Young adults share tips on how to stretch your budget

While the average cost of living is constantly on the rise‚ with soaring prices for daily necessities such as electricity‚ data‚ groceries and petrol‚ among others‚ for a large number of young working adults it almost seems impossible to save.

However‚ despite the country’s shaky economic status and life not becoming any more affordable any time soon‚ some are managing to cope.

TMG Digital sought advice from some young working South Africans on how they managed to stretch their budgets.

Lauren Adams‚ a 27-year-old civil engineering technologist from the Eastern Cape‚ says her rule is: “If I do not have the cash to buy it‚ then I am not ready to have it yet.”

Adams says that she also keeps a record of her fixed monthly expenses.

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“Once I get paid I subtract those expenses from my Net Income. From that balance I put aside separate amounts for petrol for the month‚ food‚ clothing‚ toiletries and entertainment allowances.”

“I then further break those amounts down to restricting amounts I am allowed to spend per week on the aforementioned categories. The rest goes into a savings account‚” Adams added.

Kelly Solomon‚ a 24-year-old teaching assistant from Cape Town who works for Rhodes University‚ says she has two savings accounts which contribute to her long-term saving plan.

For one of the accounts‚ she needs to give one month’s notice to access the funds and the other she is able to access immediately.

“The longer-term one is money I put away to ensure that should I be unemployed‚ I will have enough money to take me through a few months.”

“By having a notice account‚ you literally don’t even feel like that money exists. Which is good because then you’re not tempted to access it‚” Solomon says.

Andile Swana‚ 27‚ says he and his wife Annelisa‚ 25‚ “have a fixed amount that we save monthly non-negotiable”.

Swana adds that drawing up a budget every month also contributes to helping them save

“It is good to have a budget. It helps you not to spend money that you do not have” Swana says.

While Lauren Bhana‚ a 24-year-old business intelligence analyst for digital channels from Johannesburg‚ adds that young adults should “set quarterly/semi-annual/annual savings targets and check up to see if they have been met‚ otherwise tighten up your budget where need be”.

“Have a stop order set up to have a set amount go into your savings account automatically on a specified date each month and compare prices to find best deals prior to shopping‚” Bhana said. – TMG Digital



What are the biggest budget-busting items once you have to pay your own way? In their own words:

Lauren Adams‚ 27: Car premium‚ insurance‚ maintenance and service plans.

Zeenat de Maine‚ 25: Car instalments and petrol.

Andile Swana‚ 27: Electricity.

Lauren Bhana‚ 24: Rent.

Kelly Solomon‚ 24: Food‚ electricity and toilet paper.

Justin van Wyk‚ 29: Rent and avocados. – TMG Digital