Use Your Year-End Bonus Wisely

Perhaps you are one of the lucky South Africans that have just qualified for a bonus, the much-welcomed present usually paid at this time of the year. Often referred to as a "thirteenth cheque" – except wage earners also receive bonuses – and generally forming part of an employee’s package, sometimes a bonus is just what it implies. In other words, for some, it is a privilege paid at the company’s discretion, and not necessarily a right. This being the case, you need to think carefully before you blow your special payment on a meaningless... Read Full Article »

9 Things you can Reuse and Recycle to Save Money

Tops and tails are the hard parts of fruit and vegetables that we throw away. Next time a South African tells you they cannot afford food on the table, tell them to empty their rubbish bin and find out what goes out in it. Much of the stuff we turf out can be recycled. We just need to learn to think differently. We can save money by recycling. It is also good for the environment. Old Candle Stubs Every time Eskom does its thing, we end up using up a pack of candles. Well almost. There is always a stumpy bit left that we either cannot get to... Read Full Article »

Six of the Best Tips for Frugal Living

Like most of the rest of the inhabitants of planet Earth, South Africans seem to linger in what appears to be a never-ending cycle of recession, where further cost cutting may prove difficult or even impossible. However, that is not to say that we can't learn new techniques on saving household expenditure in general. Sometimes, the idea is both brilliant and simple and may even be something easy to implement right away. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to more prudent spending on entertainment and food budgeting, areas that we... Read Full Article »

Avoiding Shopping Nightmares

We have all experienced bad service while out shopping, and it is never pleasant to have your rights infringed. The good news is that matters should improve for the better, all thanks to new provisions aimed at addressing the area of recourse, as in recovering your problems. From now on, you can take your complaint to a higher level thanks to the appointment of the Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman (CGSO). Read Full Article »

10 Money Saving Lessons from Ouma

When I was growing up, my Ouma used to tell me stories about life on the farm during the depression years, and how they had to be self-sufficient when it came to things like cold remedies, soap, candles and jams. They lived in the Richtersveld where there wasn’t even a general dealer. Nowadays, we buy all these things in Pick & Pay, and Spar and Checkers, and pay a lot for them in the "torture tunnels" at the tills. Read Full Article »

Save Money While You Drive Your Car

Three things in life are certain. It is unwise to lie to SARS, some day we are going to die, and the price of petrol is going to keep going up. In fact, it has been rocketing up in South Africa since 1976. The government does very nicely out of this with its fuel levy and VAT. All that we can do is drive intelligently, and use as little fuel as we can. Read Full Article »

Saving on Bank Fees

South African banks hold the dubious distinction of being amongst the highest in the world when it comes to charging customers for the use of account facilities. That said, we all need to have a bank account as it is virtually impossible to operate on an entirely cash basis, apart from being highly risky. There are certain measures you can take to reduce bank charges. Capitec: A fixed fee of R7 per transaction applies across the board. FNB: R6.50 initial fee, plus R6.30 per R500 or part thereof. A maximum R25.20 applies. Standard Bank: R10.20... Read Full Article »

Are There Alternatives to Short-Term Loans?

I visited a short-term loan website the other day. This was not to borrow money from it. I wanted to confirm that the idea is up and running in South Africa - despite that fact that every first-world country is trying to ban it. I was so mad about what I saw, that I decided to dedicate a whole article to it. If you are bankrolling your lifestyle with short-term loans, prepare to receive a shock. Annual Percentage Rates Read Full Article »

Tips for Saving and Making Extra Money

These days, all South Africans feel the backlash of ever-increasing prices when we visit our favourite shopping centres. Most of us examine a particular item for some time, before finally deciding on whether or not to buy it. Kind of like is this item essential. Marketing analysts call this response consumer resistance, and it is a very powerful emotion too. If each consumer boycotted unfair increases in the cost of items, it will not take long for the supply chain to get the message. Their response would surely have to be fairer pricing.... Read Full Article »

Sticking To Your Budget In 7 Easy Steps

Sticking to your budget falls into the same category as following a healthy eating plan and fitness program – easy to start, but difficult to follow. Temptation is rife and once you fall off the wagon it’s so much harder to get back up again. We all get into a mindset of enviously looking at disciplined spenders, and thinking that they somehow have innate characteristics that we lack. That’s just a trick that our minds play on us, so you have to fool your mind right back and pull the spending reigns in. Read Full Article »