Use sense to save cents that quickly add up to rands

By using sense and saving cents, all savings eventually add up to a considerable amount.

By using sense and saving cents, all savings eventually add up to a considerable amount.

One needs to save money on purchases and services and also for the long term.

Below are some money saving tips - take an inventory of your current needs and make sure you have a monthly detailed budget. Start with those items where the most potential for savings is, and move down the line.

lHouse mortgages. If you own a home, your mortgage is probably your biggest expense. Is it at the best rate available? By saving even 1percent a year, you'd be amazed at how much money you could save, even over a period of 10 years.

l Home repairs, improvements and renovating. When you need to do renovations, get quotes.

l Review your car needs. Has your usage decreased? Can the family manage with one car?

l Banking and financial. This is one area where many of us simply "pay the rate" - whether it's in high monthly fees or lower interest rates. Talk to your bankers and investment companies about improving either of these aspects.

l Insurances and life assurance. Ensure you are getting the best cover for the most competitive premium.

l Food. Whether we eat to live, or live to eat, the cost of food can "eat you alive".

Since food is a necessary and ongoing expense, just saving R20 a week on your purchases can convert to more than R1000 in savings in the course of a year.

Try to plan your shopping in advance and buy bulk where it is cheaper.

l Consider store brands - quality is equal to, or even better, than national brands.

l When it's on sale, stock up on regular use items.

l Shop at the supermarket which is cheapest overall.

Eat out less, eat in more.

l Telephone. Check to determine at which times long distance calls are cheaper. Watch your mobile telephone usage - use only when necessary.

l Buy next year's winter clothes at the end of the current season when they go on sale.

l Stay away from trendy fashions - stick with the basics, and choose lasting styles.

The final message is - compare prices! The Internet has made it so much easier. You can now make quick comparisons on most items, especially the larger ones. What used to take hours can now be accomplished with the click of a mouse. And don't forget, it may even pay you to buy second-hand, - more savings!

l Bryan Hirsch is a director of Pioneer Financial Planning. Visit