By Edwin Ngwane
(Warning: It's long but can change your life financially)
You’re probably tired of hearing people — whether it be your parents, friends or personal finance experts — tell you that you need to start saving more money now.
What you really need instead are some helpful tips on HOW you can realistically start growing your savings today.
After all, that small savings you keep every month ends buying something important and it has not helped you so far.
So, here are easy ways you can save money every day. And in some cases, these tips will even help you earn a bit more cash on the side.
If you apply all of these money-saving tips to your life, you could save at least $10 a day, which adds up to about $300 a month. Now that’s something you like to hear, right?
Okay, let's start.
1. Rent A Cheaper House
The biggest bill on your income should be rentals. It's the biggest bill for most people.
But this cost is based on decision. You can still find a cheaper house in a cheaper location instead of keeping up with the Kardashians.
2. Park Your Car & Board A Bus
Driving your car is cool but only if you can afford to buy fuel without stress.
If your own car is stressing you, pack it, board a bus and protect yourself from driving under the influence of income stress.
3. Pack Lunch Every Other Day
Do you love chicken and chips? I guess so. Me too.
What's your daily bill? $3 - $5 right? That's the average for most red and yellow food chains.
Why not buy an undressed chicken and a sack of potatoes or rice for your daily pack? It can save you a lot of money.
4. Fire Your Maid & Do It You Yourself
Firing your maid and doing your own house chores is tough for the working class.
But if that cost is causing headaches for you and your spouse, think about it. You will soon fail to pay your maid and cause more problems for you and your maid.
5. Cut Your Hair (Women)
Getting your hair professionally done is ridiculously expensive, especially for women who like plaiting human hair.
If you dare, perform your own at-home touch-up, or simply creatively cut it. Besides, having cheaper braids is still pretty cool.
6. Watch Your Airtime Purchases
Airtime is a subtle expense which most people don't see. It looks cheaper but eventually the monthly cost of airtime is bigger than you think.
Use your airtime wisely.
7. Stop Going Out Drinking
By the time you take a cab, grab a bite to eat, order a few rounds of drinks and take a cab back home, you’re already looking at an expensive night.
I remember going out with friends and promising myself that I won't spend more than $20 but ended up spending $50.
I met friends with their "girls" and made a few rounds for them. By the time I was going home, I had spent money meant for electricity.
It's an expense I could have avoided simply by staying home. You can do it too.
8. Stop Gym Membership & Just Start Running
Going to the gym is cool when your wallet is in shape. But that monthly payout could create anxiety issues which can affect your exercises.
Moreover, there are so many home do-it-yourself exercises that can keep your body in shape without paying an extra dollar.
9. Negotiate Your Deals
The are many things we pay more money for just because we didn't ask for a better deal.
Ask for a better deal all the time. You will be surprised at the number of great deals you will get.
10. Leave Your Debit Cards At Home
Here’s a tip that might sound a little daunting to some: Don’t get your debit cards all the time especially if you are a spendthrift.
If you think you’ll have a hard time accomplishing this, go to your bank and reduce your own daily withdraw limit. It can help you in the long run.
11. Learn A New Skill & Use It On Weekends/Nights
Whether you’re a great writer, designer, tailor, beautician, DJ, bouncer, hairstylist, electrician or have another skill people pay for, lend your services to earn some extra money.
12. Make a List Before Heading to the Supermarket
I am one of those people who leaves stuff at the till. I usually get stuff I did not intend to buy and wasn't on my budget.
And if I have money, I end up buying three types of coffee or junk for my kids.
It sounds too rigid but having a paper with the things I need to buy has helped me buy things I need. I think it can help you too.
13. Quit Smoking
You don’t need me to explain the financial benefits of quitting smoking and living healthier, in general.
Just do it. You are wasting your life and money by smoking.
14. Just Boil Your Water
Bottled water is one of the most wasteful products you can spend money on — just boil your water and reuse an aluminum water bottle.
This is not only good for your pocket but for the environment as well.
15. Turn Your Car Into A Taxi
I’ll be the first one to admit that putting your car on the taxi rank requires humility.
It's not something everyone can do but it can help you save some money or help you cater for your fuel cost weekly.
It’s really worth the trouble once you make up your mind to make and save the extra cash in your pocket.
16. Go Veggie
Have you ever compared the price of 5kg beef and 5kg beans? There’s a huge difference.
You don’t have to live off veggies to save money, but swapping two meat-based meals a week to vegetarian options will save a ton on food costs.
17. Buy Your Groceries at Discount From Wholesalers
I must admit that buying from wholesale shops is hectic and tiresome. But if you have a mission to accomplish, that's nothing.
Almost everything you buy at supermarkets has an added margin paid by you.
Start buying things in bulk and save some money. You can try it.
18. Start An Online Store
If you think online businesses do work, think again. I recently sold my Amplifier using Facebook and so many people are making money easily like that.
We live in the world of eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify etc. Have you ever thought about starting your online business? Start one today.
19. Collect Your Debts
Someone probably owes you money. It’s time for them to pay up.
Make that call and demand what is due to you. You would be surprised that it could come with interest.
20. Try Bartering
People really do exchange goods and services instead of cash, and they are saving a ton of money.
Think about companies who hire interns for little or no pay. That's an exchange which is very beneficial for both parties.
21. Sell Things You Don't Use
Our houses usually has stuff we don't use but still in good condition and sellable. These items could bring an extra dollar into your account.
An unused item is essentially cash just sitting around untouched. Sell the stuff you don't use by registering them on Facebook Buy & Sell groups, and put the money in your savings account.
22. Watch A Movie From Home
Watching a movie on big screens is great especially if your wallet is full. It feels nice to get the ice-cream, popcorns, slush or drinks at a premium without thinking twice.
And if you get two or more tickets, which is usually the case, the bill easily gets to $40 when you go out for a movie.
But you can also download a few great movies and watch from home while popping your own popcorns with a 2litre Coke or Fanta from Shoprite.
23. Avoid Brand Clothes and Cosmetics
You know there’s no real difference between a Gucci T-shirt and the ordinary version. So why pay an extra $10 just for the name?
The same goes for most brand makeup. There are so many other brands just as good as MAC selling at a fraction of the MAC's price.
Sure, a few products are hit or miss, but overall, switching to generic brands when shopping can save you 20 percent or more.
24. Drop Your Cable TV Subscription
How many hours a day do you waste sitting in front of the TV? Better yet, how much money are you wasting paying for that bouquet?
Most bouquets are about $10 to $80 a month (depending on your plan), and you’ll become much more productive once you no longer have 600 channels to flip through all day.
25. Take Your Children To A Government School
If you are struggling with the fees of your children at an expensive private school, you should listen to Kendrick Lamar's song called "Be Humble".
Stop Photoshopping your life. Don't embarrass and stress your children at a school you can't even afford.
Govenment school have produced a lot of successful doctors, lawyers, teachers, politicians, economists, accountants etc.
Be humble, get down!!
I wish you all the best.
The Ultimate Go-Getter