4 Ways to Trim Your Budget
I am not affiliated with any brands mentioned below and all opinions expressed here are my own.
I’ve written before about finding little pockets where your money might be hiding (and may some of them include the pants you’re wearing today!) where I outlined some expenses that we incur without ever realising it’s happening. Now, I want to get into places you’re aware you’re spending money but could do with some trimming or elimination to make that shilling go even further.
This is one that saved us a whole 1,300 a month. For a long time, we had been on the Classic R1 package from Zuku which included TV, phone and internet. TV had select channels and we really only ever watched Fox and Al Jazeera. On top of that, we had a measly 1 Mbps speed that tapped out every single time we tried to stream something. When we got our Netflix subscription going a few months ago, I realised we were wasting money for less value. The internet package only is 2,ooo Kes for 4Mbps (+ phone if you want it) and we had been paying 3299 for the Classic R1. It was a rip off because we didn’t even need TV. So we handed in our decoder at the Zuku store (they require you to do this) and switched packages. Now, we stream pretty much everything including the news (Sky News and Al Jazeera have great live streams. We don’t watch much local news as we catch up with the papers at work).
Now, we use our gaming console to stream. If you don’t have this your options are a laptop which you can connect to the TV with an HDMI cable or an ordinary monitor cable. Basically, if you’re getting an internet package of any kind I find it hard to believe that you would need the TV add on because you can basically stream everything. Just keep a few DVDs on hand for when the internet stops working from time to time.
*Note: Zuku only offers the Internet Package in specific areas so find out from them if one of those is where you live.
We love to eat out but realistically, we can only do it a couple of times a month. The best tip here is to take advantage of offers and discounts that are happening around you. This is why it’s good to follow some of your favourite spots to eat on social media. This month (August – you have two more days to catch it) Subway has been running a footlong for 500 Kes deal which has been a dream! I mean, that’s basically 250 Kes per person (Yeah – I do this annoying thing where I always count in couples). EatOut’s Yummy card will also get you some pretty sweet deals especially when you want to do something special on budget. Now when I got mine they were still free but I’ve noticed they charge to get them these days. 2,500 is pretty steep so why not sign up for the launch of their app where you’ll be able to get a free digital card.
Be careful with two for one deals because you need to read the fine print. Urban Burgers have a ‘Crazy Monday’ offer where you can buy one burger and get another free for Kes 990. However, this is a dine-in only option. Plus if you are with someone else, they’ll probably have to order too unless they want a plain burger. Always remember that eating out is something you should do occasionally. For other days, there’s always making your own meals.
The Name Brand Trap
Hubbs and I fought over this one early in our relationship. I was a sucker for name brands or plushy luxurious items and the most puzzling one for him was toilet paper. I’m a two-ply kind of of girl and all I ever used was Velvex but man was it hard on my pocket. These days, I am less picky about it as long as it 1. Doesn’t have a funky smell and 2. Actually flushes (I’m sure you know tissue that just sits there. Gross). The same with bleach – Clorox works just as well as Jik. Some Nakumatt Blue Label products are just as effective as name brands and all you have to do is some independent research to identify which ones (I use their toilet cleaner the most). Don’t allow the marketing machine to get you. You need a product that works not one that’s been endorsed by a glitzy ad.
While we’re on the subject, did you know off cuts of deli meats cost less? For instance, I buy bacon at K&A and rather than get the collar bacon 1KG that is 1200 Kes, I usually get the off cuts which is 990 Kes per KG. Let’s be honest, I don’t need my bacon to look pretty – I just need it to taste good!
Shiny, new things are awesome. Until they’re not anymore. Like with all things, the luster of a new item quickly begins to fade as soon as you’re walking out the shop. Most of the time a second hand item that needs a little love will work out just as well as a brand new item. The baby cot we got is second hand (thanks to a friend who spotted one for us) for half what they go for in shops. All it needs is a little fixing up which hubbs is willing to do himself. I wasn’t going to stress about having brand new items for the baby because honestly, if it’s not going to kill the child, it’s good enough. There are plenty of second hand shops around in most neighbourhoods that you can access when shopping around for things like furniture. Also, if you’re lucky, you have a network of friends who would be willing to pass over stuff to you especially if you’re about to move, have a new baby or even plan a trip. Use those friends to cut back.
These are just a few tips that have worked for me. I would love to know what’s worked for you! Drop me a line below.