Momma’s Money – How To Spend & Save Money
I hope you enjoyed last weeks Momma’s Money and I trust you are as excited as I am at the thought of spending and saving it!
Let me start by saying, I’m no financial advisor (what a laughable notion!)
I’m just a regular chickadoo, scraping by each month like most families in South Africa, wanting to stretch my Rands as faaaar as the poor buggers will go!
Here you will find no ramblings of investment accounts, stock trading or bitcoin. Why? Quite frankly, I’m not entirely sure I even know what those things are, let alone how they work.
As a rule, I only write of what I know. In this case, what I know are easy and implementable ways that you can save some money by saving-saving and savvy spending.
I’m excited to share with you a couple of the ways I spend and save money within my household and throughout my daily life!
The Low Down on Spending and Saving
Now as well as we all know ‘you’ve gotta spend money to make money’ but fewer know that you also have to spend money to save money.
Real mind boggling stuff I tell ya!
Spending your money is just as important as saving it, because when you spend wisely (and at the correct places) you are saving money in the long term.
Before We Begin…let’s Talk BUDGET!
It honestly frrrrrrreaks me out how many people do not plan their budget on a monthly basis. I mean, do you even know how quickly you spend R1 000 on things outside of your monthly expenses?
It’s all fine and dandy having a little extra at the end of the month but it is scary how fast that little extra turns into a little, well, nothing.
The very first thing you need to do is make a list of your households income vs expenses. Be sure to include all debit orders and anything you pay/buy on a month to month basis. Now, you minus the expenses from the income and you are left with: your spending money for the month!
To get started in the world of budgeting – take a look at your bank statement or receipts and actually track how much you are spending on non-budgety things and put them into nice little categories (like eating out, non-grocery items and random things like buying a magazine) and decide if you would, or could, rather save that moola or incorporate them into your budget.
Once you realise you spend R300 a month on chocolates, you will put the choccie back on the shelf very quickly.
Or maybe not.
I’m getting there, okay!
Saving Your Money by Shopping At Stores With A Loyalty or Rewards Programme
This is a no-brainer in my opinion.
I always choose to shop at stores that have some kind of a loyalty or reward programme in place because by having a store card you are eligible for discounts and promotions that are unavailable to non-card holders.
Every time you spend and swipe you gain more points which can result in a discount on your shop or even a cash back.
It just makes sense to me that if you are going to be shopping and spending money at this store regardless why wouldn’t you want to be rewarded for your loyalty, you know?
Some reward programmes, like the Thank U programme, have one loyalty card that can be used at a whole bunch of different (seemingly unrelated) stores which is awesome. Daddydaims and I were chuffed to learn that for you receive 150 points for every 1 litre of fuel you put in at Engen Garage’s when you swipe your Thank U card.
Saving Your Money With Couponing
Couponing has been massive overseas for quite some time now, to such an extent that there are a whole bunch of reality shows revolving around it.
While couponing isn’t anywhere near as big here in South Africa as it is elsewhere, it is starting to gain more popularity and is a great way to save a buck here and there.
Some time ago I was introduced to a fabulous couponing site called wuhu.co.za that is super simple to use and get the hang of!
Wuhu.co.za has coupons available for Pick n Pay, Spar, Checkers, Shoprite and Dischem Pharmacies (who care!)
You will find actual cash discounts, two for one’s, combo deals and so much more – all in one place. Yay for wuhu.co.za!
Saving Your Money By Being A Savvy Shopper
Be a savvy shopper by educating and familiarizing yourself around the items you normally buy, that way you can easily spot a great deal!
I can’t say we shop in bulk, because we definitely don’t have the moola to do that just yet, but we do take advantage of awesome deals by buying more than we normally would.
For instance, this past weekend we went on our usual pay-day weekend grocery shop for the month and saw that there was a R15 discount on the baby wipes we buy for madam – so we bought a whole bunch of boxes as opposed to the usual one! Yes, we spent more than we normally would on baby wipes but we will not have to buy any more with our next couple of shopping trips AND we have saved in the long run considering that if we were buying babywipes next month we would more than likely be paying full price.
Spending Your Money Responsibly – Cash or Card, Dear?
You need to figure out if you are more responsible with your spending when you are using cash or paying by card and make the winner your predominant method of spending.
Some people, like myself, spend less when they are using cash because you can see how much you are spending at a time (and watch that wad dwindle down into a few loose notes!) whereas when I am armed with my card – I swipe here, there and everywhere! And then get a nasty shock when I check my bank balance and nearly die.
For others, it is the exact opposite.
You do you, boo!
Saving Your Money By Living Within Your Means
To live within your means sounds simple enough, but it is actually surprisingly difficult to apply to your day to day life.
To be 100% honest with you, I haven’t quite got this one waxxed.
Sure, I do the more obvious things like opt for Pick n Pay over Woolies and I have unsubscribed from all those lovely daily deals emails that just tempt the pants off me.
It’s the more subtle things I struggle with. Silly little things (that add up to not so little amounts!) like when everyone in the office orders takeout for lunch and the Queen of FOMO obviously joins in.
When you plan your budget it is important to include some flexi-money, for things like clubbing in for lunch, the occasional takeout and buying small odds and ends when you need to.
Saving Your Money By Re-Using
Another obvious one, yet one that is so easily, and often, overlooked.
You will be so surprised to see how many of the items you usually chuck away can be re-used or re-purposed entirely.
For example, I haven’t bought a gift bag in three years.
Every time someone presents me with a gift, my heart does a little hop, skip and jump because I know that I can add it to my ‘gift bag bag’ (Yes, I have a gift bag full of gift bags – don’t you judge me!) and when the time comes for me to be on the giving end of gifting I know that a bag is one thing I don’t need to worry about (the actual gift is a worry for a different day!)
Items that you can, and should, re-use include glass containers, plastic bags, old clothes, formula tins and toothbrushes.
By re-using items you save money and do your bit for the environment.
With all that said and done, if you don’t have a plastic bag full of plastic bags in your cupboard or under your sink are you even South African?
Saving Your Money with A Short Term Fixed Savings Account
This is about as financial advisory I’m gonna get I pinky promise!
What to do with any extra money you should have ‘saved’ by not spending like a chop?
Open up a nice flexible savings account and pop some away in there whenever you can.
We opted for a 32 day savings account because we can access that money should we really need to BUT we have to wait (you guessed it) 32 days before we get the money and this rule keeps us super disciplined because we can’t just withdraw it willy nilly.
And there you have it folks!
I hope you have found value in some of the above points I’ve mentioned and find a way to spend and save that suits you and your family.
Remember, there are loads of little changes you can make within your life that don’t have to negatively impact your lifestyle and standard of living.
Savvy shopping, happy spending!