The road to financial freedom is not an easy one. As with all good things in life, it takes time and effort to cultivate. Financial freedom is a lifestyle, not a get-rich-quick scheme. That being said, there are ways you can adjust your spending to start saving money now. Here are five of them.

1. Renegotiate your short-term insurance premium

This is a tedious but effective way to see immediate savings. It’s a drag to answer the same questions with different insurers, but in the highly competitive market of short-term insurance, you’re almost guaranteed to find a better deal.

I’ve twice been hit with a 22% premium increase, despite never having claimed. The first time I renegotiated my premium with my then insurer; the second time I got different quotes and moved insurers.

There’s no reason for you to remain with your current insurer and accept whatever premium increase comes your way. Just be careful to compare apples with apples and make sure that your cover remains the same (e.g. that the lower premium isn’t dependent on an increase in your excess).

2. Review your value-added loyalty programmes

If you have a Discovery medical aid or insurance policy, you’re probably also a Vitality member. Vitality offers many, if at times intricate, benefits. However, always remember that it’s also a paid for add-on.

Do your calculations to see how much you are saving on flights, your gym membership, healthy food, car or life insurance integrators, etc. Does this really exceed your Vitality membership fee? In my experience, it seldom does.

Furthermore, if you shop around, chances are you’ll find most of these products for cheaper at a competitor than at Vitality’s partners, whether that’s Mango’s flights, Brightrock’s insurance or your local market’s fresh produce.

3. Bring your own lunchbox from home

It goes without saying that bringing your own lunchbox from home instead of popping out to Woolies or the corner café each day is a whole lot cheaper (as well as healthier and, truth be told, tastier).

Here’s another problem with the lunch time trip to buy food: we seldom factor it into our expenses, meaning it’s a potentially sizeable black hole in our spending plan.

Not everyone likes to cook (including me), but quick and easy recipes abound on the internet. Take some time to research different lunchbox options. Who knows, you might find yourself enjoying your new kitchen skills more than you expect.

4. Shop with a shopping list

Whether your weakness is fresh produce, baked goods or something for the kids, there’s an abundance of things at your favourite grocery store begging to be added to your shopping trolley each week. Drawing up a shopping list before you leave home allows you to focus on what you truly need to buy. It will also help you pass by specials that, amazing as they may be, you don’t need at the time.

Related to this is trying to plan your grocery shopping so you can limit the number of times you visit the shop each week, particularly garage convenience stores.

5. Record all your expenses in a budget

I’ll never get tired of extolling the virtues of having a budget, or as I prefer to call it, a spending plan. As with a shopping list, a spending plan allows you to focus on what you truly need, enabling you to cut out unnecessary expenses.

In isolation, the above items might not save you a lot of money. However, combined they will lead to a noticeable change in your finances.

Get in touch if you’d like more information about implementing these changes today.

Categories: Personal Finance