6 min read

10 Effective Tips to Reduce Your Living Expenses in 2024

Havana Dauncey
· March 6, 2024
10 Effective Tips to Reduce Your Living Expenses in 2024

Like everywhere else in the world, the cost of living in South Africa in 2024 is on the rise. With the increased prices from housing and utilities to groceries and petrol, many households may find the budget becoming a bit tighter.

To stay ahead of the curve and keep your living costs down, you can take advantage of some savvy strategies. To help ease your financial stress in 2024, here are our top 10 tips and tricks to cut down on your living expenses without sacrificing your quality of life.

1. Plan Your Meals and Shopping Trips

We’ve all experienced the treacherous situation of going to the shops with a general idea of what food we want and end up getting way more than we need, wasting money on random items you don’t need and probably don’t even end up eating.

One of the best ways around this is to try meal prepping. This includes planning and prepping your meals for the week ahead of time. This not only forces you to make a specific shopping list you can stick to, avoiding impulse purchases, but also keeps you from eating out at restaurants during the week because you already have food at home.

Buying non-perishables in bulk and eating food before going shopping are also some small tricks that can end up saving you in the long run.

2. Unsubscribe Where You Can

In this day and age, it’s very easy for the subscriptions to start piling up. And before you know it, you have countless debit orders coming off each month and you don’t even use half of them.

Do some subscription spring cleaning by reviewing all your subscriptions — from streaming services and apps to magazines and gym memberships. Figure out which ones you actually use and ones you can live without.

Do you need DSTV, Netflix, Showmax, Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Disney+? Probably not. Just pick one or two that have the best content. Alternatively, you can go halfsies with friends or family and share your account. Gone to the gym only twice in the last 3 months? Maybe it’s time to cancel your membership and opt for at-home workouts.

3. Consider Working from Home

Working from home comes with many benefits — avoiding early wake-ups and the morning rush, spending the day in sweatpants and also saving quite a bit of money from reducing your petrol consumption to making coffee at home instead of stopping at a coffee shop and not eating out for lunch.

Discuss remote work options with your employer to find a suitable arrangement for both of you. Even if you can’t work from home every day, a hybrid situation can still save some extra bucks.

4. Connect With Your Community

Sharing is caring, and in times of need, you can always look to your neighbours to work together to share resources and reduce collective expenses.

Here are some money-saving community initiatives you can look into or even organise yourself:

  • Bulk-buying programs

  • Growing a community garden

  • Carpooling arrangements

  • Clothing swaps

  • Second-hand garage sales

5. Review Your Insurance

When last did you reevaluate your insurance policies? Are you paying more than you should? Now is the time to check to make sure you’re getting the value for your money.

Contact your insurance providers, whether it’s home insurance, health insurance, car insurance, life insurance or business insurance, to see if your premium can be adjusted. Shop around for competitive rates and adjust coverage based on your current needs. You can also look at consolidating your insurance policies to the same company to take advantage of any bundle discounts and remove any additional admin.

Reach out to a financial advisor or insurance broker if you need any extra guidance.

6. Embrace Sustainable Living

Incorporating sustainable practices into your lifestyle can contribute to both environmental conservation and cost reduction by saving on your electricity bill — it’s a win-win!

Some ways you can make be more eco-friendly and save are:

  • Invest in energy-efficient appliances

  • Use LED lighting

  • Fit water-saving fixtures

  • Install solar panels (also useful for beating loadshedding)

  • Find creative reuse your plastic and glass waste

  • Grow your own veggie or herb garden

7. Pay Off Your Debts

Prioritise paying off high-interest debts to free up more funds in the long term. Consider consolidating debts or negotiating lower interest rates with creditors. A debt-free future not only reduces financial stress but also improves your overall financial health and credit score.

Make sure to pay off high-interest loans first and avoid picking up any more credit cards.

8. Rent Out Any Extra Space

If you have unused space in your home, consider subletting or renting it out. Platforms like Airbnb or local rental listings can help turn that spare room or parking space into a steady source of passive income, helping offset your living expenses.

Alternatively, co-living spaces have gained popularity as a cost-effective alternative to traditional housing. Shared living arrangements not only reduce individual costs but also can create a community if you’re looking for some friendly company — whether it's shared housing with friends or purpose-built co-living developments.

9. Look at Relocation

If you’ve tried everything else, and you still need to cut costs, then sometimes you have to take the next big step which is finding a more affordable area and home to live in. Whether it's downsizing to a smaller home or moving to a neighbourhood with lower living costs, this change could be what you need to turn your financial situation around.

Additionally, if you're renting, don't shy away from negotiating your rent or lease terms. Chat with your landlord to discuss potential rent reductions, especially if you've been a reliable tenant. Consider negotiating longer lease terms in exchange for a more favourable monthly rent.

10. Opt for Budget-Friendly Services like Wise Move

If you need a service of any kind, make the wise move and don’t just take the first quote you come across. Shop around to make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck.

For example, if you’re having to relocate and need a moving service, you want to make sure you’re getting the best moving service at the best prices. And you can use Wise Move to help you find it!

With Wise Move’s moving company platform, you compare quotes and over 2000 reviews from South Africa’s top local movers and choose the one that best suits your budget and needs.

Using budget-friendly platforms like Wise Move can give you the edge you need to reduce your living expenses.

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