Cut costs now

Here’s a quick list to cutting your bills fast. It’s made up of basic common sense and good, old-fashioned discipline. For some of you these might already be a practice, for others, these quick tips will minimise your outgoings in a flash.

Do a recon of food in your pantry before you visit the grocery store. List the items you already have and plan meals with them before heading off to the shops.

Shop around mobile phone service provider, banks, ISP’s always be on the lookout for the best deal. Loyalty seldom pays.

Spring clean your finances to rid yourself of unnecessary bank charges or high interest credit payments.

Get real about your gym membership. If you’re not using it, cancel it.

Be clever with your phone bill:

  • Use after hour rates if applicable
  • Use free sms’s
  • Use WhatsApp and BBM if you have access to these
  • Use Skype instead of making overseas calls
  • Check your cell phone package carefully and make sure it’s the right one for you there are so many options out there to suit your lifestyle.
  • Check your monthly statements. Mistakes happen. Don’t let them cost you.

Drop the expenses you don’t need, such as insurance on your cell phone when it’s covered in your home insurance.

Install an electricity meter. Not only does it help you to gauge and therefore curb unnecessary usage, but it prevents mistaken billing from Eskom.

Watch your electricity usage:

  • Use cold water for laundry.
  • Use energy saving light bulbs.
  • Unplug everything when you’re not using it.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Avoid tumble dryers.
  • Keep a flask of hot water handy instead of regularly boiling the kettle.

Watch your water usage:

  • Don’t use a hosepipe to rinse off your patio or driveway sweep it instead.
  • Don’t run the tap whilst brushing your teeth.
  • Do your laundry on a short cycle.
  • Only water the garden or fill up your swimming pool when required.
  • Shower instead of bathing.

Plan your cash withdrawals and bank deposits to avoid unnecessary bank charges. And never draw from another bank’s ATM.

Book flights and event tickets early.

Do a trade exchange. Offer up your skills in exchange for a friend’s services. Need your car fixed and have a friend who’s a mechanic? Cook him a week’s worth of delicious meals to freeze and eat, give him a massage, design some brochures for him. Give your time, talents and skills instead of paying hefty bills.

Use vouchers and deals, especially for eating out.

Plan your weekly menu and make a shopping list that you stick to.

Watch small spending. Go without it for a month and notice the difference.

Drop a brand on everything.

Eat less meat.

Buy in bulk.

Grow your own herbs.

Stop buying bottled water. Get a water filter and use your own bottle instead.

Stop parking where you have to pay. Visit malls where the first hour is free or park nearby on the street and walk.

Review your debts and loans, and make a plan of how to pay them back. Do not save until your debts are paid off.

Get your contraception free.

Get books from the local library.

Visit a market at closing time. You’ll get the cheapest deals on veggies and fruit.

Use home stylists & beauticians.

Stop buying plastic bags.

Stop buying takeaway coffees and lunches during your working week.

Drive slower and save on petrol.

List all your potential Christmas and birthday gifts for the year, and buy them on group buying deal sites or seasonal sales and specials.

We’d love to hear how you cut your costs. If you have any great ideas, share them with us here.

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