- It is never too late to start making healthier financial habits
“Times are tough with inflation hitting at our doorsteps. The lack of jobs and ongoing market challenges add pressure to our already squeezed wallets. A lot of Batswana find themselves in unfavourable financial situations,” said Kagiso Wamakhubu, Business Development Manager-SMME, Old Mutual Life.
Even so, it is very encouraging that most Batswana continue to persevere in their effort to achieve financial freedom. Now more than ever, it is important to save. I found this out recently when my 6-year-old son asked me how much I have in my savings account because he wanted me to buy him a bicycle. Kids!
Below are some of my famous saving tips that have always helped me put money back in my pocket.
- Make savings. Pranks are not just a fun thing to do with family. You can make saving a fun activity with your family or friends to see who can keep their savings the longest.
- Save on fees and charges. Next time you receive your bank statement or even make an online payment, take time to check the current bank fees by your bank. In terms of insurance, make sure you read your policy renewal document to study some of the charges associated with your policy, e.g. excess in the event of a claim on your assets.
- Stop buying convenience food. One of the reasons I always advise people to eat at home is not just because you save some money but because you actually know what you put in your food.
- Buy only what you need. Try to plan and buy only food for your needs. This will prevent wastage.
- Buy in bulk. Take advantage of bulk offers to save on goods that have a long shelf life.
- Take leftovers for lunch. When cooking meals, ensure that you take the leftovers for lunch the next day. This will prevent you from spending unnecessarily.
- Make a shopping list. A shopping list before leaving home for the shops is very important to manage in your spending. This way, you only get what you need and maintain more discipline. Remember also not to leave home on an empty stomach as you tend to buy more.
- Give alternative gifts. DIY projects are not just for the home but can be used as gifts. Remember, it is the thought that counts. So something handmade could be more appreciated.
- Compare prices. Use apps such as Price Mate to compare prices before going out shopping. Alternatively, most stores have Facebook pages where you can check best deals.
- Familiarise yourself with seasonal sales. Avoid chasing after sales. An important question to consider: do I need this item? Can I survive without it? It may be that you already have five pairs of boots and you just want a different colour. If it is a purchase, you can survive without them and I advise you reconsider.
- Delay gratification. Rewarding yourself is important. However, you do not need to reward yourself every weekend. Plan in advance to reward yourself when you do have some extra cash in hand.
- Save on utility costs. Switch off the lights or appliances such as your geyser when not in use. Replace light bulbs and appliances with energy efficient ones. A friend of mine recently told me he has the geyser on 24 hrs. Personally, I would advise you save by switching on your geyser two hours before you need the water.
- Cell phone and television packages. Regularly review your cell phone and television packages to ensure that they still meet your needs and update it if necessary.
Saving should not only be for emergencies. To ensure a better life for yourself and your family in the future, you have to take advantage of every opportunity to save. Think about tomorrow and what you would like to save for – these are your targeted savings, whether it is to save for your child’s education, retirement or a holiday. It is never too late to start making healthier financial habits.
Kagiso Wamakhubu is Business Development Manager- SMME at Old Mutual Life Botswana
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