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Sanlam’s 31-day Frugal Lockdown Challenge

By Kenosi Magosha, 10 July 2020

Sanlam understands the importance of saving, especially in these uncertain times. July is National Savings Month and Sanlam would like to challenge you to take part in the 31-day Frugal Lockdown Challenge. Kenosi Magosha, Head: Client Solutions Savings at Sanlam, notes that with our economy expected to contract by 7.2% in 2020, perhaps now’s the time to pursue a zero-based budgeting principle approach of your own. This means starting from base zero when it comes to household expenses and commitments, and aligning these with the income that is available.

The 31-day Frugal Lockdown Challenge aims to inspire South Africans to kick-start ways to save money this Savings Month by completing a series of small, daily savings goals that together help entrench good financial habits and a more frugal mindset – one that is required to take your rands further during these uncertain times.

Let’s Start

Let’s put ourselves to the test and see how much we can save in July.

Wednesday, 1 July: Challenge 1: Check Your Bank Account

Take a lesson from your bank statements. Given South Africa’s current financial situation and a rising 30% unemployment rate, now more than ever you should be checking your bank statements to ensure you are not spending money on unnecessary items and you should commit to buy as little on credit as possible.

Thursday, 2 July: Challenge 2: Set Three Savings Goals

Write them down and commit to them. Is there something you’d really like to do or achieve in the next year and beyond? Start planning by working out how much you need to save. How much will you put away towards your goal every month? What savings vehicles will work for you?

Friday, 3 July: Challenge 3: Buy Bulk on Sale

Only shop for necessities in bulk, ideally when they are on sale. Make a list of the things you really need and cannot live without.

Saturday, 4 July: Challenge 4: Enjoy the Homebrewed Cuppa

Skip your daily cappuccino. While many of us are still working from home, don’t be tempted to head out for your caffeine fix. Rather stay home and have instant/plunger coffee instead. Work out what you will save by doing this and put it towards your goals.

Sunday, 5 July: Challenge 5: Today Is Cook a Meal Under R150 day

Challenge yourself to buy ingredients for a lunch that does not exceed R150. You will be amazed at the bargains you will find when you are actually looking for them.

Monday, 6 July: Challenge 6: Check In on Insurance Premium Savings

Most insurance companies are offering their clients discounts while they continue to work from home during lockdown. If you’re not back at the office yet, you should also be saving a lot on petrol costs, which could be saved towards your goals.

Tuesday, 7 July: Challenge 7: Dedicated Laundry Day

Try to make laundry day once a week. Not only will it help you save on electricity and cleaning products, it will also save water.

Wednesday, 8 July: Challenge 8: Watch the Entertainment Costs Creep

Entertainment options during lockdown are limited so save the money you would’ve spent and put it towards those goals.

Thursday, 9 July: Challenge 9: Learn for Free

Find the time to sign up for a free online course to upskill yourself and ensure that you are keeping up with the times in your industry.

Friday, 10 July: Challenge 10: Bank Smarter

Make the best use of your bank account. This might mean reviewing your options and choosing the one which ticks all your needs. It may just save you from paying for services you don’t really need.

Saturday, 11 July: Challenge 11: Negotiate Your Medical Costs

Ask your doctor and dentist for payment options or discount for cash payments. Hopefully you won’t have to visit either this month, but if you do – be sure to ask about tariffs and cash payment options. It may just pay off.

Sunday, 12 July: Challenge 12: Nothing Beats Having a Nice Meal Twice

A home cooked meal made with love. Commit to cooking every night this week AND to making enough to have for lunch the following day. We know this is a biggie, but you’ve got this. Plan your meals for the week and buy your groceries in bulk, capitalising on as many discounts as possible.

Monday, 13 July: Challenge 13: Time to Clear Out Clutter

Sort through your home and decide what items you no longer love and are prepared to say goodbye to, and select some items which you could potentially sell for some cash.

Tuesday, 14 July: Challenge 14: Dedicated Laundry Day

Remember it’s laundry day today. See challenge 7.

Wednesday, 15 July: Challenge 15: Don’t Let Brrrrr Break the Bank

Find ways to cut down on heating costs. Buy more blankets and make use of the good old warm water bottle or gas heater to keep you from using the air conditioner to heat your home.

Thursday, 16 July: Challenge 16: Pause Memberships Where Possible

Contact your gym and make sure your payments have been paused until the lockdown is over. It’s a great excuse to get some fresh air while going for a morning run.

Friday, 17 July: Challenge 17: Grow Your Own Herbs

Use all that time at home wisely and grow your own herb garden. Think about all the money you spend on herbs when you go shopping. Plus, it tastes much better fresh from your garden and is a great project to do with the kids.

Saturday, 18 July: Challenge 18: Donate in Honour of Nelson Mandela’s 67 minutes

Declutter your closet and donate what you no longer need to a shelter or help someone in need. Generosity has a feel-good factor.

Sunday, 19 July: Challenge 19: Build a Compost Bin

Got a pile of shoes with broken soles? Or clothes with holes? Take these to your nearest cobbler or tailor, rather than buying new ones. The same goes for electrical appliances… get a quote to fix them.

Monday, 20 July: Challenge 20: Fix It if It’s Broken

Got a pile of shoes with broken soles? Or clothes with holes? Take these to your nearest cobbler or tailor, rather than buying new ones. The same goes for electrical appliances… get a quote to fix them.

Tuesday, 21 July: Challenge 21: Dedicated Laundry Day

Remember it’s laundry day. See challenge 7 and 14.

Wednesday, 22 July: Challenge 22: Go Veg

Plan to have three vegetarian dinners this week to save some money on meat.

Thursday, 23 July: Challenge 23: Love Being Loyal

Investigate joining a loyalty programme. Consider the costs to join and the money you can save.

Friday, 24 July: Challenge 24: Data Savvy You

Up your app savvy by downloading a data management app and cancel any automatic app updates.

Saturday, 25 July: Challenge 25: Keep It Rolling on a Shoe-string Budget

To DStv, Netflix or Showmax? During lockdown, you may find yourself in front of the TV more often. Now would be a good time to compare subscription options and look at where you can save – don’t forget the data costs in your comparisons.

Sunday, 26 July: Challenge 26: Switch and Ditch?

Depending on your contract and your phone usage, it may be cheaper to opt for pay-as-you-go. Investigate the best option for you and switch if you can. Don’t forget to keep an eye on when your contract renews to avoid unpleasant costly surprises when the 24 months are up.

Monday, 27 July: Challenge 27: Fresh Air Can Be Quite the Refresher

Nature costs nada so spend the day outdoors for free. Don’t forget your mask and to keep your distance.

Tuesday, 28 July: Challenge 28: Dedicated Laundry Day

Remember laundry day. See challenge 7, 14 and 21.

Wednesday, 29 July: Challenge 29: Declutter Your Subscriptions

Especially now, cut down on unnecessary costs. Be ruthless. Also, consider opting out of in-house club fees for clothing accounts. Don’t forget all those apps on your phone with auto-renewals. These can set you back if you don’t get enough benefit from them.

Thursday, 30 July: Challenge 30: Reward Yourself With Your Favourite Meal

Order in using Uber Eats or Mr D Food to celebrate how savvy you have become.

Friday, 31 July: Challenge 31: Congratulations – Kick-start Your Savings Goals

You’ve completed the Sanlam 31-day Frugal Lockdown Challenge. Now for your final challenge: Make sure you put all the money you’ve saved towards the three goals you set in challenge 2 and pick a savings option. Get help and advice from an accredited financial planner if you don’t have one already.

Now, Look After Your Financial Wellbeing

Feeling frugal has never felt so good. Make sure the habits stick and keep looking after your financial wellbeing, it will all pay off in the long run.


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