You can start saving money by making these five lifestyle changes

South Africa is known to have a poor savings culture, and the current economic climate of high interest rates as well as increases in the cost of living have made it difficult for people to save money.

By making changes to their spending habits and reducing their expenses, people can keep a little extra money in their pockets that they can put towards savings or an emergency fund.

Here are five hacks that can help you save money by cutting down on your expenses:

1. Review your insurance

No matter which way you look at it, some people may be stressing about the end of the year or looking forward to the start of the new year. Instead of stressing about the end of the year, people should see it as an opportunity to save money by reviewing their insurance.

By reviewing your insurance, you can make changes to your policy to suit your lifestyle. These changes can include moving to a new house, changing your car, or working from home.

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Check with your insurer to see if they will reward you for spending less time on the road or save money on your home insurance if you have moved to a smaller property.

2. Buying in bulk

South African retailer Makro suggests bulk-buying non-perishable items as an easy way to save money and stock up your household pantry with groceries.

By buying in bulk at a lower price, you will be able to stretch your budget and reduce your monthly shopping bill.

The process of bulk buying will be easier if you know exactly how much you and your family consume in a month, so you only buy what you need.

You can do this by monitoring the number of items you consume in a month, including toilet paper, breakfast cereal, and toothpaste. Buying in bulk also means fewer trips to the grocery store, so you save on petrol and time.

3. Switch off vampire devices

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Unplug all of the devices in your home that suck energy when they are not in use. These devices could be your TV, phone charger, or laptop charger.

By unplugging your devices, you will be saving energy, saving money on your electricity bill, and protecting your devices from energy surges when load shedding ends and the power comes back on.

According to Defy South Africa, people can also save money on their electricity bill by optimising the energy usage of appliances like their fridges. On a monthly basis, people should check that the suction of the seals on the doors of fridges and freezers is working properly.

4. Drive less and slower

With the move from working at the office to working from home, people are now spending less time on the road.

With less time on the road, people will be saving on their petrol costs. Other ways that you can save on petrol costs include consolidating all of your errands into one trip and taking it slow on the road.

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“When you drive faster, your car’s fuel consumption increases to power the engine to drive at higher speeds. Add in more air resistance the faster you go, and you’re burning rands as fast as you’re burning fuel,” Keletso Mpisane, head of MiWay Blink, said.

5. Leave online items in the cart for a few days

Online shopping is increasing in popularity because it is convenient, but people may be tempted to buy more than they planned to.

The trick to saving money is to leave the items in your online shopping cart for a day or two to give yourself some time to decide whether all the items are really needed and worth the money.

Nico Burger, the head of Financial Planning at NMG Benefits, said that having cooling-off periods before buying items will stop people from making impulsive purchases.