11 Ways South Africans Waste Their Money

Nov 01, 2018

Have you ever walked down to Savings avenue and Budget street? We hope so. If you’re not familiar with them, don’t fret. Many South Africans are not too high on proper savings and budgeting skills. This is why have create a simple budget tool and cash flow tool that can help South Africans improve their monthly cash flow situation.

At the bottom of this article we share an awesome infographic that highlights how South Africans waste money. Share it with your friends and help them to also create better financial decisions!

We’re genuinely horrible spenders.

Many South Africans find themselves with too much month at the end of their money, every single month, and are forced to live from paycheck-to-paycheck with almost zero savings. Headlines such as “South Africans Among the World’s Worst Savers” come at no surprise to us. Here’s a “heavy revy” - South Africans waste their money and really battle to spend less than they earn. We shouldn’t seek to justify it because money knows only one language:

“If you save me today, I will save you tomorrow” – yours sincerely, Money.

Surprised? No, you’re not. You know that we often don’t think too much about our daily money wasters and our overall spending habits. South Africans waste their money in many ways, and are either aware of it, or just living in blissful ignorance. Anyway, it's laughable enough to make a list over, someone should!

Okay, so we made at list on how South Africans Waste their Money:

1. Going shopping when you’re hungry.

When going on your weekly trip to the grocery store, avoid this scenario by all means necessary. If you go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, even just a little, you’re way more likely to buy stuff you don't need. So have a snack at home before you go so your eyes don’t become as big as your belly.

2. The "I really watch most channels on DSTV" excuse.

With about a bazillion channels to watch, where do we draw the line? Truthfully, we don’t watch 90% of the channels on there. Thanks to the internet, there are many online movie and sport streaming options out there with great quality and variety. You probably have an internet connection, so make the effort. The advantage? You don’t get stuck with all the extra channels you never watch but still pay for.

3. Unused gym memberships.

Unlike the commitment of many people, monthly gym membership fees don’t stop. Ouch. If you’re not going, stop thinking that you eventually will, you’re wasting your money. Besides, running around the block and training outside is free. Come on, get creative.

4. Appetizers

Some South African restaurants have portions so big you need a doggy bag for the leftovers. Why pay an extra 100 bucks to get something that will take up more room in your belly before the main meal is brought out? Unless you’re fine dining, or you’ve got a special evening planned with your special one, give them a skip. Your body and wallet will thank you.

5. Fast shipping

True - patience is a virtue. Unless you absolutely need something right away, don’t pay more for faster shipping. Take a breath and wait the few extra days for standard shipping. You can spend that money better elsewhere.

6. Pricey personal care products

No. We don’t mean you shouldn’t buy personal care products - We’re savvy consumers now, yet many of us continue to buy a bunch of chemical-filled products to slather on our faces and bodies in the hopes that it will fix wrinkles, or rather the “fine lines”, firm our skin, or brighten our complexions. Just take a look at the ingredients on your personal grooming products. We bet you can’t recognize all of them without using a search engine. Opt for products with fewer ingredients that you can actually pronounce, and look for more natural ways of personal care. When it comes to personal care, more natural products might be more expensive, but they are well worth the investment as you’ll end up using less than you originally did.

7. Daily coffee trips

If you think only caffeine will get your heart beating, just take a look at how much coffee you waste your money on every month. Why not brew your coffee at home, and when you do go to your local coffee shop, take your own reusable cup, you mostly get a discount if you do. Most shops add the cost of the disposable cup to the price of their drinks, after all, they don’t get those cups for free.

8. ATM fees

Sometimes when you need cash the fee doesn’t seem like much. But if you frequently withdraw small amounts of cash at the ATM, the costs can add up. Save yourself the fees by making the effort of going to your bank’s ATM. Of course, be sure that you’re not spending more than the fee to get there! Talking about financial things…

9. Overdraft fees

For these, there’s just no excuse. If you keep track of your cash flow and spend less than you earn, you’ll never pay a cent of overdraft fees. Fees result from carelessness, pure and simple.

10. Pre-sliced or individually-packed anything

Your pre-cut foods are likely costing you way more than if you just bought these foods whole and cut them yourself. And really, individually packaged food, in general, is usually more expensive than making something similar yourself. Even things like snack bars or rusks aren’t difficult to make, and the bulk ingredients will feel like a steal for the amount you can make with them.

11. Disorganization

Yes. Being disorganized has cost you money at some point or another. Losing chargers and cables, misplacing stuff, forgetting where you left your keys and having to pay a locksmith to get into your house or car. If the mess itself hasn’t motivated you to declutter and get organized, think back to all the times you lost or misplaced something and ended up spending money in some way because of it. Then think of how many of those times you ended up finding the missing item later and realizing you spent that money for nothing.

The Conclusion

It’s always tempting to spend extra money on little things here and there, but always be sure to have a firm grasp on everything you spend money on and look at the big picture of your spending habits. You may be surprised to learn how much money you can save by cutting back on a few things and please, learn the art of proper budgeting!

Fincheck hopes this inspires you to find more ways in which South Africans waste their money and to curb your own spending habits! A great way to start curbing your spending habits is to get a reality check on your credit score. Click on this link to get your FREE score!

11 Ways Waste Money Infographic.png

Never miss any Financial News, subscribe to the Fincheck newsletter and stay informed