10 ways you are throwing your money away

Since the beginning of the year, price increases have dealt consumer wallets blow after blow after blow. It has become blatantly clear that consumers have to learn to make the most of every rand they earn, and they need to do it quickly.

One of the easiest ways in which to do this is stop throwing money away says Debt Rescue.

The debt counseling firm identifies 10 ways in which we may be wasting our money:

1. Stop shopping impulsively

Impulsive shopping leads to purchases you don’t need. If you have an empty trolley and no idea of what to buy you’ll spend more time on deciding between chicken and beef, and less time on shopping for the best price.

  • Make a detailed shopping list.
  • Eat before you hit the supermarket (so you don’t waste money on snacks).
  • Take your time so you can make better choices.

2. Stop wasting money on ATM fees

Spending money to get money out just doesn’t make sense. Luckily, these days debit cards are accepted at most till point, but there are occasions when you need cash. Make sure you know what your bank charges for this.

  • Draw from your bank’s ATM.
  • Try the cash back option at the supermarket.
  • Rather make one larger withdrawal for your monthly cash needs.Tip: Don’t keep a lot of cash in your wallet. Store it safely.

3. Stop unused subscriptions and contracts

Are you using all your subscriptions and contracts optimally? Do you even know what you are subscribed to? Track your bank statements to see what you are paying for.

  • Cancel unused subscriptions and contracts.
  • If you cannot cancel, perhaps try to sell your subscriptions / contract at a discounted rate.

4. Stop food from spoiling

You won’t physically throw away a R10-note, yet how many times have you thrown out spoiled lettuce, leftovers or dairy? If you are throwing out food it means you aren’t organised and need to plan better.

  • Make it a habit to check the fridge.
  • Plan meals according to the fresh produce you have.
  • Freeze leftovers.

5. Stop paying for things that are FREE

There is just something alluring about a professionally brewed cup of coffee, but you are wasting money if you are paying for something that you already receive free at work. The same goes for water. Even if you buy just one bottle of water and one cup of coffee a week, you’ll have roughly “thrown” away R1500 – R2 000 in a year.

Sometimes getting out of money trouble isn’t as easy as changing bad behaviours. Debt Rescue can help you cope with your debt and assist you on the journey to financial freedom.

6. Stop being ashamed of using coupons, discount vouchers etc.

Yes, it is a little embarrassing to keep up the queue behind you as you get your coupons or discount vouchers scanned. Luckily, technology simplifies the process these days and it is quick and easy to use money-back options off your royalty card or smartphone apps.

However, often it is not so much a case of fearing the potential disgruntled customer behind you, than it is about forgetting to use these discounts available to you.

  • Always swipe your royalty cards.
  • Save slips that give you cash-back or discounts.
  • Plan every shopping trip so you remember to take your loyalty cards, slips etc. as well as shopping bags. Having a less wasteful approach to spending is also helpful to the environment.

7. Stop buying ready-made meals or take out so often

Sure the occasional take out or ready-made meal is a lifesaver but if your fridge is full of ready-made meals or if you are getting take out every other day, you are wasting money. If you learn to cook effectively you can make cost-effective, healthy meals at home.

  • Plan the week’s meals in advance and shop accordingly.
  • If time is an issue, prepare meals over the weekend and freeze them.

8. Stop buying containers if there are refills available

Why are you still buying the containers for the things you always have to buy like cleaning products, coffee, spices etc.? You get exactly the same amount of exactly the same product when you buy refills but it costs a few rand less, and it is more eco-friendly.

  • Save your containers and refill them.
  • Shop for larger size refills and save even more.

9. Stop wasting electricity

With the electricity prices going up it is also a good time to look at how much power you are wasting. And don’t forget the small things, like those lights that are burning for no reason, using the wrong bulbs, chargers, or appliances switched on but not used.

So apart from making all the larger cuts, also:

  • Use energy efficient bulbs throughout your home.
  • Unplug all chargers when not in use.
  • Switch off your printer, microwave, etc. when not using it.

10. Stop living on credit

If you are living on credit you are losing a lot of money every month on interest. And it is a vicious circle isn’t it? Every month you have to use more and more credit because your cash flow becomes less and less.

  • Tackle your debt.
  • If you can’t manage your debt, get help!
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