There is such a negative stigma around debt that consumers try to pretend it is not there, writes Luke Hirst, MD of Debt experts DebtBusters. A recent study in the United Kingdom shows that 1 in 3 consumers hide their financial problems from their family. The UK’s “hidden” debt amounts to an estimated £55-billion. This […]
29 August 2016
Naturally, it is easier to spend than to save and more often than not, we spend beyond our means. Although South Africans, in general, find saving extremely challenging, it has fantastic rewards, especially if we show dedication and self-discipline. Statistics by the Reserve Bank of South Africa show that we have one of the worst savings rates in the world. It is possible to turn this around, and it all begins with financial education at all levels. Like the old saying, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a few steps – saving does not necessarily have to start big.
Here are 4 tips you can use to start the journey of saving while you are under debt review.
- Use Points Of Sale to transact
Withdrawing funds at ATMs seems convenient but if unchecked, it attracts extra bank charges. These bank charges can be reduced greatly by drawing cash at points of sale and at your local grocery outlet (e.g. swiping at Pick n’ Pay or Shoprite). Swiping is free and the cash back transaction is also free. This method of cash withdrawal is very convenient and doesn’t attract any charges, do the wise thing.
- Avoid spending by creating family time
Eating out at restaurants can be very harsh on the wallet. One can save by preparing great home cooked meals that don’t cost a fortune and can be just as nice. As you spend time with your family consider things like baking your own bread or cakes. Start a baking challenge at home and perhaps try to sell some of the cakes at the local market. Family time will not only result in saving money but making a few extra bucks while maximizing on quality time kills two birds with one stone. Going to the movies seems like a fun idea but renting out a movie and making homemade popcorn can save you on the high ticket cost and transport of getting there. Let’s think of being financially savvy and also making the most of our time with our loved ones.
- Educate your children
Continuously educate your children about savings and show them ways that you have saved. You can open a free Bidvest Bank Accounts™ for your children if they are under the age of 21. This will be good practice as it teaches them to save at a young age with the hope that they will grow up with the same savings spirit. This will also teach them money management skills which will work to their advantage when they grow older.
- Have a regular credit report check-up
Credit checks are as important as health checks. Have a regular review of your credit report to avoid surprises from credit providers or ID theft. It is important to review your credit report to:
- Avoid identity theft- this can help protect you against identity theft
- Avoid any errors that can impact your score
- Ensure no one is trying to open new accounts in your name
- Set goals to improve your credit score, and always aim to have a high credit score
Debtbusters has partnered with Kudough to help you improve, monitor and protect your credit status. Kudough is about taking what credit providers and credit bureaus know about you and turning this into insight for you to improve your status and put the power back in your hands.
Enjoy happy saving!