Tuesday 17 October, 2017

10 post-budget tips to help you save

Photo courtesy South African radio network: KFM 94.5

Photo courtesy South African radio network: KFM 94.5

As we await the beginning of the debate over the 2017/2018 budget proposed by Finance Minister Colm Imbert, we decided to look at measures which will cut costs and help members of the public tighten their belts.

Minister Imbert read the $50.5 billion dollar budget in the House of Representatives on Monday and expressed that 2018 is a make or break year for T&T as he outlined a number of taxations across the board from the gaming industry to the banking sector.

Here are some tips that we hope will help you save a little for a rainy day.

1. Cook more, eat out less

This is a story we’ve heard time and time again and the lesson truly remains relevant. Limit the frequency of purchasing food and cook at home. Make sure and pack a bowl for lunch.

2. Brands aren’t always best

Brand named items don’t only go for clothing; it goes for food as well.

If you can, try to buy the majority of your grocery items (cereal, toothpaste, canned foods like baked beans, soap, dishwashing liquid, toiletries etc) with the less popular names. Believe me, the generic items work the same. As for clothing, a single statement piece will make even the most cost-effective (cheap) items seem super expensive.

Don’t act like you don’t shop at Charlotte Street, Port of Spain and Chaguanas too. They have all the deals!

3. Don’t go chasing bottled waterfalls

Yes, we know water is a commodity and that’s why we’re trying to help you save by advising you to boil pipe borne water rather than purchase cases or even gallons regularly. If you have to go to work, feel free to carry a gallon of your boiled water. You’ll get used to it.

4. Kitchen gardens

Start small with eggplant, tomatoes , pepper, celery, chive, thyme, etc… It’ll cut down your market bill and before you know it, you can move on to bigger things.

5. Set up a standing order; it’s a game changer

Decide the minimum amount you want to save each month and set up a standing order to an account you don't have a debit card for, right after you get paid. You can't spend what's not readily available.

6. Plan withdrawals 

Plan your ATM visits to avoid using them frequently. Overuse can incur banking fees that you don't need. When it's time to take out cash, go over the counter. 

7. Netflix over cinemas

You can purchase a Netflix account and share the low monthly cost with a roommate, family member, or friend. This will help you save tremendously and Netflix also has some really good original series so it’s a win/win.

8. Take care of yourself

Get enough sleep, wash your hands and do whatever it takes to prevent yourself from getting the flu. A little TLC and regular exercise can prevent expensive medical bills later on.

9. Look out for sales!

There are frequent holiday sales in T&T and abroad which will ensure that you save a bit on purchases. Also, capitalize on that aunty that’s visiting from the US to save on shipping fees.

10. Unplug electronic items/ use energy saver light bulbs

If you use anything that doesn’t necessarily need to remain on, then unplug! It’ll save on your electricity bill. Also, use energy saver light bulbs.