2015 has been a tough financial year for many South Africans. We have had repo rate increases, load shedding, a drought, a weakening rand, increased food and electricity prices and a shaky economy. There is still a lot of uncertainty and financial stress as we move towards 2016. Now is a good time to work out how to manage debt problems so that you can welcome the New Year with reduced debt stress.
5 January 2016
After the end of year hangover has come and gone, many consumers are left with no money and are forced to get loans just to make it through the New Year. Before they know it, they are taking out more and more loans to settle other loans, leaving them in a debt trap which seems almost impossible to get out of.
DebtBusters is South Africa’s largest and most trusted debt counsellor and recommends this tried and tested formula to manage debt problems in 2016 will help you manage your debt:
1. Set up a monthly budget
A budget is the most important tool you have to help you stay on track with your finances all year round. Setting aside a specific amount of money every month for your expenses will ensure you do not spend your money blindly. Involve the entire family when setting up your budget. Include monthly challenges for children and offer a reward for the one who spends the least every month. Encourage your family to come up with ways to save water, electricity and food. By making everyone responsible for the budget you are positively influencing and changing spending behaviours and actively controlling your budget. At the same time, you will be teaching your children important lessons about money that they will implement with their own families one day.
2. Stick to your monthly budget
There is no use in setting up a budget if you do not actually stick to it. The hardest part of any plan is following through with it. Make a conscious effort to stick to your budget. Review it weekly so that you can take control of expenses that are running away from you. Keep your slips and record what you are spending money on. Consider downloading a free App like 22seven that can assist you to track your income and expenses.
3. Open a savings account
Make sure you have a savings account. Put away any spare cash at the end of the month. This way you will not be tempted to use it. In addition to this, make sure you add a savings line into your budget with a minimum amount that has to be saved each month. A saving of just R300 a month quickly adds up. R3, 600 over a year could be quite useful in tough months and instead of looking for loans to pay your way, you can access your savings.
4. Settle those outstanding balances
The only way you will be rid of your debt is if you pay it off. By settling your accounts, you will save loads of money. You are charged interest on all your loans every month. This is money you could be saving or using for living expenses. Not owing money is a great goal for 2016 and by far the best thing you can do for yourself and your family this year.
If you are unable to manage your debts or pay your creditors on time because you can’t afford your debt repayments, DebtBusters can help you take back control of your financial problems today. Its your best solution. Call 086 999 06 06 and speak to an expert consultant today!