With the price of goods constantly rising, it seems almost impossible to save or reduce your budget. Rita Cool, financial planning consultant at Alexander Forbes, offers the following tips to help make your Rands stretch in the New Year:
- Budget: Before you even consider emptying those pockets, make sure you set a budget for yourself. Cool said:” Without knowing what you spend money on you won’t know where you could find lost cash.” Determine where your money is going monthly, and from there decided where you can save.
- Review bank fees: You need to ask yourself whether or not your current bank fees suits your needs; and whether you’re actually making use of the services that you are paying for. If not, browse around and see if you can get a better deal elsewhere.
- Only draw cash from you bank: Cool advised not to draw cash from banks other than your own, to avoid pay service charges. “Make sure you know what the transaction fees would be if you draw from till points or transfer money to family.”
- Opt for second hand: Consider buying second hand items and selling items that you no longer make use of, to make extra cash and to avoid paying full price e.g. school clothes, electrical appliances etc.
- Cash is king: Avoid purchasing goods on credit. Cool said: “Buy cash where possible as the interest rates on hire purchase items are very high and you pay around 20% more for those items than the sticker price.”
- Make use of coupons and vouchers: Store vouchers and coupons come in handy when doing your weekly grocery shopping. Cool explained:” The main food retailers have loyalty programme structures that can be tailored to your specific spending patterns. Make sure you claim point or vouchers but look out for monthly costs to belong to a rewards program.”
- Don’t drive over the speed limit: Avoid driving over the speed limit as this saves petrol, money spent on fines and perhaps your life.
- Check your insurance: Cool suggested that an insurance re-broke takes place. “Make sure you are covered for what you need and take things off the list that you do not have any more and add what you have bought since the last update. Make sure you are not under or over insured and that your premium is market related. The cheapest premium isn’t always the best so be aware of exclusions and excesses and make sure you can afford the excess if you need to claim.”
- Manage your debt: If you have encountered any debt issues, set up a debt plan with dates and goals to reduce your debt.
Handy tip: If you would like to apply for debt counselling or debt consolidation, click here and fill in the form; and a consultant will be in touch with you.