How to lock up your savings – no time like today


The lockdown has been tough for so many South Africans over the past 18 months, but many have also benefited financially from having to stay at home and have limited access to “normalcy”.

Sarika Maharaj, product manager at African Bank, says that as the whole country has returned to level 4 restrictions, there may be a bright light to hold on to. Certainly we saw last year how working from home saved fuel, staying home saved unnecessary trips to the mall, and saved families on these types of expenses by closing restaurants and fast food outlets.

The ban on gatherings and the introduction of social distancing meant that people had to rethink their planned large celebrations (weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations). Some plans may have been abandoned altogether and others may have been scaled down dramatically.

“Thanks to the lockdown, this money is still in the bank or is being used for bare necessities and to pay off debts during these difficult times,” says Maharaj.

“If by saving money in lockdown you can see how much you are spending each day / month / year on unnecessary things, then why not make saving a lifelong habit rather than the inability to spend money as you like as a lockdown curse to see? ‘? Some of us may have got off to a good start, but have lost track in the past few months. The current two-week embargo offers an ideal opportunity to get back on track. “

The current ongoing uncertainty is one more reason to rethink old buying habits.

Maharaj offers 10 tips to help you save money as a way of life:

1. Make and stick to a grocery list before you go shopping.

2. Make homemade meals the rule, not the exception. Just because restaurants only offer takeaways doesn’t mean you should indulge in them.

3. Shop online to get the essentials safely into your home, not to get pretty, expensive “must-have” items delivered to your doorstep.

4. Pay off debts, especially credit card debt. And lock your credit card to avoid temptation.

5. Keep track of your expenses and review them at the end of each week. You may not believe it now, but being frugal is addicting.

6. Get the whole family involved and talk about saving money. Let your kids know how much you’ve saved by, for example, cooking at home instead of ordering take-away.

7. Set savings goals with the family. There is no greater motivation than a dangling carrot in the form of a family vacation or enough money to keep your kids studying.

8. Compare your spending habits during the embargo and see if you’ve managed to keep saving.

9. Cancel unneeded credit and keep an eye on your bank charges.

10. Open a high yield savings account and begin to reap the benefits of your changed attitudes toward saving money.

“It often takes a crisis to get people to rethink their lives and financial decisions,” says Maharaj. “If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we have to plan for the future and for unforeseen emergencies.

“When you’ve had an enlightenment about saving in lockdown, keep the momentum going. Make saving a part of your daily life. The long-term reward is worth it. “



Leave A Reply