Dire economic times requires sustainable budget plans and
with South Africa’s slow
economic growth, rising debt and high interest rates there’s no better time
to tighten your monetary belt than now. Finance Minister - Pravin Gordan said:
‘We cannot spend money we do not have and we cannot borrow beyond our ability
to repay.’ With the festive season approaching everyone will want to spent a
little extra but before you do, here are a few pointers you need to keep in
Decide upfront how much you have to spend
Once you have decided how much you really have to spend, stick to it. Take
miscellaneous costs into account. There are different ways to draw up a budget,
you can decide on a general spending limit or allocate a specific amount to
each product or service. Just remember to keep it within the set budget and
never to deviate.
Beware of sales
Be a responsible consumer, always compare prices before you make a purchase
during a sale. You can use apps like PriceCheck to see which store
offers the best deal, some may be genuinely discounted but most of them may
have hidden costs. Stay away from the ‘buy now and pay later deals’ as not all
deals are created to save you money. If you can pay for it in cash, pay for it.
Avoid high interests that comes with monthly instalments.
Always remember to spend wisely and that there’s a new year ahead, and to some
degree it’s the thought that counts. Not only is this economical but it carries
a lot of value. You don’t always have to go to the shops and buy something
pricey as a gift, people appreciate you offering your time. Some good ideas
include, baking cookies, help a friend who’s got a lot on their plate, cook for
the entire family or even offer to take your friends kids on a play date.
Pay off debt
You can use part of your bonus to pay
for annual expenses like school fees, this will help reduce expenses in the new
year and free up some much needed cash. Think of the year ahead and how you
want to spend your hard-earned bonus. Bear in mind that there are 12 long
months ahead and you have the opportunity to use money wisely.
South African Savings Institute (SASI) has 7 Tips to survive the
1. Resist SALE, think SAVE! Clearly distinguish between
needs and wants.
2. Make your own Christmas gifts and only take holidays you
3. Have a clear budget for your requirements in the New
4. Use free online tools to track your spending and debt and
know where every cent of your income goes.
5. Pay cash for all purposes and don’t be trapped by easy
credit – in fact, cut up those store credit cards!
6. Visualise what you want to save for and start saving
more. Save your bonus and make it multiply.
7. Service your debt and stick to the payment terms. If you
cannot service your monthly debts discuss your situation with your credit
providers before it is too late.
You don’t want to start the year on a financial
deficit keep an open mind and not open wallet. Be cautious and enjoy
the holiday season!