10 ways to stretch your salary

Many of us feel it’s an ambitious goal just to make it to the end of the month. Even with a steady income, you may feel like you never have enough money to live comfortably.

Here are 10 ways to help stretch your income until the next payday:

1. Draw up a budget – and stick to it

A budget helps you see how much money you’re spending and where it’s going. If you’re following a detailed budget, you’ll be able to see how long your salary will last. This can help you to avoid running out of money in the middle of the month.

2. Go easy on your credit card

Remember that credit is actually money you don’t have. While using a credit card may seem like an easy solution at the time, you’ll need to pay that money back – which adds to next month’s expenses.

3. Be a conscious consumer

Try to find the best bargains and be on the lookout for specials. If you compare prices at various stores, you can often save hundreds of Rands each month.

4. Don’t just shop where it’s convenient

The shop right down the road from your house may be the most convenient, but is it the cheapest? Many shoppers end up spending far more than they need to because they are too focused on convenience. Do your research to see which shops are the least expensive. It may mean that you’ll have to drive an extra 5 minutes to visit those shops, but you can save a lot of cash in the long run. On the other hand, if you need to stop at 3 different shops and pay for parking at each one, it might turn out that you haven’t actually saved much money in total.

5. Buy in bulk

You can save on costs if you buy some of your necessities in bulk, particularly products that don’t expire quickly, like toilet paper, canned goods and cleaning supplies.

6. Use loyalty cards and rewards programmes

Many stores offer reward programmes and loyalty cards. Find out how to make the most of them and spend with your loyalty cards when times get tough.

7. Don’t shop when you’re hungry

If you go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, you’ll be more likely to impulse buy your favourite treats. Also make sure that you write shopping lists – and stick to them.

8. Pack lunch for work

Buying take-aways every day can really take a toll on your finances. Save money by packing yourself food from home.

9. Give up a vice

Bad habits can be expensive. Cut down on alcohol, quit smoking or eat out less. You’ll be able to funnel the money you used to spend on your vice into something more beneficial.

10. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions

From magazines to satellite TV, consider cancelling the subscriptions you don’t really use or need in order to give yourself more cash each month.

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