When is the best time to buy prepaid electricity?

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Have you been buying your electricity at month-end or throughout the month? You’ve likely been overspending. Here’s how Eskom’s Incline Block Tariff system works and why you should consider buying your electricity units at the beginning of the month, plus general electricity-saving tips.

How does Eskom’s Incline Block Tariff system work?

The Incline Block Tariff system was designed to encourage low consumption and to make electricity affordable.

Prepaid electricity units in South Africa can be worth R1.40 per kWh and can cost as much as R2.69 per unit close to the end of the month. This is because the price of electricity units in South Africa is split into tiered blocks. For example, this means:

  • Everyone starts in block 1 at the beginning of the month, when units are most affordable. The price per unit for block 1 is R1.26 for the first 50 units.
  • Once you’ve purchased the maximum number of units for block 1, you’ll move to block 2 where you’ll be charged R1.62 per unit, capping at 350 units. Thereafter, you’ll move into block 3 and then 4, depending on how many units you reach.
  • Each household is, therefore, billed differently based on the number of units they buy and how far up the tier of blocks the amount goes. The more power you use every month, the more you will pay.

The good news is that even if you reach block 2, your purchase history resets in the new month and you’ll move back to block 1. You can find your area’s tariff block here.

How to get the most out of your units

According to energy expert Ted Blom, the average South African family – with two adults and three children – spends approximately 1,000kwh per month (1,000 units). The price of the number of units you use will vary depending on the block tariffs.

Due to this, it’s best to buy the electricity that you need once per month and in block 1, before you reach 350kWh if possible, otherwise you’ll be charged at a higher rate. Monitor how many units you use per month by keeping a log to get a clearer idea of your household’s usage, and then calculate how much you’ll need to spend based on that.

Electricity-saving tips

The less power you use, the fewer units you’ll need and the less money you’ll have to spend. Here are some tips to make your units and go further every month:

  • Try to do all your washing in bigger, fewer loads rather than many small loads.
  • Use LED light bulbs as they use 90% less electricity and last up to 20 years.
  • Don’t set your fridge to an unnecessarily cold temperature. Set your refrigerator between 2°C and 5°C and your freezer between -20°C and -22°C.
  • Cover your geyser with an insulation blanket.
  • Consider investing in a solar geyser system or panels.
  • Only use the heater in one room and for a specific amount of time.
  • Switch off all unused appliances at the wall.
  • Limit the number of baths you take and how full you fill the tub, or take shorter showers instead.

For more advice related to saving, read this helpful article:

The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a professional. E&OE.


Financial accountability is the key to financial success

Read time: ±1:50 min.

Accountability is important for achieving success in every aspect of life, but when it comes to financial success, it is crucial. Here’s a look at why that is and how you can unlock financial success through accountability.

Accountability is recognising and accepting that you are responsible for the choices and actions that contribute towards your success. People who take responsibility speak up, find solutions and answers, and take decisive action.

What is financial accountability?

When it comes to your finances, do you hold yourself accountable? It is easy to blame others for a lack of financial success!

Are you juggling accounts and missing payments? Are you saving for emergencies and for your future? Have you got the right insurance in place? Perhaps you blame your company for not paying you more, or your family commitments for not allowing you to save?

Financial accountability means you accept responsibility for what you choose to do with your money and for the financial actions you have not taken.

Try this accountability challenge:

It is vital to take stock of your financial responsibilities to improve your financial life. Here are four ways to get started:

Review your expenses: draw up a budget so you know exactly where your hard-earned money goes, then eliminate unnecessary expenses.

Take responsibility for your debt: check your credit report and take responsibility for maintaining a good credit history. Make a list of the outstanding amounts and the interest payable and take action to reduce this debt.

Prepare for unforeseen events: take responsibility for possible unexpected events by having an emergency fund and the right insurance, such as short-term, life, medical, disability and income protection.

Take charge of your future: make provision for your retirement and start saving for your future goals, whether it’s buying your own home or car, travelling or starting a business.

Only you can take responsibility for your financial success, but your financial coach is available to guide and assist you with every step! Contact your financial coach for guidance to achieve your financial goals. It is free and available for you to use.

For more financial advice, read these helpful articles:

The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a finance professional. E&OE.

7 fuel-savings tips you should know

Reading time: ±2 min.

The nationwide lockdown, implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has decreased the kilometres we travel every month. However, fuel prices are not likely to drop drastically in 2021. In fact, the price of petrol has increased steadily since the budget speech in February. Learn how petrol hikes impact your pocket and use our tips to make your money and kilometres go further.

According to the Automobile Association, the current petrol hikes in South Africa can be attributed to an increased optimism surrounding economic recovery as the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines becomes more of a reality. The following also plays a role:

  • The increase in the demand for oil
  • Socio-economic tensions in the Middle East
  • The increase in the fuel levy in South Africa

What is the impact of fuel hikes in SA?

When the price of petrol increases, it affects more than just the amount of fuel you can get per rand. Some ways in which you may be impacted by petrol hikes could include:

Rise in public transport costs
When the price of petrol increases, South Africa’s public transport industry suffers. Not only do the drivers feel the pinch, passengers are also impacted by increased fares for both local and long-distance travel.

Mark-up on grocery prices
The higher the cost of fuel, the pricier it becomes to move produce and other items around the country. As a result, this makes the average monthly groceries for households more expensive.

Small businesses suffer
A bigger budget for petrol and other necessities means a smaller budget for luxuries. This impacts the income of smaller businesses, not only because people are making fewer purchases, but because the cost of supplies increases, too.

How can you save on petrol?

Although fuel hikes and the pinch they bring are inevitable, there are ways to cut down on your petrol usage:

Be prepared
Lastly, always be aware of petrol price hikes so you can budget efficiently. Be sure to make changes to your entire budget and not just your fuel allocation – be mindful of how you spend money and where you can cut back.

For more financial advice, read these helpful articles:

For confidential assistance, contact Life EHS; SMS your name to 31581 and the Care Centre will call you back.

The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a professional. E&OE.


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