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Beyond Lockdown, level 4. Can we survive?

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Lockdown, empty streets
The streets remain quiet

Lockdown continues

As we head into the 6thweek of lockdown and move to level 4 it is time to think about what follows. https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/see-these-are-the-permissions-and-restrictions-for-level-4-lockdown-20200425

While we don’t know when lockdown will be lifted, life will definitely not be the same for a while.

What happens after lockdown?  It is an unknown chapter in our lives but the one thing I am certain of is that people will need to budget even more carefully than before the Pandemic.

It is, therefore, even more important now to meal plan for your budget than it is to know what to make for dinner. https://kasheringyourlife.co.za/6-key-tactics-for-successful-budgeting/

While it is unlikely that we will have a shortage of food, there is a strong likelihood that a lot of people are going to have a shortage of money.

The first step to getting started is to know exactly what your income and expenditure is.

Then using the 50, 30, 20 rule, roughly draw up a budget. This budget will change at least a few times before you settle on one that is going to suit you.

This is because, as you work through the budget, you will find categories you forgot about. Don’t be discouraged.

It is now time to download all the coupon apps available for shopping. The first one you want to download is SNAPnSAVE. This app is going to earn you some cash to use later in the year. https://kasheringyourlife.co.za/how-to-coupon-in-south-africa/

PicknPay Smart Shopper has the baby club and pet clubs which earn you extra points as well as discounts on items that you usually buy. These discounts and points earned apply online or in store.

Checkers Xtra Savings are going to give you discounts of up to 20% when you purchase items that are listed,  as well as getting to know your spending habits, which will then allow them to offer tailored discounts to you.

WUHU deals are the Unilever products app and will have discounts on items ranging from toiletries to foods. You are able to use these coupons at PicknPay, Dischem, Spar, Checkers or Shoprite. I have to be honest though, I have only used the discounts when buying at PicknPay or Dischem as the other stores either don’t have the correct item in stock or don’t have coupons available.

Bargain Buys is a website I found but haven’t used yet, it has discounts of up to 60% on everything from catering to holidays to photography and anything in between.

The Entertainer is another app that is great, you can choose from restaurants to family outings and more. Just present your app when they bring the bill and you will get the discount you booked.

At the beginning of lockdown Edcon CEO Grant Pattison announced that the iconic South African group may not re open after lockdown. Thankfully the Edgars label has been bought by Absa, CNA has been bought by Astoria investments and Edgars active has been bought by Footgear.

If a company that has been running since 1982 cannot survive lockdown, their estimated loss for the first 21 days was R800 million rand, HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET THROUGH IT??

While nothing has been finalized there is some relief in sight. For those who owe money on credit cards and store cards, you need to get a letter from your employer stating that due to the lockdown they are unable to pay your salary. This letter can then be used to access an insurance aspect that a lot of companies may be regretting. The ‘credit life policy’ that most insist you take out when you open an account. This policy is there to pay your balance in the event of loss of income. Check with your bank and any company that you have a store card at.https://kasheringyourlife.co.za/debt-counselling/

I know that many are struggling and the temptation to use our credit cards and store cards to survive is immense, creating new debt is probably the worst thing you can do. Eventually you will have to pay it back.

Learning to live on a lot less now may make the difference in the future.

I am an admittedly bad gardener! The only thing I grow successfully is tomatoes and I think that is because tomatoes grow by themselves! Learning to grow your own vegetables is a great way to reduce your food bill. Home grown and seasonal vegetables have a flavor that is far superior to bought produce.

With meal planning, you can find new and different ways to stretch that food budget. Try using new ingredients; learn to make soups and stews with vegetable that are starting to wilt.https://kasheringyourlife.co.za/3-meals-a-day/

Turn leftovers into new and unusual creations. This is a challenge often presented in one of my favourite cooking shows, ‘Chopped’.

Keeping healthy is very important as doctors’ bills and medical bills add up quickly. Even after lockdown is over, hand washing should be maintained. When should you wash your hands?  Before, during and after preparing food, after touching your hair or face, after shopping, after driving, after touching animals, after the bathroom. You do not need expensive products when maintaining hygiene, any antibacterial soap with water will do.

To reiterate here are the 10 steps I feel we should all be looking at during this lockdown for now and in the future are:

  1. Budgeting
  2. Meal planning
  3. Using loyalty programs
  4. Using coupon apps
  5. Online shopping when possible
  6. Looking into credit relief
  7. Avoiding creating new credit to survive
  8. Growing your own produce
  9. Learning new ways to feed your family
  10. Keeping healthy

Sadly the world is going to take a long time to recover from this pandemic both in terms of health and financially.

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