Too much debt and overspending is some of the reasons why a shocking 77% of South African consumers have no money left at the end of each of month.
Often any attempt to cut back on expenses is shortly lived due to a budget that is already uncomfortably tight. Even after examining slips with a fine toothcomb we are still struggling to find ways to cut. Why? Perhaps because some of the things we are overspending on are emotional of nature; things we feel we cannot live without.
Here are 4 everyday things you can and should cut back on now:
1. Convenience food items
Convenience food items such as snack bars, ready-made meals and sandwiches, in addition to pre-sliced and peeled vegetables and fruits are making consumers’ lives so much easier. However, they are also racking up quite the bill.
Solution: Prepare and make it yourself. For e.g. buy your vegetables in bulk, peel, cut and portion into re-usable freezer bags, and freeze. You can even make your own snack bars by buying bulk seeds, nuts, dried fruit, honey etc. As with everything time is always an issue so set aside one morning or afternoon once a month to do all the prep work. You can take the same approach with meals by preparing soups, casseroles etc. in bulk and freezing portions.
Yes, sure you deserve that refreshing thirst quencher. But consider the costs for a moment. If you spend R20 a day on a cold drink, water, smoothie or the like, it adds up to R100 a week, and R400 a month. Is it really worth it?
Solution: Drink free water at the office, or alternatively buy bulk water and take it to work. If you cannot live without your daily soda fix rather buy your favourite bottle or can in bulk and save on the cost.
3.Cups of coffee
You’ve got to love that quick cup at a coffee shop or the take away for the early morning drive to work. And if it is a once a week thing, it is perhaps not such a big deal. A daily paid cup of coffee, however, could cost you around R600 a month.
Solution: Make coffee in a flask for the trip to work. If you want to look forward to a “special” cup, then perhaps buy cappuccino sachets or flavoured coffee – it will still work out cheaper.
Consumers are relying heavily on store credit to fund clothing and other household items they cannot afford. Paying it off over six to 12 months make purchases seem affordable and worth the investment. However, how many times have you bought something on credit while knowing deep down that you would never pay that particular amount if you were paying cash?
Solution: Before shopping for new clothes do a stock take of your wardrobe and sell or swap clothing you won’t be wearing again. Give an old dress or outfit new life with a scarf or other accessories. Try and pay off all your accounts and instead allocate a smaller budget towards clothing. This way you can buy something new every month instead of always paying off last year’s purchases.
If your overspending has spun out of control, contact Debt Rescue for the guidance you need to get out of debt and become financially free.