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. Shopkeepers love to see their shelves emptying fast, and equally, they do not relish the prospect of slow-moving product lines.
In the first part of this article, I offer some tips for saving your hard-earned money without any drastic changes to your lifestyle. Of course, I appreciate that there are certain basic purchases that you simply must have. I hope you will accept this advice as a fresh approach to weighing up your options before buying:
- Buy in Bulk if your budget allows you to do this. Volume buying means special prices, because the goods are much cheaper per kilo. The reason for this is that business owners pass on better prices from their wholesalers. Watch for deals like this at places like Shoprite, Pick ‘n Pay and even your local Spar.
- If you are buying perishable goods, you will need to have more storage capacity. A chest freezer is essential for long-term storage of fish, bulk meat, chicken products, bread, fruit and vegetables. It will soon pay for itself from your new shopping style, and the savings that you make.
- Loyalty or Reward schemes may seem a little gimmicky at first, but I find that soon the cents start to turn into rands. In no time at all, you will receive some useful coupons by mail. Every bit helps when it comes to shopping. Most of the supermarkets offer programs; all you have to do is sign up in the store.
- Look for Managers Specials. Every supermarket has these. Shops hate wastage as much as you do, so they would rather mark down prices than lose completely. Be warned though, you need to have a disciplined approach when it comes to special offers. You may end up buying compulsively, which could result in a purchase you do not need.
- Consider Other Brands when buying the necessities. Sometimes, you can get away with a standard product rather than paying for a so-called choice-grade item. "Choice", invariably means "costs more", and forking out more does not guarantee a better experience at the end of the day. House brands do sometimes suffer from bland labelling, but that does not mean an inferior product inside.
- Last and by no means least; never go shopping without a list, and keep to your guide notes religiously. Bonus tip: it is unwise to venture out shopping for food on an empty stomach.
One last word on tips for saving; check your community newspaper advertisements, as well as flyers on the bulletin boards of local shops, before loading up your trolley.
Making Extra Money
Please stay with me for part two of this article, where we look at ways of making extra cash right from your own home - wherever you are in South Africa. The media delights in informing us that there are few jobs and many people looking for work. My response to negative sentiment is that, where there is a will there is a way. Sometimes it just requires a mind-shift or a re-think. They say that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Forget statistical trends. If you can open your mind to new opportunities, you will find the whole world is your oyster.
Perhaps you have noticed from my photo that I am no youngster, although I am about to celebrate my 21st birthday (for the third time). Advances in technology are happening on a daily basis, and this introduces new opportunities. The notebook computer is a good example. Very portable, meaning you can use it just about anywhere, and powerful too these days. Here are some tips for putting your computer to good use from just about anywhere.
- I am assuming that you have ready access to a computer, and that you have a connection to the internet. This opens up a raft of opportunities for making money on the web. Go on, surf for yourself, and remember that Google Search is a powerful tool.
- Many businesses want to know how consumers really feel about their goods and services. That is where reputable survey companies like SurveyCompare step in and measure feedback provided by people like you and me. All you have to do is register and submit your responses online. There is no cost, you are paid, and it is all above board too.
- Before you shut down your computer, look at oDesk.com. This is another potential money-spinner waiting for you to discover. There are thousands of open jobs on any given day. Simply register your profile, and you can gain access to this amazing portal straightaway. Select a job category that interests you and start bidding for work. Trust me it works! It will require both focus and determination as you build your reputation and find enjoyable work. Seek training if you are not computer literate – it is never too late to start.
If cyberspace is not your scene, there are plenty of other ways of making additional income out there. Networking is an age-old pursuit that can open new areas of business opportunity. Regular meetings with similar-minded people can be both encouraging and rewarding, if you keep your ear to the ground. Negative thinkers will jump straight to the conclusion that there is no work available. Positive people will always come out on top smiling, because that is what keeps planet earth spinning and winning.