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HOW pensioners can stretch their 2024 SASSA old-age grants

2024 SASSA old-age grants for the month of July are disbursed tomorrow – Tuesday 2 July 2024. While this is slightly earlier than usual by the South African Social Security Agency, it doesn’t take the sting out of the ever-increasing price of household items due to inflationary pressure.  

2024 SASSA OLD-AGE GRANTS

2024 SASSA old-age grants are worth less and less as inflationary pressure makes itself felt on citizen. Image: File

More and more we’re hearing about pensioners having to come up with innovative ways to stretch every Rand of their 2024 SASSA old-age grants. To cover essentials such as food and electricity, quite often home maintenance, rates and taxes, or even their own person healthcare needs to be sacrificed. Therefore, here are some expert practical tips on how elderly South Africans can stretch their 2024 SASSA old-age grants …

1. BUDGET WISELY

Of course, it’s hard to make just R2 180 (if 60-years old) and R2 200 (if 75-years and older) stretch for 30 days. Nevertheless, one of the best ways to try is by creating a detailed budget. Start by listing all your monthly expenses. Include rent/bond repayments, utilities, groceries, medication, and transportation. Then differentiate between essential and non-essential expenses and prioritise the best use of your 2024 SASSA old-age grants.

2. MEAL PLANNING AND SMART SHOPPING

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) card will unlock savings and benefits at certain stores. Image: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA

Sadly, food costs in South Africa are out of control. Researchers from the University of Cape Town have identified that old-age pensioners use the highest portion of their grants on food. Most often feeding the multiple generations living under their roof. Therefore, try to stretch your food budget by planning meals in advance. Making a cost-effective shopping list and stick to it. Buy in bulk, search for cheaper alternatives of staples that may only be on sale at certain supermarkets. Shop wisely and you won’t have to skimp on nutrition.

3. DISCOUNTS AND BENEFITS

Many supermarkets, banks and large government institutions offer discounts for pensioners. These may only be on specific days but find out nonetheless to take advantage of them. Additionally, anyone who can prove they receive 2024 SASSA old-age grants may be eligible for additional benefits through government organisations.

Why not consider a stokvel community-based saving scheme to set aside any additional funds? Image: File

Engage with local community organisations. Find out about local stokvels (community-based savings programmes). The support of a community group can provide access to additional resources such as food banks, meal schemes, and even just the companionship and emotional support of those living in your neighbourhood.

5. INDIGENT BENEFITS

Local municipalities often have reduced rates and rebates on electricity, refuse collection and water for 2024 SASSA old-age grants recipients. Nevertheless, simple measures like switching off lights and the geyser when not in use will help save you money. Try to purchase energy-efficient appliances, too, and fix any leaks and maintenance issues promptly to avoid more expensive bills later on.

6. ADDITIONAL INCOME

In today’s economic climate, many old-age pensioners are having to work well beyond retirement age. Image: File

While difficult to do if you wish to maintain your means-tested 2024 SASSA old-age grants, you can explore part-time, informal work opportunities. A reminder that whatever you do to earn additional income, you must not exceed the following amounts or the agency can rescind your government pension when reviewed:

  • If single, your statements must show you do not earn more than R8 070 per month (R96 840 per year).
  • If married, the total income you show to SASSA cannot exceed R16 140 per month (R193 680 per year).
  • Your asset declaration limit is R1 372 800 if single.
  • No more than R2 745 600 if married.

Nevertheless, with some astute management, your hobbies or skills learned in your working years can help you generate income to supplement 2024 SASSA old-age grants.

7. AVOID PREDATORY FINANCIAL SERVICES

Unfortunately, there are lowlifes who will prey on pensioners who’s only income is 2024 SASSA old-age grants. Therefore, be cautious of high-interest loans or credit schemes that can lead to debt traps. Seek financial advice from reputable sources before committing to any financial products. A good rule of thumb is if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  

8. SAVE FOR MEDICAL EMERGENCIES

As hard as it may be, on the miserly 2024 SASSA old-age grants, you should try and set aside a small amount each month for medical emergencies. This sort of resourcefulness can significantly improve your quality of life and reduce financial hardships in the medium to long term if anything goes wrong.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Why not share your advice with our audience? Image: File

As an old-age pensioner, do you have any tips for other older persons on how to maximise 2024 SASSA old-age grants? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates.  

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