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Raise your hand if you’d like to save more money. 50% of South Africans kicked off the year with a financial resolution—and of those, nearly two-thirds said that building a habit of savings was their top strategy, according to a recent banking survey.

When establishing any habit, a little bit of intention goes a long way. Read on for some simple ways to start saving money now and make it a reality—not just a resolution.

Optimise your savings with a Xhuma Account

The best savings and rewards program is one that helps you optimise the rewards and savings you already subscribed for. With a Xhuma account you can link your savings cards and accounts to ensure you always have them on file wherever you go to ensure you always qualify for the best savings on each transaction. We'll help you optimise those to ensure you have extra money to pop in your savings every month. 

Boost your investing game

If you haven’t already begun investing, the time to get in on the action is always now—thanks to the power of compound interestMutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are your friend here. Look to your tax free savings account to get started. If that’s not an option, an individual retirement annuity is another great way to grow your wealth over the long term.

Is investing already part of your financial routine? Upping your efforts is one way to save even more for the future. Enter high-dividend shares. Dividends are payouts some companies dole out to their investors in addition to regular returns. (Think of it as a nice little cherry on top.) Just don’t neglect the rest of your portfolio. Staying diversified with a good mix of different shares is the best way to set yourself up for overall growth.

Negotiate a pay raise

While your annual review is the perfect time to make your case for a pay raise, you certainly don’t have to wait for it to roll around. Being proactive and reminding your higher-ups of your successes at work can go a long way in increasing your earnings. When initiating the pay raise conversation, it’s all about proving your worth. Be ready to show your value with concrete examples of ways you’ve helped the company’s bottom line. Average merit pay increases, as they’re called, could give your salary a 3- to 4-percent boost, according to Salary.com.

Review your non-monthly expenses

Non-monthly expenses are random bills that creep up on you throughout the year. We’re talking insurance premiums, taxes, holiday spending, medical bills. If you aren’t prepared, these little expenses can tank your budget.

List out all the non-monthly bills you can think of, using past bank statements to help jog your memory. Add them all up, divide that number by 12, then add the total to your monthly budget. Creating a vault in your Xhuma account for these unforeseen expenses as you go should help keep your savings plan intact as you move through the year.

Embrace periodic spending freezes

Rev up your savings rate by periodically going all in with a no-spend weekend. Meal prepping beforehand, finding free things to do around town, and cashing in any prepaid perks like old gift cards can help take the edge off. The goal is to find ways to spend time, not money.

Just don’t go too hardcore here. Similar to restrictive dieting, frequently depriving ourselves of indulgences actually makes us more likely to cave in and overspend. Translation: Reasonably treating yourself might actually help you save more.

Saving

Tips for saving money (That can really make a difference)

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