6 clever salary stretchers

Keep your budget under control by following these steps, starting on the day you get paid…

Do this for a few months and you’ll find it gets easier to make it all the way through the month with a little cash in hand.

  1. On payday, pay into your savings. You are the most important creditor on your list.
  2. List all that needs to be paid in the next 30 days, and on what date.
  3. Cover the most important expenses first. Your bond, medical aid, school fees, childcare fees, utilities, groceries, insurance, petrol and debt repayments will be among your priority expenses.
  4. List your secondary expenses. Clothing, haircuts, maintenance, home repairs, entertainment all belong here.
  5. If you have any expenses that are due before payday (you may save in interest charges if it’s your bond), get into the habit of paying 50% on the preceding payday and the remainder on the due date (remember to put the remainder on your priority expenses list).
  6. Do something smart with whatever is left. Pay a little more into savings, or put money aside for an expense
    you know is coming up in a few months, such as a car service, or school tour. If there’s nothing left the first time you do this, don’t worry. You know you’ve covered everything you absolutely need to. At least you won’t have blown money on dinners out and a new handbag on payday, only to be caught short in
    three weeks’ time.

New money habits

Over the next 30 days, adopt these smart money habits and keep a record of what you save. Add it up at the end of the month and you’ll feel the difference…

READ MORE: TEACHING KIDS MONEY SKILLS 

  • Stop buying bottled water.
  • Cut down on processed food.
  • Supermarket bakery loaves are sometimes R3-4 per loaf cheaper than prepackaged.
  • Give store brands a chance. Sample them first and if you like them as much as your usual brand, stock up.
  • Do proper menu planning to avoid impulsive eating out and takeaways.
  • Do a data audit. Add up the entire family’s spending on data and airtime. You might find that you’re paying more individually than the cost of a full service fibre connection.

Money mantras from Warren Buffett

As the third richest man in the world, Buffett began investing at the tender age of 11. It may be worth following his
advice on a few money matters…

On savings: do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.
On spending: if you buy things you do not need, you will soon have to sell things you need.
On earning: never depend on single income. Make investment to create a second source.
On taking risks: never test the depth of the river with both feet.

COMPILED BY BELINDA BURNS PHOTOS: FOTOLIA.COM

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