by deciding in advance what the cost will be for your choice of drink, then leave your credit card at home and carry only the cash you’ve allocated for that night. (Your resistance will be stronger before you’ve got a drink or two in you!)Find out what the house brands and specials are for the evening. And remember: cocktails are much cheaper than usual at Happy Hour.” Cesaire Tobias, bartender

Keep track with a money diary
“Saving money is like losing weight – it’s not easy and it takes time to see results. So start with the basics. If you don’t know how much you spend and exactly how, keep a spending diary for at least a month and list every cent you pay out, including the small things like tips, payments to car guards, booze and snacks. This will help you to identify where your cash goes.”
Rita Cool, financial advisor

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