Guess what? The news, predictably, is not all that good. Average salaries in South Africa are up, that’s the good news, but with the impact of inflation, which is notoriously difficult to predict in SA, in real terms, workers are worse off in 2017 than they were in 2016.
That’s just what you wanted to hear. To work hard all year but to worse off than last year when the increasing cost of goods and services is taken into account can be soul destroying for the average employee. According to Bankserv Africa Disposable Salary Index, the average take home pay in February of this year was R14,121, up 5.7 percent on the same month in 2015. But, and it’s a big BUT, this failed to keep up with inflation, which has risen by 6.3 percent over the same period. That makes it the ninth straight month of salary declines once inflation has been taken into account.
How to counteract prices rises
Unfortunately, there’s very little most people can do to earn more money or avoid the prices rises. In the face of real term wage decreases, the easiest thing you can do to protect your income is to make small savings every single day. We’re not talking about cutting back on those little luxuries that make life worth living, but instead, there are changes you can make that won’t impact your lifestyle but will keep a few more rand in your pocket. Not convinced by any of our tips? Here are 40 more from loan provider Wonga.
- Switch off your geyser!
The geyser accounts for 40 percent of electricity usage in the average South African home, but there is an easy way to reduce this cost significantly. Simply switching off your geyser when you leave the house is an effective way to save thousands of rand a year. It won’t impact your life detrimentally, but it will save you money.
- Plan your meals
It might sound a bit boring, but even having a rough idea of what you will eat over the week will help to reduce your impulse food purchases and keep the costs down. Simply making a big batch of a meal that will last a couple of days can reduce your food costs considerably and help avoid those expensive takeaways.
- Gym subscriptions
One of the biggest and most avoidable expenses every month for many individuals is a gym subscription they rarely use. There are cheaper and more fun forms of exercise you can enjoy in the great outdoors. Going for a run or making a one-off investment in some dumbbells and a pull-up bar that you can use at home will help you save an average of R400 every month.
- Quit smoking
Oh, if only it were that easy. We’re not going to preach to you about the health concerns associated with smoking but ditching the cigarettes could save you nearly R4000 a year if you currently smoke two packets of cigarettes a week.
- Make your lunches at home
You might look forward to lunch at the local coffee shop every day, but it is eating into your pay packet in a huge way. Simply preparing your lunch the night before could help you save more than R100 a week. You can still treat yourself, but do it once a week rather than every single day.
- Have one less drink
When you go out for the evening, make a concerted effort to have one less alcoholic drink than you would usually have. Before long, this will become the new norm and you’ll find you’re drinking less and your income stretches further.
Do you have any simple money-saving tips of your own? Share your favourites in the comments section below.