Friday, 1 January 2016

Financial Savvy for 2016 (Part 1 in the Budgeting Series)

We are a family of six: 2 incomes, 4 kids (yes they were all planned; yes we were warned).  We have drawn up our budget for the coming year and after trimming and trimming we are still R3000 in the hole! (Munch Scream).   And in the face of the drought South Africa has faced this past year, food prices are predicted to rise significantly in 2016.  Scary times ahead.

If you’re also feeling the pinch you may want to follow my blog this year as I try to implement some thrifty ideas.  Suggestions will also be welcome.  I can also mail you a sample Excel budget sheet that you can tailor to your requirements.  If you have less or no kids, for example, then why the hell do you have a problem? then you can adjust it accordingly.

No doubt, we all have different ideas of what constitute luxuries, and of course some of the things I spend money on may seem indulgent to you, and vice versa.

The following are luxuries I can can’t CAN live without.  If things are tight, these are areas you might want to cut.  I warn you it’s going to get very uncomfortable right from the start.

1.       Alcohol.  Yes you can.  Moderation is the key and don’t be a wine snob, there are plenty of very drinkable wines in the R30-R60 range.  Likewise I don’t buy sugary drinks for the kids.  Water or occasional ice tea only.
2.       Cigarettes. Easy one for me as I have never smoked.
3.       Chewing gum.
4.       Newspapers or Magazines. If you must have, then subscribe; you can save up to 50% this way.
5.       Flowers.
6.       Cosmetics and perfume. All I need is a bit of lipstick.
7.       Expensive face creams. A dermatologist will tell you that sunblock is the only thing that truly makes a difference.
8.       Manicures/Spa treatments.
9.       Jewellery.
10.   Exercise at a gym.  I will probably still be attending a Pilates class once a week.
11.   DSTV.  Now I could easily say goodbye to DSTV even though I enjoy a good British crime drama as much as the next gal, but this will have to be a compromise as my family really want TV and especially English Soccer which sadly is only on the top bouquet.
12.   Entertainment.  Although we are keeping TV, we have nothing in our budget for eating out, going to movies, theatre or outings of any kind.  Now that may be a bit unrealistic, but as I said, even without this we are still in the hole, so there’s no way I can really justify a movie visit which, with the 4 kids, is a R500 outing and you can double that if you’re getting popcorn and coke.
13.   Domestic Help.  Nope. Sorry, my sanity depends on this. I have help 4 days a week. (Don’t judge me if you don’t live in dusty Africa, or have less than 4 kids)

Call your insurance broker for a re-valuation of your car/household insurance.  We have car insurance only and have got 2 reductions this year just by asking.  As your cars devalue, so your insurance should adjust.  Surprisingly they will not phone to let you know this.

Here’s to 2016! Clinks cheap wine.

1 comment:

  1. Food for thought Natalie, although ignoring #1 may help me with other savings ;~)
    But seriously it's also a good time to try some new more affordable wines.