Need to cut down your costs?
Some pointers to make sure you can save this year....
The current state of the economy and home market has many in a fuss. However, homeowners- and more particularly home seekers- have more to worry about this year as the costs of running their household sky-rocket. Despite the interest rate cuts which have resulted in cheaper mortgages, the costs for running your household will unfortunately increase this year.
As many of us take the services we use for granted, an increase in the cost may make us realise how much we rely on them. According to a report by Iafrica.com and Pam Golding, the cost of services could add an additional 20% to an average family budget as the government and municipalities respond to the tight demand on their side.
The report outlined that with the upcoming 2010, many improvements are being made to the states infrastructure. These plans are becoming a burden for our emerging economy as stadiums are running over budget and there has been a warning of further costs ahead. Billions are also being spent on upgrades to airports, roads and transport, housing, health facilities, schools, and sewage treatment. The benefit from the upgrades will be substantial for each of us in the long term, however the short term costs are still a daunting reality.
Eskom's shortfalls have affected your household costs with electricity costs expected to increase between 14-20% in the near future. As many in our country do not pay for electricity, these costs are expected to increase if Eskom do not find a way to effectively reduce shortages.
We have benefited from drops in fuel prices over the last six months or so due to the steady drop in International oil prices. However, through March and February petrol has gone up and the levy is still going to increase. Municipal rates, water and public transport fees are also set to increase as further work is done on our infrastructure.
The question that arises is what can the average household do to decrease their costs? Pam Golding Intellectual Property Magazine gives a few pointers to substantially lower your costs when running your household.
Firstly, to cut down on water one could install some simple plumbing to allow for the rain water and other used water for irrigation and use in the garden. Alternatively if you could afford it, dig a borehole and use this water as it helps decrease your water costs.
To cut down electricity one can install a geyser blanket and a time switch. This is a low cost option in comparison to the amount of electricity saved from using this device. You can save up to 30 to 40% of your electricity cost as you no longer have your geyser continually heating water.
Install fluorescent lighting in your house or alternatively switch your regular light bulb for the new energy saving bulbs which reserve energy. Use smaller items in your kitchen, such as a microwave or kettle, as opposed to the stove to heat food and water. And limit the number of cycles the dishwasher does per day.
Front load washing machines are more economical than top loaders as they use less water and less electricity to run. Don't leave heaters on over night, but rather invest in an electric blanket which uses far less energy than a heater during cold winter nights.
Here at Justmoney.co.za, we agree that by taking care of your finances and actively cutting down on household costs, the benefit from our improved infrastructure will be felt far sooner than you think. By saving on basic costs and perhaps placing this money into an investment or savings account you will be able to watch your savings grow.
The economic situation cannot be changed in the short term, but you can change the way you think about money and the costs associated with living to suit your needs. This way you can start saving sooner rather than later.