10 Top Tips for Saving Money in Botswana

saving money

These days, money is an increasingly rare commodity. More and more people are struggling to pay for monthly necessities, let alone those little luxuries we all think we deserve.

In Botswana, household debt may be reaching untenable levels, but there are ways and means to better manage domestic finances.

Here are 10 money saving tips that’ll help you get through the year.

1. Create a budget

Before you try and cut back on your monthly expenses, it’s essential to pinpoint exactly what you’re spending your money on.

The best way to do this is to record all your expenses and compare the total against that of your income. Once you’ve arrived at a figure, you can then formulate a proper savings plan or decide how, and where, to cut costs.

Tip: For the best results, we recommend you download a personal budget template. Alternatively, you can install the 22seven budget and investment app on your smartphone. It’s free, and compatible with iOS and Android devices.

2. Prioritise savings

Aim to save at least 10 percent of your gross income. The most efficient way to accumulate funds is to open a savings or money market account, and set up a monthly debit order that automatically transfers a set amount of cash into your savings.

Tip: Make sure you activate the transfer the day after your salary is paid into your current account. That way, your savings will always take priority over everything else.

3. Pay cash wherever possible

Avoid using your credit card unless it’s absolutely necessary. Try and pay cash for the smaller items in your budget. Although most banks do offer incentives for using a credit card, they are usually meagre rewards.

Tip: If you don’t pay what you owe on your credit card in full each month, you are not only charged interest of up to 32 percent on the outstanding amount each month; you are liable for a late payment fee.

4. Price check medical aid and insurance contributions

Price checking your medical aid contributions and car and householder’s insurance premiums, at least once a year, can mean the difference between a budget surplus and a budget deficit.

Once you have a clear idea of what other companies are charging, you can switch to a cheaper service provider, or downgrade to a more affordable level of cover.

Tip: You can find reputable medical aid funds and short-term insurers in Botswana on the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) website.

5. Shop around for specials

A competitive market means competitive pricing. These days, virtually every retailer in Botswana offers regular specials on essential items like groceries. There are also attractive deals on car tyres, hardware items, appliances and furniture.

The trick is not to get carried away. There’s no point in maxing out your credit card, or borrowing money from the bank, just to save a few pula here and there. The interest you’ll have to pay will far outweigh any savings.

Tip: PriceMate publishes special deal catalogues from a wide variety of retail stores in Botswana. You can also find current grocery specials at select Spar, Choppies and Shoprite stores online.

6. Save water and electricity

One way to save money is to use water and electricity sparingly. By switching off the lights when you leave a room, showering rather than bathing, and washing clothes in cold water on the short wash cycle, you’ll be amazed out how much lower your monthly utility bills will be.

Tip: By installing a water saving shower head, you can save up to 35 litres of water per shower.

7. Don’t react to market turbulence

If you’ve invested money in shares or units trusts, don’t chase the market. This type of investment only realises proper growth over the long-term. A general rule is to stick to your existing investment strategy for at least five years.

Tip: If you’re a first-time investor, we suggest you get a feel of how things work by investing in Botswana Stock Exchange before taking you money offshore. Stockbroker fees are more affordable, and shares and units traded on the BSE are exempt from disposal gains tax.

8. Give up bad habits

Smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is bad for you. They are also expensive habits to sustain on a tight budget. By giving up smoking, you can save around P40 a day… that’s P1 200 a month. Say no to a bottle of wine, or a few beers a day, and your budget will be in the black by up to P400 a month!

Tip: If you tally the amount of money you would have spent on cigarettes and liquor over a 12-month period, you’d have around P40 000 extra jangling around in your pocket.

9. Pay the surplus into the home loan

If you do have money left over at the end of the month, pay it into your home loan account. The faster you pay off the loan, the less interest you’ll be charged.

Tip: As interest rates on home loans in Botswana range from 9 to 10.5 percent, and interest paid on fixed deposits and other forms of savings is only around 0.20 to 2.66 percent, it makes perfect sense to clear your bond, rather than saving the money instead.

10. Cut back on meat consumption

You can halve your weekly grocery bill by electing to have one or two meat-free days a week. By avoiding red meat, in particular, you’ll not only save money but benefit from a healthier lifestyle too.

Tip: There’s an endless array of tasty vegetarian recipes available online, many of which are designed with a limited budget in mind.

Budget blues? Get an asset-based loan from lamna Botswana

Even if you do stick to your budget, there are always funding emergencies you simply cannot afford to cover. When that happens, you can leverage the intrinsic value of your tangible assets to secure a short-term cash loan.

At lamna Botswana, we offer fast, discreet loans against the value of a wide range of assets, from luxury watches and jewellery to vehicles or valuable works of art. For more information about using an asset to secure a short-term loan, contact us on 71 388 088 or simply complete and submit our online application form.


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