10 Ways to save money and boost your income

If you’re finding it hard to find the extra cash to afford things like school fees, home loan repayments and your insurances there are things you can do. Angelique Ruzicka has put together 10 tips that can help you free up some cash or earn a bit of money on the side to boost your income.

1. Firstly, go through your budget and all your expenses and see where you can cut back. If you don’t know how to create a budget make use of money management tools, e.g. Nedbank’s Myfinanciallife, and Old Mutual’s 22Seven to see what you are spending your money on and where you can cut back. When it comes to financial products, speak to your financial advisor. Financial products change and new ones are launched that could be cheaper, while still offering the same benefits. Just make sure you switch at the right time so that you don’t get penalised.

2. Save on bank fees. You don’t need a gold card or a private banker. If you are paying too much in bank fees speak to you bank about downscaling to a simpler, cheaper offering (e.g. on your cheque account, credit card) or switch to another bank. You can compare bank accounts on Moneybags’ sister website, Justmoney, too.

3. You don’t have to buy the most expensive brand when you do your groceries. Compare prices and downscale your brand level, for example to house brands, if they’re cheaper.

4. Buy second hand, not new. Clothes, furniture and cars are just some of the things you can buy second hand and save money in the process. Consider shopping at factory shops to save money too. Check out Moneybags’ guide on factory shops here.

5. Create lists and stick to them before you go out spending, be it for groceries or clothes shopping. If you’re disciplined and stick to your list you have less of a chance of being distracted by other things that may grab your attention when you’re out shopping.

6. Shop online so you can keep an eye on how much you are spending. When you buy groceries online, for example, you can keep an eye on your spending as most sites will total your costs immediately. Before you go to the checkout you can peruse your list again to see if the item you are buying is really necessary or if you can swap it out for a cheaper brand. This is something that’s not so easily done when you’re at the store and feeling rushed. But take into account extras such as delivery fees and extra duties if you’re buying an item from overseas.

7. See if you can earn an extra income. If you’re allowed to freelance in your spare time and it doesn’t clash with your day job then consider doing that. Start a hobby that could earn you money on the side like knitting or sewing. If you’re not the type to engage in a hobby like knitting consider earning money from micro-jobbing sites like M4Jam (Money for Jam) and Answered.

8. To bulk up your savings see if there are things that you can sell. A company like Zwipit for example specialises in buying used and new mobile devices. Check that drawer where you keep all your junk cables and spare cell phones or dig around your attics, sheds and spare rooms to see if you can sell anything on websites like Gumtree to make extra cash.

9. See if you can cut down on your transport costs. If you don’t live close to where you work consider carpooling or public transport and calculate whether the alternatives are cheaper. If they are, then make the change.

10. Get rid of unnecessary expenses and ‘nice to haves’. If you’re struggling to pay your medical bills then that’s when you get rid of things like DStv and other luxuries. If you are really going to miss your movies or series consider ditching DStv for online streaming entertainment hubs like Vidi, which are much cheaper.