Clever saving tips

After Christmas and the holidays, is the time of year when money’s always a bit tight – so now’s the time to take stock of your finances and start saving for the year ahead.

Here’s some saving tips advice:

Set goals

Know what you’re saving for. Be it a short-term savings plan (like to go to Durban for the holidays) or for your children’s tertiary education, know exactly why you’re saving.

Record your expenses

As in literally. Write all your expenses on paper. Seeing them in black and white will make it clear where your money’s going and how you can cut back.

Make savings automatic

If you know you’re the kind that spends first and then saves what’s left, it’s best to make sure your money goes into a savings account automatically. Most banks have this option and the added bonus ­– your money increases thanks to the interest you earn.

Live within your budget

 This is probably the most important tip you can have. Don’t spend money you don’t have and don’t make unnecessary debt. Whether it is called ‘overdraft’, ‘credit’ or ‘loan’, that’s just fancy talk for ‘money you don’t have’. This is where our  lay-by facility comes in very handy, because you can pay off necessities like kids’ clothes and birthday presents over three months, without being charged any interest!

Plan your meals

Meal planning is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your impulse spending and saving those extra bucks. Making your lunch instead of buying it, for example.  Read more

Write out your grocery list and, stick to it!

Be disciplined and only buy what’s on the list.

Jazz up your left over food.

For instance, you can use them as a basis for a delicious new dish.  Read more

Draw up your budget in three steps.

Images:  Gallo Images / Getty Images