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Urban Man’s Guide To Saving R2,000 Per Month

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Flickr: nikkinoguer

Flickr: nikkinoguer

Prophecies of doom and gloom, along with the angst of the global recession are splattered all over the news. But it’s about blooming time something positive came from the media’s fear mongering and sensationalist tactics- which is that the average South African is now sitting up and becoming far more of a spendthrift, a frugal, a penny-pincher if you will. Gone are the days of willy-nilly spending, not worrying about tomorrow and lavishing oneself to the hilt with crap you don’t really need, with money you don’t really have, to impress people you don’t really know.

So you need to make an extra R2,000 each month – who doesn’t. But you don’t necessarily want to work harder or just don’t have the time to put in more hours  – and your little flurry at becoming a professional man-slut was horrifically shot down when your first solicited call came from a rather crusty sounding ‘lady’ named Gus. Well, the following tips will (if nothing else) give you a few ideas on how to cut back and save as much as R2,000 per month.

The Bar Bill Saving

Ever wonder why bars don’t make it abundantly clear what the prices of the drinks are? Well it’s because if you realised what your drinks were actually costing you, instead of systematically handing your cash over to the all-night-hump-fest of a barlady in exchange for drinks and a cheeky smile, you’d probably sober up pretty quickly and high-tail it out of there.

The solution is to buy in bulk, and by bulk that doesn’t mean buying the entire round for your cronies. But think about switching over to wine – and buying a bottle.

Okay, look at the following based on the average price of your drink being R30 and you knocking back 3 of those in an hour – and staying out for a total of 5 hours.

The Saving:

R30 x 3 x 5 = R450 (for the night, excluding shots and cover charges).
Now, do that 3x per week and you’re up to R1,350 (p/week) or R5,400 per month. Scary isn’t it.

Ordering a semi-decent bottle of wine every hour (equal to 3 glasses) is:
R70 x 5 = R350. Which then equates to R4,200 per month. Still pretty hefty but saving you R1,200 on your previous habit.

Quick tip: If you’re looking to take the edge off whilst out, look at having a couple of drinks at home before heading out,  as this will save you somewhere in the region of the first couple of rounds. And while you need to make every effort to drink responsibly when driving, the cops aren’t out on full patrol usually until the end of an evening.

The Subscription Saving

Debit orders have to be the biggest drain on your bank balance, and you really can feel powerless as they’re automatically setup to deduct from your account each month. The hassle-factor alone of going through the entire kerfuffle of cancelling is the chief reason that you actually won’t. Let the prospect of saving thousands each year, thousands that you could put toward a new gadget or a holiday, be your inspiration to get off your arse and do it.

DSTV : Do you really need all those extra channels that 97% of the time have precisely bollocks on. What if you switched to the DSTV Compact option which although doesn’t have the main movie channels, has most of the other entertainment and lifestyle channels. And then get your movies each week (on contract) from your local video store – and save. Failing that, cancel DSTV altogether, take up a new hobby and squeeze out every ounce of your day.

The Saving:

DSTV Premium: R499 / DSTV Compact: R219

2x Movies (rented) p/week @ R20 = R160 per month. Plus R219 for the DSTV Compact = R379 per month. A total saving of R120 per month (or R1,440 per year).

The Retail Saving

Shopping online gives the consumer the greatest power. Where else, in the bricks and mortar world, can one make an instant comparison of features, prices and shops and all at the touch of a button.

Many of the online shops run promotions and offers and it’s easy to do a search to track these down. Look at the company’s news and offers page, Facebook pages and the shopping portal website: One Shop for a list of coupon codes or promotional offers available.

Tell you what, enter the following code: 5FH8-BLOG-21ET when checking out at the Mantality.co.za website and you’ll receive R10 off your next order. Easy as that. (expires 3rd June 2010)

The Daily Latte Saving

Aah, the sweet aroma of a freshly brewed cup of java is hard to beat – that’s a given. But you can still enjoy a quality cuppa, with all the flavour, at a fraction of the cost. The trick, buy your own beans or grounds. You’d be surprised at the quality of the stuff found at your local supermarket or Spar – and it’ll only set you back around R40 for a 25 cup supply (ground coffee) and around 15-18 for the fresh roasted beans. However, you obviously need a coffee grinder or espresso machine for the beans to be of any use.

Plungers are the most popular way to prepare your ground coffee. Add about one heaped tablespoon, allow to ‘brew’ for 3-5mins, plunge then serve.

The Saving:

Bought daily per work week: Latte/Mochas = R18 x 5 = R90. Is approx R360 per month.

Bagged beans/grounds (250g) @ 1 bag per week = R40 (R160 per month). Which equals a saving of approx R200 per month.

The Borrow Don’t Buy Saving

Do you really need to buy that new Xbox game or blu-ray DVD? Look at borrowing from friends or renting before to make sure it’s an absolute essential – if not you can just return it. While books over a DVD are a sound substitute, why not visit your local library and take out as many books as you can read in a month for pretty much nothing.

The Saving:

Borrow 1x game and 1x book per month and save up to around R600.

The Total Saving

Bar Bill – R1200
Subscriptions – R120
Online Shopping – R5 (and more)
Coffee – R200
Borrowing – R600

Grand total: R2,125

Whilst this list of possible saving scenarios is only a tip of the ice berg when it comes to areas where you can save each month – hopefully it gives some ideas as to where you can cut back on unnecessary spending.

Have any tips of your own on how the urban man can cut-back? Comment below

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About Author

Lover of gadgets, men's culture, cool stuff, Earl Grey tea and all things manly. An optimist in his prime. When he's not keeping the wheels turning at Mantality HQ you'll find him trawling the web, and visiting trade shows to find the newest and coolest gadgets. During his down time he's usually with his 2 dogs, on the golf course, cycling or basking in the literary company of Oscar Wilde, Bret Easton Ellis or Martin Amis whilst drinking espresso strong enough to strip paint.

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