Many people believe that saving money is a real chore, taking cash out of your salary for a future event can seem a bit pointless. However, if you change your mindset and focus on the positive attributes of saving, it is not only easy but it can be fun as well. If you attach a goal to your savings plan, it will be a lot easier to be disciplined; especially if the goal has four wheels and a gear stick. A car is the object of desire for most young people because it buys them freedom, independence and a good dose of cool.
Des Fenner, Datsun General Manager says” Fortunately you don’t have to save up for the full cost of a vehicle because you will be able to get finance – provided you have a good credit record. If you have great credit you may get finance for the entire amount. Most people however will have to come up with a 10% deposit. So for a car like the Datsun GO, you will need to save around R10, 000. While it may seem like a lot of cash, if you put a plan and some thinking in place, you will be driving quicker than you can say “ GO”. So how do you save when there are so many other demands on your money? Des Fenner has some great ideas to hold onto your cash.
Des says “Before you start your savings plan, get yourself excited about it. Print out a picture of your future car and stick it on the fridge or on your desk. That way you will be reminded why you need to sit out a few weekend parties with your friends. Put a picture of your dream car in your wallet. Every time you open your wallet you will be reminded to keep spending tidy. Out with the eat outs: if you routinely grab a burger or pizza for dinner try and limit it too two times per month. This way you won’t feel too deprived and you will be able to stash some cash.
Quit the cappuccinos: rather buy yourself a little froth jar and make your own, they cost around R50 – that’s a bargain when you consider that just one of these foamy drinks can cost R25 in a coffee shop.
Take lunch to work: No need to explain that one.
- List it: When you go shopping make a list and stick to it like your life or wheels depends on it. Shops are designed to make you fall prey to your impulses. If you spend R50 on an expensive pre-made meal that’s the cost of a dial on your dashboard. Employ some tricks to stop you lingering in malls and stores. Go grocery shopping before an important meeting or a few hours before you go out on the weekend?
- Buy big save big: buy the bigger sizes of non-perishable items, and buy extras when items are on sale.
- Be Banking Savvy: be aware of your bank balance and retail accounts to avoid overdraft or late fees. “Another benefit of paying your bills on time is that you build a good credit record, and this will assist you to qualify for finance and a better interest rate,” says Des. Avoid ATM fees from other banks – get familiar with the location of your bank’s ATMs.
- Cut your landline: if your landline phone has become a desk ornament, cancel it.
- Check prices before you check out: the cost of big ticket items differ from store to store. A few phone calls or browsing time on the internet can save you hundreds of rands.
- Avoid vending machines: Not only is the stuff in vending machines generally bad for your health, it’s bad for your wallet too.
- Don’t get caught in the image culture: avoid living beyond your means and spending like a rap star when you first get paid. Des says “Having your own car far outweighs being Mr Cool at a bar or social gatherings. A car helps you break through, getting you to places where you need to be – like your job. If your friends are big spenders just tell them you are going on a savings spree and get their support. And support you they must because it won’t be long until they are knocking at your door for a lift”.