How To Save Money – And Why It Matters For Your Health

by | Jan 31, 2023 | Career & Money

Money, money, money. We hate talking about it (ever seen a room silenced because someone asked about another person’s salary?) and dealing with it (considered pooling your pension pots? Thought not) even more. 

But, aside from securing our futures, getting a handle on your rands and cents also puts you in a calmer, more soothed mental space.

From how to save money to the apps that’ll make it easier, here’s your financial well-being crib sheet.

What’s our current situation?

Given that your introduction to numbers was wildly theoretical – assessing the sides of triangles, discovering that Y equals Pi – you are forgiven for filing ‘finances’ under the ‘I really can’t deal’ folder of adulting.

But the impact of a strained cash flow – including not being sure how to save money – on your mind is not great. And it really is harder than ever to make your paycheck stretch due to inflation and the cost of living. 

READ MORE: This 4-Step Personal Finance Cheatsheet Is So Simple Anyone Can Use It

According to a 2021 Consumer Pulse Report by TransUnion, 87% of South African consumers financially impacted by the pandemic were still concerned about their ability to pay their bills and loans.

And November 2022 research conducted by TransUnion revealed that two in three South African consumers (67%) had cut their discretionary spending in the past three months. But even with these cutbacks, they were still facing financial difficulty with 38% unable to pay any of their bills and loans in full.

How to save money – and why it matters for your health 

Don’t believe us? The debt charity StepChange has revealed that over 70% of its clients reported having low energy and insomnia. It’s no surprise that those in debt lose sleep over their finances. But many cite physical symptoms, too – 65% reported headaches and 42% described feeling aches and pains.

A 2017 review into the impact of stress confirmed that it hurts. In fact, scientists highlighted the havoc it can play on the immune, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.

And what about if it’s not so high stake: more ‘I’m not sure where my salary goes, uh oh’, less ‘my house has been re-possessed?’ Yep, it still matters.

‘Procrastinating over something that needs your full attention leads to stress, which can manifest in the form of chronic headaches, weight gain and acne,’ says Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos, consumer psychologist at UCL. 

Hoping we now have you sold on the importance of getting rand signs in your eyes, here’s how to crack on with saving some of your dollars every month.

READ MORE: Money & Friends: 6 Awkward Situations And How To Handle Them

How to save money every month: expert advice

Save at the start of the month

Once you’ve worked out what you can afford to put aside, set up a standing order to move that amount into a savings account as soon as you’ve been paid. 

‘If you keep it sloshing around in your current account, you’ll just be tempted to spend it,’ says Clare Francis, director of savings and investments at Barclays.

Sub out your subscriptions 

Meal kits? ClassPass? Online HIIT tutorials you’ve never done but still shell out R200 a month for? ‘If you’re not using it, cancel it,’ urges chartered psychologist Fiona Murden

‘If subscriptions make you feel like part of a community, could you fill that gap for free somewhere online? Or can you get the same feeling from meeting with friends?’

Use multiple accounts to split your money out 

The more money sitting in an account, the more likely you are to dip in with wild abandon. It’s better to distribute your salary across lots of different pots.

Use weekly direct debits to scoop small sums into other accounts, like a joint account or a holiday fund. Without one big chunk available, you won’t blow it all two weeks after payday.

Try a 5:2 cleanse 

For two days a week, practise the discipline of sticking to only two expenses – transport and food. There’s something smug – and savings-enhancing – about a zero-extra-spend day. If restraint doesn’t come easily (or at all), leave your card at home and use cash for essentials.

READ MORE: Struggling To Talk To Your Partner About Money? Try This Money Coach’s Helpful Hack

Got that sorted? Next, Download these apps, to make financial literacy that much easier.

How to save money from your salary: apps to download, now 


Developed by Old Mutual, 22seven helps you keep track of your money simply and discover insights about your spending with their hints and observations. Plus, you can automatically get a personalised budget and the app helps you invest in your goals so you can reach them sooner. Did someone say drinks on you? Well, only if it’s in your budget.


It tracks shared expenses between groups of friends, housemates and even couples, tallies who’s paid what, then sends reminders at the end of the month for everyone to settle their dues. The pass-agg Post-it note IOU is no more.


Like Siri for your money, Cleo is an AI Facebook Messenger bot that’ll answer any question about your finances, such as ‘how much have I spent eating out this month?’ and will instantly display all your account balances on request. It gathers data via read-only technology, making it secure.


Taking old-school budgeting into the 21st century, this virtual budget program uses the time-tested envelope method. Your income gets divided into different envelopes (aka categories) with a total allocated amount. You then use money from your specific envelopes and when you’re running low, well, you stop spending.

*This article was originally published by Women’s Health UK


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