The credit information amnesty implemented on 1 April 2014, has left many South African consumers confused about what the credit amnesty means for them.
31 March 2015
The Easter holidays are a time to be with family. During April, retail sales volumes increase dramatically as more and more consumers are in the shops to purchase items for Easter. It is a time when consumers usually overspend and overindulge using credit, which can lead to high levels of post-Easter debt.
Many consumers struggle to afford their debt repayments after a holiday because of poor planning and overspending. If you are in this situation, here are 5 tips to help you get over your post-Easter debt:
1. Set up a budget
When expenses increase it should be accompanied by the rise in income. Sometimes, we overspend and our expenses exceed our income. To avoid this from happening you should:
- Sit down with a calculator, your payslip, bank statements and your credit report (Credit Bureaus supply people with one free credit report in a calendar year) and analyse your problem.
- Make a simple list of all your expenses and see where you can cut down on unnecessary expenditure.
- Remained disciplined to the budget you have drawn up.
2. Pay back more than required
During Easter most people end up using more credit than expected as retail outlets are strategically structured to induce impulse buying. When facing a situation of having spent more than expected, it is best to tackle your finances right away!
- Pay extra towards your monthly debt obligations. This will help to reduce the debt levels quicker as you are paying more than the minimum amount.
- Make adjustments to your monthly living expenses and stop buying luxuries.
- Pay up your short term loans as soon as possible to avoid high interest expenses. The longer you have the loan, the more you end up paying back.
- Lastly, tackle your long term debt.
3. Plan ahead – Make financial calculations
If you find yourself calculating how much money you will be left with at the end of April, it is a good sign because this means that you are planning. However, if you start to worry, it is a sign that your spending habits needs a makeover.
4. Consolidate your debt
If your debt instalments have increased and you are living on the edge financially, the best way to tackle your debt here would be to consolidate your debt. The benefit of doing this so would help you avoid falling behind and getting into arrears which will work against your credit score.
5. Learn from your mistakes – start saving for Easter in advance
Consumers generally spend in the moment, whether be it for a good cause such as celebrating with family with the intention of spreading the Easter spirit. To make sure you do not hurt your wallet. Next year, remember to start saving a small amount of money every month in advance, which can be used towards Easter expenses and festivities.