I just spent R600 on a trip to the hairdresser. I think I scored a bargain. My boyfriend thinks I’m crazy. Men just don’t understand that re-growth and split ends are more likely to reduce us to tears than a dwindling bank balance.
Men and women have very different ideas about financial priorities. My boyfriend would have much rather used that R600 for a night out on the town. It’s not necessarily what you spend your money on that makes a purchase exciting, but more the fact that it’s yours to do with as you please.
It’s not fashionable to be a penny pincher. However, due to inflation, rising interest rates, the perversion of the petrol price and designers milking us for all our star-studded aspirations, a girl’s got to find little nips and tucks in her budget to survive.
Here are some tips on how I manage to be fashionably forward and financially fit.Stay skinny
Debut with debits
Set all your accounts and debts as debit orders on your bank account. This way there’s no chance of accidentally blowing your rent on those Jimmy Choos.
Ditch your 514 regular order. The cost of take-out food is phenomenal in comparison to what you can whip up at home for a quarter of the price. So what if you’re not Nigella? Buy a Jamie Oliver cookbook and his adorable smile should motivate you to try out his recipes. Plus you’ll be doing your body and the environment a huge favour.
Cut the cash
Drawing cash from an ATM is costly and dangerous. We’re living in the age of swiping and typing. Most outlets accept debit cards, even some petrol stations. Internet banking is another cost-effective and easy way to pay your bills. On an average cheque account* you could pay anywhere between R5.00 and R30.00 for a cash withdrawal (depending on the ATM) compared to only R1.90 per debit card transaction. Check with your bank about their fees and you’ll discover that plastic is fantastic!
Take an interest in ‘no interest’
Many chain stores offer the option of paying no interest on your account if you settle within 6 months. So instead of swiping your credit card, take advantage of paying off those ‘must-have’ items without clocking up interest.
Saving is paving
Save for the things you want. It really is as simple as that. You will be making a rational, informed decision that you’ve most likely been mulling over for the last month or so. Tough times call for tough love.
The amount of money you have available for those little luxuries in life may be less these days, but if you’re savvy about how you spend what you do have, you can make your money work for you – and not the other way around.
* Based on First National Bank’s Personal Cheque Account Pricing Guide (1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009)