01 April 2020

If find yourself in a season where you are strapped for cash, like many of us do during this nationwide lockdown, there are some things you can live without for the short term until you find yourself in a more stable financial position.

For homeowners, there are several household expenses that might take some effort to cut back on but will open up some much-needed breathing room so you can keep up with your bond repayments – or risk having your home repossessed by the bank.

Below is a list of ways you could consider to lower your monthly household expenses over this lockdown period:

  1. Ask your bank for a payment holiday on your home loan and/or other debts
  2. Negotiate a better deal on the interest rate on your home loan
  3. Shop around for a cheaper life, home and car insurance policies
  4. Find a more affordable medical aid policy
  5. Cancel any inessential subscriptions (for example, DSTV / Netflix / Spotify / iTunes / Showmax) 
  6. Cancel or pause any club memberships, including gym fees
  7. Purchase more affordable brands when grocery shopping
  8. Downgrade your cell phone contract or switch to pay-as-you-go
  9. Downgrade your internet connection
  10.  Save on fuel costs by walking to the grocery shops
  11.  Find ways to lower your electric bill (examples include setting your geyser to a timer, unplugging all electrical appliances when not in use, etc.)
  12.  Find ways to lower your water bill (examples include reusing grey water to water the garden, only doing your washing when it’s a full load, etc.)
  13.  Temporarily stop expensive habits like alcohol consumption and smoking
  14.  Temporarily stop buying grooming products such as styling gels, perfumes and makeup
  15.  Cut back on expensive cleaning detergents. Only buy essentials such as dishwashing liquid, bleach and laundry detergent.

While giving up some of these things will be challenging, it is always better to practice good spending habits and financial discipline to avoid getting into massive debt and finding yourself in a hole that you cannot dig yourself out of once things finally return to normal.

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