Despite the pressure on disposable income, middle-income consumers can still save by making easy changes in how they manage their money, states new research conducted by FNB Retail’s money management unit.
The research unit looked at the savings potential among the bank’s customers and some of the easiest expenses to clamp down on.
“Rising fuel, food and electricity costs and unchanged interest rates are some of the factors that continue to place significant financial pressure on peoples’ income,” said Doret Jooste, CEO of money management in FNB Retail.
“Families are still heavily reliant on unsecured debt to get through each month and find it hard to even think about saving. However, looking at our middle-income clients we found that by making a few small changes in financial or spending behaviour they can actually free up a significant amount of cash every month,” she said.
Jooste said that FNB’s research reveals the following around potential savings for consumers across different income groups:
Jooste said that the calculations were based on the banking profiles of FNB customers, with these four saving techniques used:
- Use your rewards – Free rewards programmes can give great value to customers through discounts, coupons and cash-back schemes. This includes using rewards programmes for daily necessities like groceries, fuel and toiletries.
- Manage your data/airtime spend – Telco services such as data and airtime is a big-spending item for most people. Most telco providers offer special deals now and then and it’s important to take full advantage of these if you can generate some savings.
- Bank smarter and reduce banking fees – There are numerous ways to bank smarter to reduce bank fees. For instance, using digital banking channels like an app, self-service ATM or cellphone banking for bank statements, doing payments or checking transaction history is cheaper than going into a branch. You can also save significant amounts by making withdrawals from your own bank’s ATMs.
- Consolidate debt to pay a lower interest rate – Consolidating your debt (e.g. clothing account, furniture accounts, microloans, etc.) into a single loan with lower interest will not only save you on monthly admin fees and help to simplify and ‘declutter’ your debt, but also result in you paying less interest over the term of your loan.