Is it just me, or is 2018 a financial nightmare? Before I get too deep into things; I’ve listed a few things that help me stretch my Rands every month, and will hopefully help me (and you) survive 2018.

Usually December is a pretty expensive month, then comes January which is the longest month of the year, and then by February I’m able to breath again as my finances start evening out. But not this year. It’s mid May and I’m still unable to keep my head above water.

If you’re currently thinking “OMG I’m not the only one!”, then feel free to carry on reading my 2018 financial survival guide.

 1. Shop Around For Your Best Bank

In March 2017 I decided to #Switch from ABSA to FNB. I’ve been a loyal ABSA client since my parents took me to open my very first savings account around the age of 16, so switching banks was a big decision for me. This was for a number of reasons, but the two most important ones are:
– Shitty service from ABSA
– Better benefits from FNB

Because I work in Marketing, I know how important customer service is for a company. That’s also the reason why I can’t tolerate bad customer service. Ironically, I have a track record of receiving some of the worst service anyone has ever come across. It’s a well-known fact among my family and friends. When I first mentioned the fact that I am considering the move to FNB to a colleague who, at the time was already banking with them, he said something along the line of: ‘oh, I am very happy with them. But if you Switch, you can let us all know what is wrong with them.’ Yup.

Anyway, since I’ve moved to FNB I’ve been extremely happy. They provide speedy feedback on any queries, and they can be reached very easily, unlike ABSA. I was also able to do the whole Switch online. I’ve never been into an FNB branch to this day. I will admit that it scared the crap out of me at first, but it took less than a day and the support I received throughout the process was phenomenal. Highly recommend!

Next up is the benefits. While I was banking with ABSA I was making use of their ABSA Rewards benefit. At the time the monthly fee was R21, which is basically nothing, but the amount of rewards that I was receiving was unsatisfactory. Mainly because the majority of the Rewards partners were irrelevant to me. The only place I received rewards was when I filled up at Sasol, and this was a whole other mission seeing as Sasol petrol stations are uncommon in Pretoria. I would have to go out of my way to fill up every time.

With FNB you don’t pay a monthly fee to make use of their eBucks Rewards system. You just pay a once-off fee for an eBucks card, which you can sommer buy at Checkers. Apart from that, the partners are much more relevant to me, and with eBucks you can move up different levels to increase your rewards, which is great. Here are a list of my favourite rewards partners to earn from:
– Checkers, Checkers Hyper, Checkers Liquor
Dischem
Superbalist
Takealot
Zando
Uber

View their other rewards partners by clicking here. You can also spend your eBucks at a number of different places – view them here.

Now this is all just my own opinion and what works for me personally. Shop around and see which bank you can truly benefit from the most. It may take time to compare all the different options and gather all the information, but it will be worth it in the end.

 2. Unsubscribe From Promotional E-Mails

If you don’t have money to spend, and you don’t have anything specific that you need, but you’re an online shopping enthusiast (read: addict) and a sucker for a good deal (like me), then don’t even tempt yourself by going through all the beautifully deigned e-mails in your inbox everyday. You can always re-subscribe at a later stage when you have money to spend.

 3. Wishlist + Promo = Score

Adding items that you would like to buy in future, or items which you are saving up for to your Wishlists on online shopping sites, is a great way to save. With most sites which I shop from, you get e-mail notifications whenever your Wishlist items are on sale or part of a promotion.

 4. Enter Competitions

Everyone loves winning. And everyone loves free stuff. So if you see a competition with a prize that you really like, or something that you’ve been wanting for a while, take the time to enter. What you have you got to lose?

 5. Loyalty Programs

I know that having to carry a boat load of loyalty cards in your wallet can be a pain, but taking advantage of them can be super beneficial. Here are some of my faves:

Clicks Club Card
Swipe at Clicks, Sorbet Salons, and The Body Shop.
I do all my facials, nail treatments and waxing at Sorbet Salons, and I also buy my Shampoo & Conditioner and Skincare from them. This way, I earn Clicks Cash Back Points as well as Sorbet Loyalty Points.
Side note: I only recently discovered that Clicks Points are loaded every second month, so if it feels like you’re shopping your life away and not getting any Cash Back, just have a look at your Cash Back History.

eBucks
As mentioned above.
Also, I double score when shopping at Dischem, because I receive both eBucks and Dischem Points.

Edgars Thank U Card
Swipe at Engen Petrol Stations to earn Thank U points

CottonOn PERKS Card
Receive loyalty points every time you shop at Typo, Rubi and CottonOn, Factorie and Supré.
Superbalist also recently started stocking a limited variety of CottonOn items, so you can save with their promotions as well as earn eBucks.

Lastly, places like Sorbet Salons, CottonOn and The Body Shop send you vouchers to use on your birthday! Yay!

6. Compare Compare Compare

Online shopping sites like Takealot seem to always have promotions or % off all products, but have you actually done some research on their prices? I selected a few products that I buy often, and compared prices. Have a look:

7. Be Smart With Your Money

Lastly, just be smart. If you’re in a real bad situation, just have faith. God promises that He will provide for us, we need only ask. Don’t expect to be blessed with buckets of money if you are spending all you have left and right on things that you don’t need, and then complaining about how little money you have.

Do you have any other cool ways of getting bang for your buck?
Feel free to share them in the comments below 🙂

I hope you’ve learned some new tips which will help in the long run!

 

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