Saving is very challenging for most South Africans. Spending money is what we all prefer to do. Too often, we spend beyond our means by using credit that we often cannot afford to repay.
Statistics released by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) last year confirm that South Africa has one of the worst savings rates in the world. South Africans don’t save for unforeseen expenses and neglect to plan adequately (if at all) for their retirement.
20 November 2015
The festive season is the time of year when expenses spike as a result of holiday festivities. Excessive spending on gifts and festive food coupled with pressure to participate in social gatherings can put you into a very difficult financial situation. If you’re currently signed up for Debt counselling this can be the toughest and most frustrating time of the year for you. We urge you to stay focused on your end goal of becoming debt free, and to not make your situation worse by undoing all the hard work you have already put into solving your debt problems. You will need to muster up as much self-control as possible to avoid overspending.
What to do with extra cash
If you are fortunate enough to receive a bonus or some extra incentives from your employers in December, try and avoid the temptation to go on an insane shopping spree or to purchase unnecessary goods. Try and use this extra money wisely, either by saving it or paying it into your debt so that you can get out of Debt Counselling quicker. Speak to us about;
- Using your extra income to pay more towards your accounts,
- Settling your accounts with small balances.
Tips to avoid over-spending
Here are a few handy tips to help you to manage your expenses:
- Beware of the checkout isle
Sweets and temptations are deliberately placed at the check-out to entice you to buy them.
- Get in and get out
Spend as little time as possible in the store. The longer you take the more likely you will buy something you don’t need. Try do your shopping just before you need to rush to be somewhere else. That way you will only get what you need.
- Do you really need an upgrade?
You might not need the latest cell phone, tablet or laptop. Maybe you should rather get your contract instalment reduced by not having to pay off a new phone and only paying for the airtime or data you use.
- Don’t feel pressured by sales people
Don’t buy something because you’re worried about hurting the sales person’s feelings. It’s their job to force products onto you.
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry
Shop after you have eaten, otherwise you will find yourself filling the trolley with all the foods you imagine yourself eating right now, while you are hungry.
- Stick to a list
Buy only the items on your list and avoid impulse purchases.
- Beware of sale items
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Sales are designed to create a sense of urgency. They make you feel like you will miss out if you don’t buy it right now. If you don’t need something, it’s NEVER a good deal, no matter how cheap it is