Budgeting tips

I want to smack plus one. He owes me some money, which is not really a big deal. I don’t really mind that so much as he then spends money in the most inconceivable places instead of thinking about it.

I’d like him to consider:

  • Bringing lunch to work. It’s considered ‘uncool’ for the most part in the UK but I reckon the average person wastes at least £200 on lunches in a working month instead of about £30 (or less – a friend worked out he could manage on 50p a day if he brought spaghetti and premade sauce in). If only he could see all the people climbing off the Gautrain with their little cooler bags!
  • That for non-perishables it counts to buy the cheaper bulk volume sometimes.
  • Having said that, you have to compare against promotions and offers and if it will spoil before you consume it all because bulk may not be cheapest or best choice.
  • That you CAN eat no name brand food on occasion and it might be almost the same – you could at least try it!
  • Water does not have to come out a bottle and be fizzy, it is sometimes drinkable out a tap.
  • Premix spices and flavouring sachets for say spaghetti bolognaise are far less economical than just mixing it off the spice rack yourself – and you can customise.
  • Get a credit card with a lower interest rate if you MUST owe the bank money – and that having said that, I’d rather you owe me interest free than the bank because in the long run if we are together, you are messing with both our futures.
  • You CAN wear a sweater in the house in the winter, the heating does not have to be cranked up to tropical, it is normal to be cold in SA in the winter indoors (which is why I try not to visit in winter).
  • Switch off the lights if you plan on being in another room for over half an hour, even with energy saving bulbs, it’s a bit pointless when noone is in the room.
  • If you do have store cards/discount cards etc and are shopping in the area, take them with and ask for the discount!
  • Know your pricing when you shop and then try hold out if there is a largish price difference to buy where it’s cheaper. Don’t just throw things willy nilly into the basket because you like them. I can’t even say it’s a man thing because standing in the Pick ‘n Pay a middle aged man grumbled to me ‘the Lays have gone up since last week, what is wrong with this place’. I think South Africans are just more aware of these things.
  • Price match is a big thing in the UK although it does require some research. It’s not really worth it for a can of soup but it’s worth considering for big things like holidays or specialised equipment – expensive items basically. It allows you to buy from the most reputable retailer at the lower cost – or just lock the lower cost.
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