I recently booked an overseas trip for the end of the year. The flights cost a lot more than I thought they would and I’m worried I won’t have enough spending money for the whole 5 weeks (1 week in Hong Kong and 4 weeks in Australia). So it was very opportune when 22Seven challenged me to try and save extra money over a month with a bunch of challenges. I had to select seven challenges and do them for a month and share the results.
I had a look through the challenges and selected these 7:
1. Put the ‘sure’ into insurance
This task involves getting some competitive insurance quotes to see if there are cheaper options. I was quite keen to do this anyway as my premiums have increased for 2 years now, while the value of my car has dropped. But it’s important to compare apples with apples. Is the excess amount the same? Is car hire included, etc.
For this task I must look at my airtime and data usage and compare what it would cost if I switched to a contract (I’m on prepaid now). It will be easy to calculate my usage as on Cell C it’s 99c per minute. I’m curious to see the results of this because I switched to prepaid at the beginning of last year as it was much cheaper, but that doesn’t mean it’s still cheaper. The trick here is factoring in the cost of the cellphone.
3. Spring clean
The idea here is to try and sell items that I don’t need anymore for a little cash injection. I sold a bunch of stuff when I moved home a year ago, so I wasn’t sure if I had anything to sell. But when I gave it some thought, there are some items I’ve upgraded or replaced like my computer screen and camera, and I still have the originals which are in good condition. The question is, should I sell them on Gumtree or should I just take them to Cash Crusaders/Converters. I’ll get more on Gumtree but it’s such a hassle.
4. No spend Sunday
The idea is not to spend any money on a Sunday. But I generally don’t spend much on Sundays so I might make it a no spend weekend. That would basically mean staying at home a lot of the weekend which might not be a bad thing! This is a different strategy to task number 6 which is about capping spend instead of avoiding. Abstention vs moderation!
5. Coin jar
For this task I have to put all the change I have into a jar for the month and see what it adds up to. Car guards are going to be disappointed because I generally give my coins to them! But at least I’ll have a good parking money stash by the end of the month. This one will be interesting because this is one bit of information 22Seven can’t provide.
6. Cash it to cap it
This involves putting a cap on expenditure for an evening out and only taking that amount out, in cash, no cards to fall back on. I think it will be revealing when I look at 22Seven and see how much I actually spend on average when I go out. It’s probably a lot more than I think it is. This craft beer revolution is killing me! Paying R40 and up for a beer is not cool.
7. Go carless
This is probably the most challenging money saving exercise. It will require me to use alternative transport to my car and compare the costs to the costs of running my car for the month. So I can use buses, taxis and Uber. And I can walk, I guess. The question is, what value do you put on convenience? I’ve been wanting to do this exercise for a while (the calculation, not the walking) but it’s only know that I have 22Seven it is easy to see my total car expenses.
So that’s the 7 challenges. Wish me luck and follow the #GYST hashtag on social media for updates. I’ll report back at the end of the month with the results.
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