Did you know that July has been declared national 'savings month' by the South African Savings Institute? With this in mind, what are you doing to save this month? But more importantly, do you save regularly, or do you believe you don't earn or have enough to save?
According to Sanlam Investments Economist, Arthur Kamp, savings month should be every month. "I think the best way to have a healthier relationship with our money is to firstly understand what money is. It is not just something that you can use to buy goods and services. It is something that you can actually save."
"Secondly it is to understand that the credit card that you are holding in your hand is not money. That is someone else's money that you are spending and you have to pay them back. Most likely with interest as well," adds Kamp.
As students, many of us don't yet earn an income, but there are things that we can do to make the money we do have go further.
Rosebank College lists 20 easy things which you can do to save on a day to day basis.
1. Bring lunch
We all have to eat and packing a prepared lunch from home can do wonders to save you a handsome amount of money which will surely add up. Bringing a packed lunch also allows you to make healthier and filling meals, all while saving you some Randela's.
2. Join a lift club
Petrol prices keep going up, increasing transport costs. Why not join or start a lift club if you have a license and save money while also saving the environment and decreasing traffic on the road? Now that's a win, win, win!
3. Use public transport
If you own a car, you know that driving can be expensive. Why not use public transport from time to time, and read a novel while you enjoy being driven for a change?
4. Use Wi-Fi
Do you know where all the hot Wi-Fi spots are located? If not, find out quickly and take advantage of free Wi-Fi to surf the net and download music and videos – legally of course!
5. Buy monthly groceries in bulk
Rather buy a pack of 6 one litre milk cartons than one, or a tray of 38 eggs instead of 12. Buying in bulk is the future!
6. Switch to a cheaper cellular network provider
Gone are the days when consumers were held hostage to expensive network providers and inflated call rates. Now with added competition, consumers are coming out tops and should take advantage of this. Switch to the cellular network provider that gives you more for your buck.
7. Use coupons and loyalty points
Make sure you swipe your loyalty card with each purchase to gain points and make use of coupons before they expire. You will be shocked at just how much money will stay in your pocket if you make this a habit.
8. Look out for student sales
One of the many perks of being a student is that everyone knows you are most likely broke. Use this to your advantage by getting as much off purchases as possible - including dates to the movies.
9. Contiki travel tours
Do you love to travel but can't afford to travel lavishly? That's no excuse not to travel anymore. Contiki tours were made for students wishing to travel on a budget. Make sure you use this to your advantage while you still can. A trip to the USA will never be this cheap – EVER!
10. Sell your textbooks
You are most likely only ever going to use your textbooks for a semester and at most two semesters only. Don't leave unused textbooks to gather dust. Rather sell them to someone who can put them to good use.
11. Hire box office movies from home
We all love going to the movies, but this can be quite pricey. Think about it. In addition to buying movie tickets, you have to buy popcorn, slush, you get the point. Save on all these costs by collectively hiring box office movies with friends while they are still new and watch these movies from the comfort of your couch, while you pop corn in your pot in the kitchen. WIN!
12. Buy tracks and not albums
How many times have you bought an album only to find that you only like 2 of the 16 tracks? We thought so. Eliminate the element of surprise by legally buying the specific tracks you want to save costs and disappointment.
13. Look for specials
Eat out on days when you can eat as much as you like or watch movies on days when ticket prices are reduced. Waiting a few days to get the better deal is worth it.
14. Spice up your wardrobe
Buying clothes can be costly, and the chances are really high that what you buy will be bought by several other people. Why not find some vintage stores with some quirky pieces to spice up your look. Vintage makes you stand out and it's a whole lot cheaper too!
15. Buy for Winter in Summer and vice versa
Wait for clothing sales when looking to buy clothes. We recommend buying your winter wardrobe in summer and vice versa as the prices are usually reduced.
16. Freeze for longer life
Now you know why your mom freezes everything including bread. Yes, that's right freeze food that you won't eat in time to make sure it's around when you ready to eat it.
17. Save your spare change
What do you do with the money you find in between the couch and the bottom of your back pack? Stash it into a piggy bank or even a 2 litre bottle and when full take it to the bank to put it away for a rainy day. You only need 10 R1's to get R10.
18. Stick to a budget
Write down your budget at the beginning of the month and stick to it. Be real with yourself and include things like entertainment and everything else you use your money on. A budget makes you accountable and if you stray, make a note of what you spent extra on, and adjust your budget accordingly.
19. Use cash instead of cards on outings
Something happens to all of us when we are out with friends having a great time. We forget how much we have allowed ourselves to spend and we become a bit too impulsive for our own good. Avoid overspending by leaving your bank cards at home on days like these and only use what you have.
20. Camp and enjoy nature
Have you ever thought about what amazing things you can get up to for free? You can go camping, you can go for a hike, or enjoy a day at the beach – all for free. Try it, nature is awesome!
Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (Pty) Ltd which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997 (reg. no. 2007/HE07/002). Company registration number: 1987/004754/07.
About The IIE Rosebank College
The IIE Rosebank College is dedicated to providing students with a solid foundation, creating future thinkers to build successful careers. The IIE's quality, accredited courses have a strong technological focus enabling you to thrive in today's working world.
Study at our Braamfontein, Auckland Park, Pretoria CBD, Pretoria Sunnyside or Durban campuses and enrol for an IIE degree, diploma or higher certificate. We are a worthy higher education partner for all students who entrust us with their career development. For more information please visit www.rosebankcollege.co.za and www.iie.ac.za.
Written by Karabo Keepile