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Eskom may need your cash, but SO DO YOU!

The secret is to buy as much of your monthly electricity as you can at the lowest possible rate. Remember: The more you buy, the more expensive it is.

On the first of the month., spend precisely R647 on electricity. If you spend any more, that will be charged at a much higher rate. It is a good idea to do this in two purchases, one for R500 [which you immediately feed into your meter] and one for R147, the slip of which you tape next to your meter. Thus, when you run out, you will have an instant supply, as well as a very good handle on how much electricity you are using. It’s not a bad idea to record the units on the meter before and after punching in your purchases. You will be inspired to save electricity when it’s written down in black and white.

You should be able to work out an average of what you use in a day if you consult your records and do a bit of elementary maths. If your R647’s worth runs out before the end of the month, buy only as much as you need for the remaining days of the month. Top-ups will be expensive so never buy more than you need. Wait for the first of the next month for your next big purchase when once again the magic figure of R647 comes into play.

[Extra tip: You can buy electricity from the FNB banking website, if you're a customer. I don't know about other banks, other than that ABSA has no such facility. — Ed.]