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3 Popular Money-Saving Hacks You Must Try

Set a financial goal and put one of these methods to work

BY Naledi K

Jun 09, 2021, 05:36 PM

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It’s becoming harder and harder to save money. The more things get expensive, the more our income seems to be stuck in one place fighting for its life against inflation.

Every month, you promise yourself that you are finally going to start saving money for that goal… that goal you’ve been putting off for several months. The deposit for your house, paying off one huge debt, finally saving up for that emergency fund account you opened in January or even starting to save up to take that cruise to Mozambique to reconnect with your long lost family history… That goal only you know.

However, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to catch a break. Every time you think you have R200 to spare for your savings, the streets start calling or Black tax is due or your tire burst or sister needs a textbook for math or your toddler drops your uninsured iPhone in the toilet. Life seems to be working against you where money is concerned...
"Most of us have little to no financial literacy. We know that you work to get money and then you spend that money but the intricacies of saving or investing? Not so much."
Here’s the thing, our relationship with money is a deep one that goes back right before we learnt how to count. Most of us have little to no financial literacy. We know that you work to get money and then you spend that money but the intricacies of saving or investing? Not so much.

Therefore it’s going to take a lot out of us to begin to unlearn what has now been a lifetime of unhealthy money-spending habits. We going to need a complete change to our understanding of certain notions we know to be true about money and learn how to use money to not only break the “living payday to payday” cycle but learn how to save.

That being said, the onus is on you to do the research and figure out how best to begin this rather daunting process. However, the nice thing about being humans is that we get the chance to learn other lessons through the people around us. 

So, perhaps it is worth trying one or all three of the following money-saving hacks. Who knows? You might finally end up debt-free or on a yacht sipping mojitos, finally taking that long overdue vacation because you managed to save up!

Join A Stokvel

Start by taking inspiration at home and join a stokvel just like your mama did. A stokvel is invitation-only money saving club where members regularly contribute an agreed amount and from which they receive a lump sum payment. They are super popular in Mzansi and are the reasons most parents in Black communities managed to get their children through school or build themselves massive homes. This helps you have people to be accountable to in your money-saving journey and that support goes a long way.

Organise Automated Debits

Another trick that will help you save money, is to create a stop order so that money allocated to the savings account can go out of your regular user account as soon as you get paid. This will help you avoid being tempted to use the money for whatever life may be planning on throwing your way that months. 

If the R200 going towards your house deposit has already gone and is locked up in a fixed account where you can’t easily access it, then you will need to look elsewhere for the R200 to go clubbing with but that R200 in your savings account remains intact. See? Win-win!

Use Cash, In Envelopes

Going digital is awesome in a lot of areas but not so great for us finance illiterate mortal beings. Something about swiping the plastic (that is credit or debit bank card) instead of using cash, creates the illusion that we aren’t spending too much money. I mean, I’d like to see you withdraw R5000 cash and walk into an expensive boutique to buy one belt or a pair of socks… I bet you probably would never do that.

But with a card, the magnitude of your expense doesn’t truly register so you might. This is why, withdrawing money and putting it in an envelope (say an envelope dedicated to weekend spending) might do you better because if you put R500 meant for the whole month in there and it’s done by week two, then you know that’s it! Your entertainment budget for that month is finished!

Disclaimer: I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this but just in case: Reading this article doesn’t constitute as legal or professional financial advice. I just read a few books and listened to a few people speak about money, and I’m now sharing what I learnt.