Fuel prices are at their highest rate ever and the cost of living is soaring. The knock-on effects for food inflation will add to the woes of South African consumers, many of whom are still reeling from the economic challenges of the Covid19 pandemic.
As winter sets in, punctuated by load-shedding hitting an almost unprecedented Stage 6 for most of the country, the outlook is certainly pretty bleak. But South Africa is a nation that can laugh wryly in the face of adversity, send around hilarious memes, take a deep breath and buckle down to make a plan.
Whether property owners or tenants, that savings begin at home. Many of us learned to make our own bread, plant veggies, and enjoy the simple things in life during the lockdown. But we can also cut our running costs to the bone. And if we continue to make these savings when the good times return, we can save towards that deposit on our dream home.
A checklist of small tweaks, big savings
- Start tracking your expenses: you will be amazed at what you spend your money on. Once you know this, it will be easy to know where to start cutting back. Draft a budget and do all you can to stick to it.
- Re-evaluate your subscriptions, e.g. DSTV, Netflix, Spotify, and now Disney plus. Do you really need all these services to find some entertainment? Find which one offers you the best value and cancel the rest.
- Consolidate your bank accounts. Each account you have attracts banking fees. Try to get your accounts into one account and save on those fees. Once you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves.
- Reduce your insurance premiums by shopping around for cheaper premiums where the same benefits can be achieved.
- Eat at home. It is time for you to test your cooking skills and leave the takeaways alone. By cooking larger meals, you can also freeze the food to be enjoyed later.
- Solar energy is becoming a lot cheaper in terms of installation: In the past, it used to take +- 10 years to pay off. Now, with all the utility increases, the savings you make will have covered the cost within 5 years.
- Investing in a good grey-water system for flushing toilets and gardening, and collecting water in a JoJo™ tank, can go a long way. If more of us did this exercise, it would take the pressure off the grid and municipality. The municipalities would also have more capacity to upgrade the water systems, which would mean fewer water cuts.
- There’s a reason that wearing a beanie keeps you toasty – heat escapes from the top of your head. Similarly, in a home, it leaves through the roof. Check that your home is properly insulated.
- Install a geyser timer on your distribution board. This can then regulate your geyser. Set it up to activate only for an hour at peak times – in the morning before everyone wakes up and gets ready for the day and in the afternoon just before everyone arrives home. Managing the geyser times and activity can save a lot of electricity usage and cost. Turning your geyser down saves electricity.
- Adjust the temperature of your fridge to between 2 and 5 degrees Celsius and your freezer to between -20 and -22 degrees Celsius.
- Turn off the lights in rooms you not using and close the door! These are great lessons for our kids to be learning.
- Fix leaky pipes and dripping taps and stop unnecessary consumption on your water bills.
- Check the seals around your windows and doors and install LED lights, dimmer switches, and low-flow taps and showerheads.
The good news if you’re due for a new fridge, freezer, or washing machine is that newer appliances are far more energy-efficient, and certain makes are more energy-efficient than others. They’ll pay for themselves over time, (Appliances are graded from A to G, with A being the most efficient and A+++ the highest grade possible.)
For more information, please visit www.just.property or call (087) 583 3333.
Tips To Save On Utility/Tips To Save On Utility/Tips To Save On Utility