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Great money saving ideas

Spending money is easy and a whole lot of fun too. The joy of finding that perfect something, sneaking your credit card out your purse, swiping and ka-ching, it is all yours.  Saving money on the other hand is a little more challenging. We've put some thought into some practical ways in which to cut down your monthly expenses.

Gym membership: The gym isn't the only place to exercise. Invest in a secondhand exercise bike and work out at home for free or go jogging with friends.

Interest rates and bank charges: Are you getting the best possible interest rate from your bank? Are your monthly bank charges competitive? Try and negotiate a better deal with your bank.  

Magazine subscriptions: As much as you might enjoy your monthly magazines, think about cancelling your subscriptions and catching up on your reading online.

Electricity: Visit the Eskom website for practical suggestions on how to reduce your electricity consumption. Learning to run an energy efficient household will stand you in good stead for years to come.

Buy bulk: Buy your non-perishables in bulk from wholesale outlets, just make sure you have enough space at home to store three months worth of toilet paper!

Shop sensibly: Plan your monthly or weekly shopping, draw up a shopping list and stick to it. And remember, never shop with the kids or when you are hungry as you are sure to spend more.

Lunchtime: Take a packed lunch to work. It might take some work and planning but it is cheaper and healthier!

Satellite TV: This might be a difficult one to swallow but can you see yourself living without satellite TV? If you cannot bring yourself to cancel your subscription completely consider changing to a cheaper package.

Downsizing: If you are really struggling to balance the books every month, consider moving into a smaller house or buying a smaller, more fuel efficient car.

And lastly, are you still trying to keep up with the Joneses?  Driving the biggest car and living in the biggest house is going to earn you nothing but debt and interest. At the end of the day, saving for your retirement, for your children's education and for a rainy day is much more important than the car you drive or the street you live on. Think about it.

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