Due to the recent junk status downgrade, South African consumers are likely to pay more for food, fuel & other necessities, this will, in turn, be putting a lot more pressure on their monthly budgets. Unfortunately, this isn’t where the bill will stop for most of us, consumers could also expect a rise in interest and tax rates. Meaning your current debt will become even more expensive.

In the midst of difficult financial times are ahead many of us will have to take drastic measures to cut down on expenses and reduce wastage. If you don’t know where to begin reducing have a look at our list of 10 ways you can reduce your monthly spending.

These 10 tips could help you live more cheaply:

Tip 1: Do it yourself

Some luxury things are so much a part of our lives that we cannot imagine living without it. But the truth is luxuries are the first things you should cut if you are trying to save, especially the ones you can do yourself. Take DIY to the next level by doing your own nails, hair, repairs, house cleaning, garden work, etc.

Tip 2: Leave your car at home

The internet and technology create an opportunity for office-based jobs to be more mobile. If at all possible, work from home once a week. This way you can save petrol and kilos on your car. If you don’t have that kind of freedom in the kind of work you do, try opting for public transport, using buses, trains or lift clubs can help you reduce your travelling costs considerably.

Tip 3: Eat less meat

Make meat-free Mondays a thing by replacing meat with other sources of protein. In fact, save even more and try it two days a week. It is healthy and works out cheaper. Include more of the following nutritious and affordable protein sources into your diet: green peas, quinoa, beans, chickpeas, spinach and broccoli. Grow leafy greens in your veggie garden and save even more.

Tip 4: Buy second-hand

Whenever you need to buy something, ask yourself whether you won’t be able to get it second-hand. Shopping second-hand for things like clothes, appliances and décor can save you thousands each year. Yes, there are certain items you should buy new instead, but for everything else shop at thrift or pawn shops or via Gumtree or OLX.

Tip 5: Stay home more

Friday night dinner and movies, a long weekend break away, or simply a trip to the mall all costs money. Save more by staying home more and keeping yourself and the kids busy with board games, arts & crafts, DIY projects, fun events at home, etc.

Tip 6: Stop satellite

Stop paying for luxury TV channels, you can reduce your spending by choosing a cheaper package or stopping it completely. These days there are multiple cheaper options that still gives you access to your favourite shows and movies, such as streaming services and legal download services from Showmax, Netflix, iTunes and more.

Tip 7: Settle accounts early

Pick accounts that are manageable and settle them as soon as possible. Perhaps dedicate a lump some to reduce the number of payments you make per month/debit orders. You can also ask to pay your subscriptions upfront, like satellite TV, which will not only put you at ease for a year but you will also receive a reduction in fees.

Tip 8: Sell unused items

Dig through your closets or garage and look for items you no longer use that may have value, then sell them on Gumtree or OLX. You can then use the money you bring in to pay off debt and put it behind you once and for all.

Tip 9: Take lunch

When you cook at home, make a lot of whatever you’re preparing so you can freeze some of it for future meals and, even better, take some leftovers into work for lunch. Some people may shy away from leftovers, but there are some secrets to making any leftovers as good as the original.

Tip 10: Downgrade your health insurance

Ask at work about the various options available to you that might reduce your insurance costs, and don’t neglect to look into family options if you have children – if you do, all working members of the household should look at the family coverage option. See if there are any service providers offering better rates or even stop your health insurance for a while if possible and pick it up with the cheapest coverage that suits you at a later stage

Streamline your spending

If your debt has become too expensive and it feels as if you have nothing left to cut back on, or you simply don’t know where to begin, speak to us at ezdebt and we’ll see how we can structure a plan that will not only reduce your debt but your stress levels.

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