Some parents have lost their jobs and are unable to earn an income while others are on reduced salaries. A recent survey by consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion has found that eight out of ten South African households’ income has been reduced by Covid-19 while another one in ten lost their job completely.
Lee Naik, the chief executive of TransUnion Africa says, “Whether it’s their health, financial well-being or changes in day-to-day living, the lives of millions of people in South Africa and abroad have been dramatically changed.”
Ease the financial impact by trying these money-saving and stretching hacks:
Save on your groceries
When it comes to monthly groceries, we don’t realise how much we are in fact creatures of habit who not only buy the same things but also eat pretty much the same meals each month. Now is a great time to be intentional about what’s for supper and do meal planning. Once you’ve planned, write up your groceries list according to your meals. This ensures that you’re buying what exactly what you need and not overspending. Also, focus on incorporating mostly budget-friendly recipes or meals to your meal plan.
Save on clothing costs
While the shops have opened up and are making available all categories of clothing for South Africans to purchase – consider only focusing on items of clothing you really need. As the family isn’t going out much, don’t buy items like coats and boots – which are designed for braving the winter outdoors. These are items which are also often the most expensive. Rather trim down the clothing list to focus on only the necessary winter pajamas, sweatpants etc.
Save on electricity
Even though you’re scaling down on nice-to-haves on your grocery list, make sure you include energy-saving lightbulbs to your list. While the whole family is home during lockdown, the electricity usage and bill can go up, so make sure the lights that you use are positioned to save you money.
Cook meals for eating over two days instead of one, so you’re not using the stove and electricity to cook every evening. When it comes to the water bill, save water by taking showers instead of baths, insulate your water pipes and wrap your geyser in a geyser blanket to save electricity there too.
With winter here already consider changing all curtains in your house to winter curtains and reduce your reliance on heaters to warm up your house. Also switch to winter sheeting in all beds and skip the electric blanket.
Save on data
Prevent your data costs from skyrocketing through the roof while we’re all working from home and homeschooling. Work out how much data you use each month and find the cheapest contract that offers that amount of data – make sure you take advantage of a great deal to find this. Then once you’re on your budget-friendly contract, make sure that everyone with a cellphone in the house turns off all notifications from apps as they can drain your data.