Winter is just round the corner and more people are now queuing at clothing stores to purchase warmer clothes, for that winter wardrobe make-over. However, with the rand hitting rock bottom, you might want to revaluate how and where you spend your money this winter. Here are a few winter money saving tips that will keep your wallet warm:
Don’t buy it on credit!
This one applies regardless of what season it is. Buying clothes on credit is like preparing your own grave where creditors can bury you later if your instalments are not up-to-date. Growing up, all I wanted was to be older with a good job so I could take whatever I desired and pay when I wanted to. I also wished to blow off R5000 credit on the latest fashion, just as older people did. It was always fascinating how my neighbours always brought bags full of clothes without having to pay a cent for them – or at least that’s how I understood it back then.
If I’ve to compare credit to anything then it’s similar to smoking – you suffer the consequences later. What I mean, the less deposit you pay on your borrowed goods the more amount of interest you’ll flock out later. The famous ‘no deposit’ that credit-providers offer you is a way to prolong your repayment, which in return generates more interest for them.
Have you noticed how salespeople use generosity to lure you into their hook but it is rude debt-collectors who call when you’ve skipped a payment? Exactly! Rather get that new sneaker when you’ve saved enough for it, ‘cos you could buy another pair with the interest that stores charge you. I hate breaking it to you but your shopping list could actually land your name into being blacklisted. So why buy something you don’t need with money you don’t have?
Buy clothes sooner
It’s an open secret that a jacket is much cheaper in summer as shops are clearing up their shelves for cooler clothes, so why hesitate to grab it while it’s hot? If you feel that you should have heard this advice earlier on cos all the stores are already charring their normal prices, then it’s not all dark and gloomy for you. R200 can take you a long way at affordable stores such as Mr Price if you are looking for a warm fleece and winter socks. Also, there are thrift shops that sell good quality clothes, so why not pay a visit to a local one and see what they have to offer?
Remember, what seems more attractive in winter is someone wearing warm winter clothes from head to toe – expensive just doesn’t top the list. The only sensible thing to wear during winter is your jacket, gloves and boots. All these fancy and expensive other clothes will have people asking each other questions like, “Didn’t she watch the weather forecast last night, cos she got it totally wrong?” Go for the warmest, doctors are expensive.
Heat it up but cost it down
Must I mention how expensive electricity is or your mom probably does that every time you leave the stove unattended? Heaters are warm but expensive, so how about we take it back to the days where grannies used to cover the draught that’s coming under the door with an old blanket? You’ll still keep the heater on but the room will sure get warm sooner, which results to less power consumption! I don’t want to sound like your granny now, but putting on your PJs and a warm beanie is actually better than turning up your heater if you’re to save energy.
Cook Meals at Home
You have probably heard this before from nutritionists who are raising awareness about obesity, but I’m not going down there. Cooking your meals at home keeps you indoors and that means less doctor visit (cos you won’t catch colds often), and the heat warms the rest of the house. Leaving the oven door open, after preparing your meal, could actually lessen your heater usage because the heat circulates throughout the house.
You’ll need to stop buying stuff you can prepare yourself at home, something that leads us to the next point.
With the coffee shops already charging too much for a cup, you might want to bring your coffee in a flask when you’re off to work/school.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his Budget Speech 2016 that government will introduce what they call ‘Sugar Tax’ in April 2017, as if coffee isn’t expensive enough. Although this tax includes all sugary beverages, cutting on your caffeine intake is not only good for your health but beneficial to your wealth as well.
However, when you’re really shivering for that cup of coffee at home, fill the kettle with just a cup. Not only because of the country’s current drought but cos the economic crisis is having a toll on your wallet as well.
There are plenty of things you could do to cut down on your costs, but really you first have to acknowledge that saving is the way to go. This blog could give you helpful tips but it’s really your choice to turn them into action. Next time you are tempted to spend money on popcorns and cold drinks at the movies, remember that you could actually do the same at the comfort of your couch.
Written by Inspiring Tomorrow author Ndibulele Sotondoshe
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