So, did anyone have a 2021 new year’s goal? I did.
My goal is to educate myself on how money works, the best ways to save and how to make my money grow. I recently shared a video on my YouTube channel talking about this. We talk about everything else but we don’t talk about money, even though it plays such a big role in our lives and it affects everyone, no matter what you do for a living. Before this year, I was too embarrassed to talk about money or ask friends for tips. I honestly wish conversations about money were more open so we could help each other.
I think a lot of us get intimidated by some financial jargon and then bury our heads in the sand. For example, the word “investing”. I used to think that investing means that I have to have an enormous amount of money to start but after doing my research, I’ve realized that even if I invest R500 a month, that money will grow over the years by compound interest into a more sizeable amount. I talk more about how this works in my video, so if you’re also feeling a bit out of your depth with money, have a watch because I really do explain everything in layman’s terms – because I’m the biggest layman when it comes to numbers and finances.
But where do I even get an extra R500 from, Aisha?
I’ve started sharing more about my challenges and asking what people’s experiences are on my Instagram. But I wanted to share a few simple tips that have been helping me and my family to find “extra cash” that we can save and ultimately invest this year.
1. We shop once a week
We used to shop for groceries a couple of times a week. And each time, we’d go with a rough idea of what we thought we needed but would end up leaving with more than we should have and of course, spending more. We’d come back home and find we already had tins of chopped tomatoes in the pantry but didn’t get the rice we needed. So off we’d go again to get that rice, but we’d grab an extra pack of donuts, expensive fresh juice, and pudding that all weren’t on the list. So now, we only shop once a week, at the same store, with a set list and if we don’t get something, we’d have to wait until the following week. By doing this, we’ve reduced our grocery spending by almost R1000 a month.
To open up an Electronic12 month Fixed Deposit account at Nedbank, this is how much you need. This kind of account is ideal if you have mid-term saving goals such as a bond deposit on a property or an upcoming home renovation. You can put whatever you’ve saved away (so it’s out of your reach) into this account and access it after a minimum of a year. If you really need it before, you can withdraw it, but you’d pay a penalty fee. The aim for these accounts is to grow your money via interest and that needs time. Once your one year (or longer) is up, the money will be worth more than when you put it in because of interest.
2. We only buy clothes for one child
Yup, you read right. I have saved all of Kai’s clothes and handed them down to Kenzo. This isn’t a new tradition but I have noticed that sometimes when we have a new baby, we (and society) think we must get new everything. It’s easy to fall into this trap. Cute baby things are everywhere! By doing this, we are saving about R500 a month on clothes and shoes for the kids.
This is double the amount you need to open an Electronic 32 Day Notice Account from Nedbank. You only need R250 to start investing in this option. This is a good account to have for short term goals – school fees, upcoming extracurricular activities for the kids or a short holiday. You just need to alert the bank 32 days before your withdrawal to access your funds. I don’t know about you, but If it’s in my current account, that money will grow legs. Putting it into an Electronic32 Day Notice Account not only reduces temptation, but it also grows with interest.
3. We Don’t Eat Take Out
This habit was the first thing that had to go once lockdown loosened up. Instead of it being a treat (like we convinced ourselves it was), it was costing us a lot of money. Now, I know that for many families especially those where both parents work (like us), it can get tricky cooking a new meal every day. So, we try as often as possible to bulk cook, freeze and eat leftovers. We’ve gone from ordering take out a couple of times a week to maybe once a month, if at all. We’ve saved more than R1,500 a month from doing this. It was the little R200 – R300 orders that were all adding up.
4. We DIY What We Can
No surprise here, I do my own hair. Even before lockdown, I’d only go to the salon for styles that I couldn’t do myself like weaves or cornrows. If anything, lockdown helped a lot of people figure out what they could really live without and revealed skills we could use on ourselves. Kev and I cut Kai’s hair. I do my own and Kev is our handyman. I also do my own nails – when I have the time. This easily saves us about R2,000 a month. That’s a nice monthly investment amount.
5. We Shop Sales
The only way sales save you money is if there are discounts on things you need. The sales cycle is predictable, so when I do need to buy clothes for Kai, I wait for the seasonal sales or buy as much as I can on specials. I’m planning for all of us to do the same with our clothing shopping. I keep a list in my wallet, and I stick to it. I also shop online often as I don’t wander around as I do in-store, and I can place things in my cart or wish list and wait for those items to go on sale. This has easily saved us hundreds of Rands.
I’m definitely not a financial expert. I think I can do much better with my finances, but I know now that when it comes to saving and investing, every rand counts. And the longer the money is invested, the more it’ll be worth. A key thing is to work together as a family. Being on the same page is very important for Kev and me. As a couple, working together makes a hard thing much easier.
What are some easy ways you save money? Even if it’s R500 or less?
*Sponsored by Nedbank
Photography by Vije Vijendranath @Instahubby