‘‘In spite of the cost of living, it is still popular.’’ – Kathy Norris

There is no denying that the cost of living has a tight grip on most South Africans, and that surplus cash seems synonymous with a bygone era that won’t make its appearance again anytime soon.

So, what can we, the average South African, do to make sure we are not crossing our fingers and hoping for the best when it comes to saving (or just getting by) in a sustainable way?

DON’T

  • Get into the habit of lending money to see you through the month. Before you know it, you could spiral into more debt, and it will affect your credit rating.
  • Buy lunch: making your lunch at home and skimping a bit on that daily flat white, will save you more money than you might care to think.
  • Go the grocery store daily: those daily quick trips for bread and milk often turn into two bags of groceries. Try getting into the habit of shopping once a month at wholesalers, and only visiting the shop for the odd necessity.
  • Neglect to take your vehicle for its yearly service. It may save you in the short run but end up costing you more in the long run.

DO

  • Keep a list of your expenditures: i.e. what your set monthly cost of living is (e.g. your fuel, insurance, home loan, car instalment, medical aid, etc.). That way, you can work out what you have left to spend for the month.
  • Review your insurance premiums once a year: it is possible to negotiate a better rate, especially if your risk profile has reduced, due to not claiming, or you’ve installed additional security measures, like an alarm system.
  • Try to accrue your cash-back benefits from loyalty programmes, such as Pick ‘n Pay Smart Shopper, Clicks, etc. Once a year, when the going really gets tough (e.g. January month), you can use these cashback benefits to help pay for your groceries and health needs (just remember to keep track of cashback expiry dates).
  • Ask your pharmacist to still submit your dispensary claims to your medical aid, even if you know it’s depleted. That way, you can possibly get some money back on your income tax.
  • Draw cash from grocery store tellers – this is often free, compared to the rates you pay for withdrawing cash from an ATM.
  • Take care of yourself: get enough sleep, keep your hands clean, and do whatever it takes to prevent colds. A little bit of self-care, healthy food, and regular exercise can help prevent expensive medical bills down the road.
  • Set aside a portion of every windfall. Use this rule of thirds: put one-third into savings, one-third to reduce debt, and the final third to spend on something wonderful for yourself.

Springpoint Finance: your antidote to the fingers crossed approach

 Don’t get us wrong: life is serious enough and we love spontaneity.

Let’s make sure you are covered for those on a whim moments in life. We can help you to save for a spur of the moment adventurous holiday, make sure your life is covered (in case you get a little bit too adventurous) or help you to pursue your life-long dream of starting a business. Whatever your spontaneous goals, let’s make sure you are not approaching it with your #fingerscrossed.

There are about R26 billion worth of unclaimed policies in the system. We have helped thousands of clients come to the realisation that they had lost or forgotten policies – money owing to them that they were not even aware of.

Based on this report, our accredited financial planners are also able to offer value-added services to clients who are in need of additional financial planning or products.

To learn more, visit Verifi’s website.

Available in English and Afrikaans.