We’re always looking for ways to save money. While taking on a hobby or another job is one way to do this it can take time to build up a good nest egg. However, there are everyday things you can do now to ensure that you don’t have to spend money in the long term. This will ultimately save you money and ensure you have that little bit extra over in the month. While this may mean stumping up cash in the short term, or signing up to a product or service, it will save you money over the long term.
Here are five quick things you can do now:
- Ensure that you are maintaining your home properly: Lack of maintenance is one of the main reasons why many buildings insurance claims get rejected. A lack of maintenance could see your insurance claim rejected if the claim’s cause is a result of what is referred to as ‘wear and tear’. Fix small maintenance problems at the first sight of deterioration to prevent a small problem from becoming a larger and much costlier one in future.
- Invest in a health cash plan: It may not be enough to just rely on your medical scheme as this insurance doesn’t always cover all hospital bills. Consider this particularly if you are self-employed, a temporary worker, artisans, vendors and tradesman. People who are not permanently employed can often find themselves facing huge medical bills and expenses in the unfortunate event that they are hospitalised for a couple of days. “Even if you do have medical aid, a health cash plan will still come in handy to provide you with some sorely needed cash to help with any additional expenses incurred while you are in hospital,” says Lee Bromfield, CEO of FNB Life. He cautions, however, that a health cash plan policy should not be confused for a medical aid, but rather be used as complementary cover for bills that would normally not be catered for by your provider. “For example, since the health cash plan benefits may be used for anything you want, someone who has lost two days of work and income, can use the cash benefits to make up for the days lost,” he says.
- Make sure you have invested in a legal funeral insurance policy: Funeral insurance scams are rife at the moment. The Financial Services Board recently announced that it was investigating 13 companies for selling illegal funeral policies. You may have been approached by a ‘provider’ and it may sound like a good deal but when it comes to claim time this provider may not uphold your claim and you’ll have to foot the bill yourself. Find out if your provider is registered. Whether a financial adviser or a funeral parlour sells you the funeral policy, ask for the marketing material from the life insurance company that explains how the policy works. If you do not recognise the company’s name, you can e-mail the FSB at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 20 20 87 to check that the company is registered by the FSB. You can also visit the FSB’s list of registered insurers on their website.
- Find out if you’ve forgotten about an investment: Have you moved or changed jobs and forgotten to inform your pension provider about your change of address? According to unclaimedbenefits.co.za over 3.5 million South Africans are owed about R41.7 billion in benefits from retirement funds. To find out if you have forgotten about an investment, fill out the form on unclaimedbenefits.co.za. It’s a free service and you should get a response from them within three days. You would reach your savings goals quicker if you obtained all the money that could be owed to you.
- Find out your credit score: Do you know what your credit score is? No? Getting this document and finding out whether your credit rating is healthy could make all the difference when you are applying for a loan. If you apply for a loan and your credit score is bad then you’ll likely get charged a higher interest rate as you’ll be deemed a risk by the lender. Making sure you have a healthy credit score will ensure that you save more money in the long run as you won’t pay as much when it comes to debt.