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10 tips to improve your finances during quarantine time

Many of us have extra time on our hands now that we are spending less time out and about as we do our bit to halt the spread of the corona virus. 

Here are a few ideas of ways to make the most of this time and maybe save/make/discover a little money into the bargain.

1. Do a deep dive into your bank statements for the past 12 months. Where has your money been going? An exercise like this might show that it is time to set up a proper budget, or refresh your old one. Making resolutions to not spend so much money at, say, restaurants will be a little easier to do now than it usually is. Use the extra time to learn more about finances. Here’s an article with a lot of useful resources: https://www.10x.co.za/blog/how-to-become-your-own-financial-expert

2. Have an honest conversation with your partner about money. Having some time to talk things over can help you understand each others’ point of view better, and possibly even clear up some misunderstandings. What about your children? Have a chat with them. Maybe start with a list of the things you wish your parents had told you.

3. Clear out your fridge and pantry. What foods do you keep buying and never eat? Are you still shopping for a family of six even though the children have moved out?

4. Learn to cook something that you usually order at restaurants. Or try putting a list of a few ingredients you have in your freezer or pantry into Google and be amazed by the recipes it suggests.

5. Do you have clothes and shoes you don’t wear, or things you don’t use? Advertise them for sale on Gumtree, or donate them to a good cause. What about linen that you haven’t used for years, shelters for the homeless are always happy to receive towels and blankets that are in decent shape.

6. Have a look at any loyalty schemes you are a member of, through banks, medical schemes, grocers, airlines and so on. You may have a few hundred rand, or more, available to blow. You may have been collecting points, which usually equal rand, in the background for years. Spend them or give them away since most of them will just disappear into the ether if you don’t use them. Often there is an option to give them to a charity of your choice.

7. Have a good look at what you are paying for short-term insurance. Get new quotes on household and car policies. You might find that your car is no longer worth what you are insuring it for. What about that old camera, or your outdated laptop?

8. Create a retirement plan, or update your current plan https://www.10x.co.za/calculators.

9. Get a head start on your taxes for the year to end of February 2020. Have a think about how to get more out of incentives available to you this year. Everything you want to know about your retirement annuity and tax https://www.10x.co.za/retirement-annuity-and-tax

10. Enforced isolation may make you realise that a lot of what you pay good money for comes free on the internet, everything from magazines to yoga classes. You have the time now to try some of them out.

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