Times are set to get tougher for South Africans with junk status. It might be time to do a budget overhaul and save money. Here’s how…
Published: Sunday, April 23rd 2017
Times are set to get tougher for South Africans. From junk status to the overall economic slowdown of the past few years, signs point to the need to save money.If you haven't done a review of your finances recently, it might be time for you to implement an overhaul.You'll be surprised at just how much money you can save by updating and adjusting your budget.
1. Actually Submit Tax-Deductible Expenses To SARS
It can be a pain to submit various documents to SARS, other than just your IRP5. However, this could also save you money.If you have various tax-deductible expenses, such as medical aid and pension fund contributions, you will likely qualify for a tax refund.There are sites like TaxTim.com that can help you figure out if you would qualify for a refund. You might even see yourself getting a few thousand rands back. And every bit of money counts.While some people avoid this procedure, because of the effort needed, it could be well worth it for the refund.Tax season is over, but keep track of your tax-deductible expenses for next season. This includes keeping copies of receipts for expenses.
2. Review Your Premiums
In terms of various insurance policies, you should do a review to see if it's possible to reduce your premiums.If you've recently sold off assets, or installed a security system, you should update your home insurance policy to reflect this.Likewise, if you haven't claimed from certain insurers for years, you should find out if you can get a discount for being a low-risk client.
When upgrade time comes around for our phone contracts, many of us just renew it and get a fancier phone.However, with significant changes in data and package needs over time, it might be time to change up your phone contract.Some people are still paying for costly bundles when there are cheaper, better-tailored options available.Also, make sure to shop around different mobile providers to see who is currently leading in terms of value-for-money.
4. Get Rid Of Unnecessary Subscriptions / Recurring Payments
Are you still paying for a streaming subscription that you don't use anymore? Or, is your bank statement littered with debit orders for things you don't need?If so, you can save money by cancelling these unnecessary expenses.For many services, you can always pick up your subscription again at a later date.And, while it may make you feel better to have a gym membership, if you haven't been there in months, you're throwing money away.
While sometimes you're going to have to take out a loan (such as when purchasing your first house), you should hold off accruing new debt.Interest rates have been on hold for some time and are expected to remain at 7%, until at least September. But you'll want to avoid new debt anyway.If the interest rate does eventually rise, it could add a significant amount to your debt.While debt in general is good to avoid, it's not always possible to do this.However, if you find yourself taking out unnecessary debt (like using credit for that new TV instead of saving up), it's better to stop that habit straight away.Speaking of habits…
6. Get Rid Of Expensive Habits To Save Money
Too lazy to cook? Spending too much on cigarettes? It's probably time to look at the habits that are costing you too much money.Something like ordering takeout or prepared meals often can significantly increase the amount you spend on food.While preparing a hearty meal for a couple can cost as little as R50, you'll usually see this number double or triple when you're ordering food.So, when you can, try to prepare and cook your food yourself. You'll be surprised at just how much money you can save.The same goes for habits like smoking or shopping when you want to cheer up.