South Africa’s lockdown has resulted in financial stress for many of us. Even now, when we have survived the first two months and lockdown has been eased to Level 3, most of us are under pressure to stretch our rand.
Here are some ways to make your money go further:
It’s time to sweat the small stuff
Get the family together and go through all your bank accounts. Check for prepaid phone accounts, gym memberships you’re not using, and store accounts. Get rid of anything that’s not essential. It may not be much, but it’s a good place to start, and it will make a difference.
Look at ways to supplement your income. Got fabric stashed in a cupboard to use ‘one day’? Consider turning it into face masks and selling it for a nominal fee – you will still make a 100% profit. Make other things to sell depending on your skills and talents – perhaps you enjoy woodwork, crafts or baking.
You can also sell unwanted items online. Lots of us have things cluttering up the house that we don’t use, but which may be of value to someone else. Your community may have a Facebook site for this purpose, making it easier and safer to close the deal.
Make the most of your rewards points
Don’t let your rewards go to waste – whether it’s on credit card rewards or consumer loyalty cards, redeem what you’re due. Take the time to figure out how each system works and make the most of it.
Take relief wherever it’s available
You can claim income from the Unemployment Insurance Fund if you or your company have been contributing. Your employer can also claim from the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme if they have lost revenue due to lockdown. Talk to your bank and landlord about payment holidays and reduced payments.
Stick to essential shopping
We’ve got used to only buying what we really need, which is an opportunity to review our spending habits. Now that retail has opened up, stick to these habits and avoid impulse spending and all those little luxuries you’ve discovered you can live without.
Check out any specials and plan around them. Buy in bulk – after first checking that the price per kilo or per litre really is cheaper. Look for bargains – these may even come in the form of substantial discounts on significant purchases like home appliances.
Ask for help
Don’t be reluctant to ask for help. Talking to your financial adviser or a debt counsellor can give you a better chance of taking control of your finances during these tough times.
When you look closely at your finances, there’s a good chance you will find a number of seemingly insignificant costs that, when you add them up, can make a difference in helping you stretch your rand.
For more information and assistance, download the Nedbank MoneyTM or Greenbacks apps, or visit www.nedbank.co.za.