Today we  tackle cost cutting measures or cost containment measures by families. Our intention was to dive straight into cost cutting by business but decided to start with  families first and business last. They say good things start at home, in business we can trace a lot of qualities about a business person right from his or her doorstep! We cannot expect one to manage business finances well when they struggle with own home  finances. This is why we have decided to start at family level before moving to business level. So how do you ensure your costs remain low in an ever changing environment of price increases? How do you survive in a challenging economy where prices keep rising but income remaining constant?

One of the toughest things on earth is to adjust to a low income life when you would have been used to good life. To start drinking scuds when you have been used to drinking my favourite Castle Lite or Amstel. The other time i attended a Prize Giving Day at Tynwald Primary School where the Headmaster Mr Mujeri was telling parents of the difficult period parents face when they have to transfer kids from private schools to government schools-it can be real torture!

We  recently witnessed the increase in the price of beef and a few other goods due to the increase in Value Added Tax. Fortunately the increase was reversed although the order to reverse the price increases is still to be witnessed by consumers-Economists say ‘Prices are Sticky Downward’ and may help explain why prices have not gone down. The only price to go down seems to be the internet charges from Telone, Thank you Mrs Chipo Mutasa and Telone!

Anyway so how do we manage to stay within our means? There is no clear formula for this but we will try our best in helping our members and followers.  We believe that the key to survival is in how you manage costs. You can also add how to increase your income during your spare time. We are currently witnessing various strategies  by our members  such as buying groceries in bulk, transport pools,growing own food and  buying second hand clothes.  We will cover supplementary income ideas in future but for now lets look closely at cost containment measures.

Ideally one should not just begin by drafting cost cutting measures. You need to have a look at the big picture, why should you cut costs? Where is the economy going? Any lessons from the past? What is the make up of your monthly budget? What are the major cost drivers of your family budget?How are other families copying? Who is involved in cost cutting, should it be parents or the bread winner only leading the cost containment exercise?

There are a lot of questions involved in belt tightening measures. It is not an easy process to see your income going down but costs remaining the same or even increasing. So we have started with the family first and next time we will cover in detail cost cutting measures at your business. Your homework is to google search a business process called Value Analysis.

Lets hear  what our members have to say about managing costs at family level:

Yvonne Wadzanai Matyatya boiling beans dzakawanda then toisa mumapackets mufridge(saves electricity)

Missy Ree Ree Nyatananga We cld start nekudzinyika mumvura overnight dzokasika kuibva (more saving)

Micheal Tafadzwa Mapfumo Using public transport for going to wrk instead of using own car everyday. Convertung airtime into bundles,buying maize and make it done at a local mill,adopt a health diet calender which doesn’t include meat everyday.

Chloe Razemba Forming transport clubs that car pool together so you give each other a ride to and from work/town/church. You save on fuel and tollgate fees. Also car pooling for school run. Also using delivery services like District Services to get groceries bought and delivered home to you. Way cheaper than driving

Mai Anashe Tagwirei Family planning methods eg depo provera, loop, jadell

Taonga Taonga Family planning yes, but have you done an independent research on the negative effects of all these products

Prince Jay Ngwadzayi Work up early and use public transport to work.

Howard Takura Tsvangirayi there is a paraffin heaters I saw them mostly in S.A. heat the home in winter whilst you are cooking. they are not smelly at all or use marasha

Mabhiya Oxman use gas for cooking, its cheaper and no electricity cuts. use solar to power your entertainment, solar geyser and fridges, its very cheap in the long run. you can cut your electricity bill to zero. if you have space at your place, grow your own vegetables and save those coins for other pressing issues. if you use better roads to work, its time to downgrade from that 3l engine to a 1l engine, you may cut your fuel cost by half. also if you happen to have many girlfriends madhara, reduce to one girlfriend your wife, the savings will surprise you kkkk

Chloe Razemba Oh and I forgot we only iron clothes as they are worn in my household. You waste electricity ironing them after washing and then packing them, then ironing again before wearing. Once is enough. Also don’t carry cash whenever you leave the house, sesu madzimai hushayi chekutengera vana kumba. If you don’t need the cash, leave it at home.

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