But Sandisiwe Msomi, a 21-year-old Vega student from Durban, defied the norm. By saving R5 coins in a 10 litre water bottle, she managed to save a whopping R23 400 by the end of last year.

This is her story:

I started saving money mid-January last year. The idea came about after seeing my dad do this for so many years. There’s no specific reason why I chose to use coins, it’s just because I’ve seen my dad do it and I thought it was a really cool thing so I followed his example.

Initially, and throughout, I didn’t have a specific amount I wanted to save per month because I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself since I’m still a student. So, I’d try to at least put R75 a day in the bottle if I could.

I also had this method where I wouldn’t touch R20 notes. Throughout the year I’d tell myself that if I had a R20 note, I’d know I have to change it into R5 coins. Whenever I had to change the notes I’d visit my nearest supermarket and ask them to change it into coins for me.

What also helped is that whenever I was given money to purchase something and got a good deal for that item, I’d save the remaining change. For example, I was given R400 to buy jeans and when I went to H&M I got a really good deal on the jeans and got a better price than what I expected.

I kept the change and went to exchange it for R5 coins. Sometimes as a student it’s very easy to spend money on things you don’t need at all so I told myself that whenever I had money that I knew I’d spend on something pointless like takeaways or specials at Lovisa, I’d take that money and change it into R5 coins and increase my savings.

On 2 June, which is my birthday, I received about R5 000 as a gift so I took a big portion of that money and saved it. I took about R1 500 and exchanged it for coins and put it into the bottle.

It requires a lot of discipline and the goal was to pay for my studies because I moved from UKZN to Vega and the fees at Vega are quite steep, so I just wanted to do something for my parents even if it’s just paying for my textbooks and things like that.

I resisted the temptation to spend the money by putting it away with my shoe boxes. I firmly believe that out of sight is out of mind, so I didn’t want to walk into the room and see the money. This year I plan on going even bigger.”

Sandisiwe shared her achievement on Twitter, inspiring many others to do the same this year.

“The amount of messages I’ve received on IG cause of the money ‘coin saving’ plan. I’m also not sure how I did it, but this money will help me with varsity fees (registration and textbooks)! it’s a ten litre bottle, and the total amount made me cry. I DID THAT,” she proudly wrote.