If you apply for credit in South Africa you are entitled to certain basic rights. Angelique Ruzicka consults the National Debt Mediation Association (NDMA) the National Credit Regulator (NCR) to find out exactly what those rights are. On 15 March we celebrate World Consumer Rights Day with the theme “Consumer Justice Now”. There are many […]
27 November 2012
Below is an overview of what to remember to stay debt free and financially stable:
1. Set financial goals and create a plan of how to get there.
By setting financial goals you have something to work towards. This will enable you to manage your money better and stay out of debt. Once you reach your financial goals you will feel a huge sense of achievement and that will help you keep on track.
2. Build a financial safety net by saving.
Building up a nest egg of money gives you the security should you be retrenched or your car need major mechanical repairs you have instant access to much needed cash and not rely on borrowing money to get you out of the crisis.
3. Live within a budget and revisit it on a regular basis.
Budgeting enables you to stay on track financially. It is quick and easy to set up a budget and will ensure you remain debt free. Assess your budget frequently as your pay increases. This keeps you in control of your finances.
4. Manage your credit by setting limits and paying back more than the minimum required.
Should you have a credit card – always try to pay off the full balance or as much as you can afford each month. Paying off the minimum balance means a lot more interest will be added making your debt higher.
5. Research and become financially informed.
Doing your research is imperative. You can save money by finding better deals on items you wish to purchase. There are various websites enabling you to do this. Shopping when specials are on and comparing prices in different shops also helps.
6. Ask for help when and if you need it. The earlier the better.
Should you find yourself getting in too deep financially don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. Realising problems early on saves you potential legal fees and judgements on your credit record for non-payment.
7. Keep cash as your king as far as possible. This means you are not getting into debt.
Try to use cash for purchases rather than relying on credit cards and loans. Staying on track with your budget and not over spending will mean you remain debt free.