Start with the eagles of your day
Each day have both eagles and vultures – the eagles are the things that add value to your life, whereas the vultures take it away. So the question is this – how many eagles can you have in your day? The goal for hacks is to help you get more eagles in your life, so you can focus on the important things.
As you would recall, last week I had a rant about people buying the most expensive coffee in the coffee shop and how money spent should be attached to the value you believe this adds to your life (read it here). This week I want to chat about things you can do to help you with your money – because people love spending and that’s okay as long as it adds value!
I guess after reading that article, you are like – so how do I achieve this? I want to split this into two sections – maxi hacks and mini hacks. This post I will cover only mini hacks for size reasons!
Mini money hacks
Have a debit order/automatic monthly payment for your savings
People conveniently forget to save – they think they will start tomorrow which may never come. Especially if you have people on the media declaring debt at an exceptional interest rate that would make a grown man squeal like a girl.
Minimise the risk of forgetting – have the debit order going off, and have it one step removed from accessing it directly – add it to a 32 day notice account or somewhere you will not be able to get it easily.
Plan your food for the week and buy what you need only
I know you would say planning food is not really part of personal finance – yet if you don’t plan it, it will plan for you in terms of takeaways and expensive impulsive buys.
Invest in a paper on your fridge that will tell you what you’ll be eating each day of the week and take a shopping list when you go to buy things
Buy things in bulk
Check the prices of places regularly. If you eat a lot of rice, check if it would be cheaper to buy the rice in a large bag rather than a mini 2kg one. You can do the same with dishwashing liquid, canned food and toiletries.
Swap the coffee for water
Eating out can be expensive. If you could make small adjustments like swapping your coffee for a water, would it affect your life that much?
It’s doesn’t only make economic sense, but is also a healthy choice. Now look, I love coffee… In my day job, I turn coffee into software and I will kill you if you touch my coffee.
But if you would swop say, half your Starbucks or take away coffee for a water instead? I know you want to go eat out, but why not have a sparkling water instead of a coke or coffee? It might save you R5, but it’s also saving your health!
Get up earlier on weekends
Set the alarm clock, kick yourself on the behind and do what you want to do! I suggest doing things you need to do early mornings – the challenging things that you are trying to avoid. Once this is done you are able to do the things you want to.
I recently did a call with a person on Twitter at 05:00 am on a Saturday which was really really enlightening and interesting – I get up at 03:45 am every Saturday to go to the early market anyway, so this was an in-car call on my bluetooth. By 06:00 he already got most of the things of the day crossed off his list!
Get another insurance quote
As with the name of my blog, frugality is very important. You want to make sure you spend your money wisely. You can always reveiw your medical insurance, car insurance and as I recently read, even pet insurance. Think about it – if a simple call can save you R 200, then you can save R 2 400 per year. That can make a big impact on your budget!
Check out your bank statement regularly
Yeah we don’t do that often enough. As mentioned in previous posts, it can make a big difference having an app like 22seven where you can see where your money is going – maybe you have a zero balance and your debit orders are bouncing! Being in the know can stop you paying unnecessary charges and help you discover fraud early on.
Fix it, don’t replace it
My wife’s phone’s screen broke. It didn’t just break, it shattered. But it’s still working, Why not get the screen replaced? Your jeans have a tear in it – do you really need a new jean? Why not get your mom or someone to mend it for you?
Call the bank for an interest rate decrease
Yeah I did this – and FNB actually negotiated the rate down for me. Come on, give them a call!
Use rewards programmes
Are you using apps and loyalty programmes to your advantage? Am I using all of the rewards programmes? Nope, but I am using a few of them. And to save paper and space in my wallet, you can use the company Apps – Woolies, Starbucks, Burger King, Makro, Pick n Pay all have mobile apps.
For more info on these check out my blog post here!
There are many awesome opportunities to save a little bit of money – but having a huge impact. As mentioned above, something like a home loan 0.25% interest reduction can make a huge difference in the long run!
Frugal Local runs his own company (Effectify). He does software development and helps small businesses and startups with digital solutions. He enjoys writing articles and simplifying complex things – such as the article you’re reading!