Spend your household income wisely with these 8 money-saving tips
As the cost of living increases, now is as good a time as ever to adopt some simple money-saving techniques.
We've asked, a property specialist, an automotive expert and an interior architect for their top tips.
1. Install a pre-paid meter
A prepaid meter has many benefits. Firstly you'll have the ability to see how much electricity you're spending on a daily basis rather than getting a bill at the end of the month, and secondly you'll be able to monitor appliance usage. "By installing a prepaid meter you will quickly notice which appliances pull the most electricity, and therefore which to better manage use of," says Graham White, Property Specialist from Seeff KZN North Coast.
2. Review your insurance costs
Next to your home, a car is likely to be the second biggest purchase you'll make. Keep in mind that it is a depreciating asset. Get in touch with your insurer each year to adjust the value you're insuring. "Without doing this exercise, you could land up paying to insure an outdated value, which is a waste of money," points out AutoTrader CEO, .
3. Empty your boot (and the rest of your car too)
The heavier a car, the higher the fuel consumption - this is bad news, especially considering the rising cost of fuel. Go through your car and get rid of everything that does not have to be there. You could save a couple of rands at the petrol station.
4. Check your geyser
If your geyser needs to be replaced there are new products on the market which will make better use of electricity. "Some new geysers run on gas and only heat up when you are using the hot water, rather than the hot water being constantly heated to a certain temperature, which is what you'll find with the older models," says White.
5.your tyre pressure
Grab your tyre pressure gauge and make sure your tyres are correctly inflated. You will find the correct tyre pressure for your particular car in your handbook and sometimes on the side of the driver's door. An over-inflated tyre can result in a blowout, which can be both costly and dangerous. Under-inflated tyres, on the other hand, contribute to higher fuel consumption - the lower the tyre pressure, the greater the rolling resistance.
6. Redecorate with what you have
"You'll be amazed at just how easy it is to give your home a fresh feel by simply rearranging key pieces of furniture" says interior architect Cara Slater, from Cara Slater Architectural Designs. "Even rearranging the pictures on your wall or swapping existing rugs and cushions around can revive the home," she says. You'll get that new feel, without spending a cent.
7. Turn the power off
We are all guilty. We often leave everything on, even when we are not in the house. "Make a conscious effort to switch everything off before you leave the house or go to bed. This includes lights, TVs, plug points, fans and air-conditioning units", says White. "If you are going away for two or more days, it's especially important to turn your geyser off," he advises.
8. Give your car a basic service in your driveway - it's actually really easy!
A basic service can cost well over R1 000 at the mechanic. You can do it yourself for half that price. It will entail changing the oil as well as the air filters. You can also top-up all the fluids yourself. "It's not as difficult as you think," says Mienie. "You just need to watch a DIY video on the topic a couple of times to familiarise yourself with what tools you'll need and what process to follow."
There is a list of these DIY-style videos on AutoTrader's YouTube channel.