12 Tips for staying debt free over the festive season

By Staff Writer

In a recent statement The National Credit Regulator and SA Savings institute have cautioned South Africans to spend carefully over the festive season so they can afford to pay their 2011 expenses.

Luke Hirst, MD of DebtBusters comments “It is all too easy to get carried away with spending over the festival season with parties to attend and purchasing gifts for family members”.  Hirst goes on to say “consumers must remember their financial responsibilities for 2011. January means school and university fees have to be paid along with purchasing text books and school uniforms”.

With the average household spending 78.2 percent of their disposable income on debt repayments and over 11 million consumers behind on their debt repayments, we don’t want these figures getting any worse next year.  

Hirst adds “each year we see the number of consumers falling behind on debt repayments increase after the festive period with many applying for debt review, as they can’t cope”.

Hirst suggests 12 easy tips on how to stay in control of your finances over the festive season:

 

1. Plan before you spend, by drawing up a household budget over this period.

2.  Speak to everyone in your household about your expenses and how you are going to bring these down in 2011.

3. Pay your debts on time, otherwise there are expensive penalties.

4. If you get a bonus or 13th cheque use it wisely. Pay off high interest debt first or pay school fees upfront or put it into savings.

5. Shop around for the best deals and prices before you make a purchase and negotiate.

6. Always be careful of the “buy now, pay later” offers. They often attract high charges.

7. Get several new insurance quotes for your car or home. You may save some money.

8. How much are you spending on bank fees? Speak with your bank or look at a comparative site like justmoney.co.za to see what bank account is best and cheapest for you.

9. Always remember that some bills such as electricity, water and telephones do not go on holiday and will need to be paid in the New Year.

10. Check your cell phone and internet packages, find out when they are up for renewal and look for better offers.

11. If you do have savings, make sure you are getting the best interest on offer and shop around.

12. Always shop with January in mind, as you will need funds to live on.

Recent Articles

Featured Debt consolidation – Explained

Dealing with debt can be daunting. If you’re struggling to keep track of which store account to pay next and weighing up which credit card is more important to settle first, you may have considered debt consolation. At Justmoney, we’ve decided to get down to the basics and explain what this entails and what impact you can anticipate on your credit score.  

Read more

3 Vehicle financing options compared – which is cheaper?

Buying a car is a considered a milestone, both in life and financially. Unless you’re able to fork out the cash, many opt for financing. But often the excitement to drive it off the showroom floor overshadows the need to check if you’re choosing the most-suited option. To help you make the best-informed decision we compare available vehicle financing structures in South Africa.

Read more

Splitwise: Split the bill not the friendship

Collecting your friends’ debt to you can be draining. You don’t want to ruin your friendship with them, and it can also be extremely awkward. I don’t know how many times I have written, deleted, and rephrased texts, reminding people to pay what is due to me.

Read more

Stokvel-friendly accounts – which one is fair?

The stokvel economy is approximately worth R49 billion in South Africa. This is according to the National Stokvel Association of South Africa (Nasasa). Altogether 24% of these stokvels are in Gauteng, while only 6% are in the Western Cape.

Read more

Sign Up

To our weekly newsletter for advice you can bank on

Deals

Cape Town Fish Market Swartland Special

Price: From R123
When: Until 14 July
Where: Cape Town

Aha Casa do Sol Pay 2 Stay 3 Special

Price: R1,200
When: Until 31 July
Where: Mpumalanga

Open University Free Courses

Price: Free
When: Daily
Where: Online