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Beating the holiday budget blues

By Staff Writer

In last month’s poll, 34% of you said that you’re counting on your budget to get you through the festive season this year, but have you thought about what would happened if your bonus didn’t live up to your expectations? Or, worse yet, you didn’t get a bonus at all?

No need to hit the panic button. We’ve put together five budget-busting to tips to help you save a little bit here and there before the festive season hits full swing.

It’s the little things that count

You’d be surprised at how much you can avoid by cutting out little things. Your morning coffee, those R30 sandwiches at your favourite deli, quick snacks on your way back from work, all of these little things can add up to quite a bit.  Make an effort to bring your own lunch to work – whether that means cooking extra so you have leftovers or clubbing together with some colleagues for a lunch spread to make sandwiches fit for a king is up to you.

Review your charges

When was the last time you had a look over your bank charges or your insurance policy? Print out your bank statement and have a good, hard look at it. Make sure you’re sitting down, the costs might come as a shock to you!

Change bank accounts, get a new insurance quote and remember the basics: don’t draw money from your credit card, when using your bank card to withdraw, draw cash only from your own bank and never default on a payment.

Stay in

For the next four weeks – don’t eat out, at all. Avoid take aways at all cost, don’t go to the pub on a Friday after work, forget the Sunday sundowners, cut back for a few weeks – it’ll be worth it in the end.

Buy in bulk

Obviously it’s not valid for everything as you might not need 40ls of dishwashing liquid, but there are some things which are just better bought in bulk. Meat is one such example. Individually packaged lamb could cost you over R100 per kg, but for half a lamb, in bulk, you can expect to pay anything from R60 – R70 per kg – a rather significant saving.  Compare bulk prices vs standard prices and see where you can cut your costs. The other alternative for buying things like dishwashing liquid, washing powder and all other cleaning materials in bulk is to get a few friends together and split the costs.

Ditch what you don’t need

If your contract allows, cancel your cable for the festive season, especially if you are going away to visit family.  If there are any other contracts you’re running on a month-to-month b basis which you don’t need, cancel them, even if it’s just for the next two months.

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