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Why anyone can save (and invest) money

03 August 2015, 13:03Liezel Visser

People generally tend to spend their money on things they’ve convinced themselves they need. But when the time comes to think about your future there might be a few things that you are willing to part with in order to save or invest.

You need not live frugally, but you can make informed decisions about your spending habits that will benefit you financially in the long run. Let us have a look at a few general expenses that you might be able to cut down on.

Insurance: Be it for your car, house, or even your life. The trick here is to get a few competitive quotes and see which one gives you the cover you need at the best price. This might be time consuming, but there are various insurance websites that will make this task easier.

Gym: This is a sore spot for some. You might be convinced that you WILL get to the gym, if only the weather was better, or you weren’t so tired. Or a million other reasons. Cancel your gym contract and go jogging if you really feel determined to get some exercise.

Groceries: Don’t you sometimes find that at the end of the month you throw out food because it has expired? Planning meals in advance and buying food accordingly can prevent you from having to throw food out. You can also join a rewards programme and save while you buy your groceries.

The next big step to take is to decide how you will invest the savings. At this point you might feel overwhelmed at the abundance of options there are for saving and investing. But for you to make an informed decision, you will have to do a lot of research and reading. This will help you to decide where to invest or what type of saving account is best suited to your personal needs. And what better time to start than now.

To help you along, here are a few simple saving and investing insights:

By visiting any bank you can easily choose a savings account that fits your personal needs. Saving is seen as a short-term goal, and your money is generally easily accessible. When opening a savings account it is important to know that what interest rate the bank is giving you. Don’t feel discouraged if you are only saving a small amount when you start out, over time it will grow and you will be able to see your savings increase annually.

Investing is a method of “spending” money for profitable returns. Within investing you will find long-term as well as short-term investments. Although investing in general is seen as a longer term commitment, there are various investment opportunities that help achieve a wide variety of goals.

Unit trusts are one such investment opportunity and a very popular one at that. A Unit trust is when various people pool their money into a fund, the fund then buys and sells shares or bonds on their behalf. The units within the fund are all equal in value. These include, amongst others, cash and listed properties.

There is ample information readily available on saving and investing as a South African. And when it comes to cutting back on costs, there are many smart ways to save. Spend time on your finances and you will be surprised at what you can learn about your spending habits. Cutting back on unnecessary expenditure, and rather saving or investing can mean the difference between having money to spend on the important stuff later on or living pay check to pay check.

- Women24


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