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3 minute read
28 Feb 2020
7:59 am

Effective tips to reduce your personal expenses and to budget

Brought to you by Friendly Finance

Managing money isn't always easy, especially when it feels like you never quite have enough to cover all of your expenses.

Debt budget. Picture: iStock

Fortunately, there are dozens of great ways to save, simply by making small adjustments to your day-to-day life and spending habits.

Unplug Devices and Switch Off Lights

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Data from the Statistics South Africa’s Living Conditions Survey shows that over 32% of the average household’s expenditure goes on utility bills. You’d be surprised how much you can save by simply remembering to unplug devices when not in use, switch off lights when you don’t need them, and make other little efforts here and there to cut down on electricity usage.

Cut Down On Transport Costs

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Instead of driving to work each day and having to cover the costs of fuel and general vehicle maintenance, you can save a lot by switching to public transport or even organising a carpool system with your friends or colleagues.

Consider An Alternative Phone Plan

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Phones are more or less essential in the modern world, helping us keep in touch with friends and family, as well as playing games, streaming music and movies, keeping up with the news, and more, but you probably don’t need to pay as much as you currently do. There are always cheaper phone plans out there.

Reduce Expenditure on Bad Habits

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Do you smoke or drink? Does someone in your household have an unhelpful habit of spending more than they can really afford on clothes or personal grooming? In any of these cases and more, cutting down on the money you and other members of the household spend in needless ways can go a long way towards building your savings.

Cancel Subscriptions You Don’t Need

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With so many streaming services, magazine subscriptions, newspaper paywalls, and other little monthly fees of the modern world, we can spend quite a lot each month on content or entertainment we don’t even really need or use. Consider cancelling one or more of your subscriptions just to save a little extra each month.

Cook More Food

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Cooking your own food is another great way to save money, when compared to buying pre-made meals, dining out at restaurants, or getting fast food. You can make cheap ingredients go a long way and leftovers can be frozen and reused in future too.

Buy In Bulk

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Often, buying non-perishable goods in bulk, like shampoo, toilet paper, salt, and sugar, is way more cost-effective than buying them in smaller quantities. It can feel like a big expense at first, but in the long term, it can equate to some impressive savings.

For A Quick Cash Injection, Consider A Short-Term Loan

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Even with plenty of smart budget techniques like these, it can take time for the savings to really add up. If you find yourself in need of cash quickly, for example to pay for some unexpected medical treatment or cover the cost of an essential purchase, short term loans and credit cards can prove useful.

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