3 Saving strategies budget-savvy consumers employ in times of recession

If you have been following the news closely, you’ll realise that the South African economy is taking a bit hit in the wake of the contentious cabinet reshuffle in the first quarter of the year. As expected, this political move caused two of the three major credit ratings agencies to downgrade South Africa to sub-investment status, or so-called junk status.

date: 03/07/2017Author:

But what does this mean for the average South African that may not have a large investment portfolio, but would simply like to keep the boat afloat as the economy adjusts to this major readjustment? In simple terms – things are going to get more expensive, your salary will not increase in line with inflation and job security is less stable than ever.

This is not a pretty picture. To safeguard yourself against financial pressure further down the line as inflation becomes a reality and interest rates, as well as the price of most consumer goods, start to soar, you need to start being smart with your money straight away. Here are three unexpectedly simple saving strategies that budget-savvy consumers employ when the pressure is on:

Make things fun at home

One of the easiest ways to save money is to entertain yourself at home. Instead of going out to dinner, seeing a movie, or getting in the car to take a drive to an entertainment venue over the weekend, get creative at home. Have a bring-and-braai and invite some friends over, or do something fun and active that doesn’t cost money – like taking a hike in a forest or park near your home. You could also take up a hobby like gardening – it’s fun, easy to do and saves you money once the crops come in. Give each kid their own little pot or planter and see how much they enjoy nurturing their crop.

Be adaptable

Charles Darwin famously said, "It is not the strongest of the species that survives nor the most intelligent; it's the one that is most adaptable to change." This is very important to remember when times get tough. Instead of kicking against the current, re-evaluate your situation and be flexible when it comes to your expenses. If the DStv and cleaning service has to go to keep the boat afloat, it has to go. If you need to cut back on meat and have a few vegetarian meals a week to make ends meet, be willing to do so.


Bartering and trade exchanges are becoming more commonplace as people realise that they can benefit from each other’s skills without exchanging money. Speak to your friends and neighbours about starting a produce exchange, where each family grows a particular crop to share with the group. Alternatively, you could barter your DIY skills with your friend who knows how to change the oil and water on your car; or pickle your niece’s beetroot in return for her sewing skills. Be creative!

Keep your eye on the Libertine Consultants blog in coming weeks and months for more helpful advice on managing your finances effectively and staying debt-free in the face of the looming economic recession.

Remember, everything is more manageable when you have control of your finances. Do you need professional guidance to negotiate with your creditors and be thriftier with your spending habits? Get in touch with a Libertine Consultants representative today – we’ll help you to clear the slate so you can enjoy a more prosperous tomorrow.

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