9 Savvy ways to save money

The VAT increase and higher fuel levies mean that budgets are getting tighter and most of us are likely looking for ways to cut costs wherever we can. To help you tighten your belt, we've put together nine simple and practical ways to save.

1 Track your spending

Are you sure you know where your money goes each month? Track your spending for 30 days and you'll probably be surprised at how many unnecessary expenses you really have. Once you have a clear idea of your expenditure, you can easily identify areas where you can cut back.

2 Make a list

Make a shopping list before you head to the shops. Once you get there, stay strong and only buy what's on the list - and don't be tempted by the goodies in the checkout aisle on your way out.

3 Look out for deals

From your weekly grocery shop to bigger ticket items, it's worth shopping around to see where you can get the best deals. Each saving might not seem like a lot at first, but it all adds up over time.

4 Go for cheaper options

Why buy 2-ply when 1-ply will do, or splurge on brand names when no name options work just as well? Have a look at the items you buy each month and see whether you can replace some of them with more cost-effective alternatives.

5 Ask for a discount

If you're in the market for a new fridge, dishwasher or washing machine, ask the retailer if they can give you a better deal than the listed price. They might not be willing to offer a discount, but you won't know until you ask.

6 Make your own lunch

Take a bit of extra time in the morning (or the evening before) to pack yourself a lunch for work each day. It's likely to be much healthier and cheaper than buying a meal from your office cafeteria or snack bar.

7 Opt for DIY pampering

If you can't afford to go to a spa or salon, you can still enjoy some well-deserved pampering - at home. Grab your beauty products, set aside some time just for you, and give yourself a facial, manicure and pedicure.

8 Get crafty

If you've got a large social circle, buying gifts for birthdays each month can sabotage your budget. Consider cutting your gift-buying list to only include close friends and family - and get creative with DIY gifts like homemade shortbread, where appropriate.

9 Kick the habit

Smoking is not only bad for you, it's also bad for your budget. Consider that if you smoke a pack a day, you could be spending in the region of R1 200 a month on cigarettes - that's R14 400 per year! So, why not make this the year that you finally kick the habit? Your body and your wallet will thank you.

If you'd like to find out more about Standard Bank's direct life insurance services, get a quote or request that a customer service agent call you back.

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