I was quite impressed to find this article on the FNB blog – some really useful shopping tips without TOO much product push.
I particularly like the tips about Rewards. Too few people maximise the rewards you can earn at no extra cost. Sure it’s a bit of a pain carrying around a dozen reward cards, but you can accumulate a few hundred rand a month with a small behaviour change. And as long as the programme is free to join, or the cost is more than covered by the rewards earned, then it’s money for jam!
Have a read…
Intelligent shopping and clever budget management is vital throughout the year, be it for holidays or special occasions. Finding creative ways to make your money go further means that shopping for unexpected events, little treats or once-in-a-while extravagances can be done guilt-free.
We recommend these tips to help you get to the end of the month with a little to spare:
- Get rewarded: Take advantage of the rewards programmes that you belong to, or sign up for the programmes offered at places where you shop regularly to start earning rewards. Smart banking allows you to earn rewards too. The rewards you accumulate could allow you to spend less if you pay using your free rewards benefits rather than spending your cash or dipping into your savings. For example, eBucks, the rewards programme offered by FNB and RMB Private Bank, rewards members for smart banking behaviour. Members earn rewards for swiping their qualifying bank cards when shopping or filling up with fuel.
- Shop online: Online shopping gives you the power to compare prices from the comfort of your home, while saving on both fuel and parking costs. This could also be done at a time convenient to you, as you’re not restricted by mall hours. Some online retailers such as Zando.co.za and Yuppiechef offer free shipping to your door within South Africa, while others like Wantitall.co.za gives you R50 off your first order, helping you purchase that sought-after item for less. Many rewards programmes also offer great deals online. For example, qualifying eBucks members can get discounts of up to 40% on a selection of flights, gadgets, shopping vouchers, movies and more, when paying with their eBucks in the eBucks shop, or on the eBucks online travel booking engine (www.eBucks.com).
- Buy in bulk: Bulk buying at retailers like Makro can help you to save on your monthly household expenses. But before you buy 24 boxes of washing powder, consider your storage limitations. If space is at a premium, club together with a friend to share your bulk purchases. Remember to use your rewards like eBucks to pay or use discounted Makro gift vouchers, purchased with eBucks to reduce costs even further.
- Make a shopping list: Make a list of the things you need before visiting the shops and stick to it to avoid spending on unnecessary items. If you feel that you “have to have” another pair of boots, set aside money each month for little luxuries and draw on that fund to pay for them, or use your rewards currency rather than blowing your budget.
- Get cooking: Often entertaining friends at home is more cost-effective than dining out, especially if you’re hosting a bring-and-share meal. Utilise free advice from sites such as Yuppiechef, who share food tips and recipes in their monthly newsletters.
- Group buying: Group buying websites such as OneDayOnly offer a wide range of products at discounted prices that are available for a limited time. At OneDayOnly, eBucks members can use their rewards currency to pay for their purchases, allowing them to enjoy some guilt-free instant gratification shopping.
- Sell it: Perhaps it’s time your copy of Dirty Dancing has a new home – kalahari.com allows you to sell yesterday’s books, CDs, DVDs and games through their marketplace for a low, success-based fee. It’s a good way to get rid of the clutter; and make space for new additions to your entertainment collection with the money you’ve earned from selling your old items.
- Find your fun: Visiting shopping centres for entertainment will result in unintended spending, guaranteed! Consider trips to local museums, art galleries, education centres like the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre or parks instead. How about hosting a games or movie night for friends at your home? A wide range of the latest games and movies are available at online retailers like kalahari.com or TAKEALOT.com, both of which accept eBucks for payment.