Master the art of saving

2010-01-23 14:11

THIS year’s first pay cheque for those South Africans who are

­salaried should be used as a foundation to correct the mistakes of the past

year that led to a difficult January.

Financial advisers say building the foundation starts with creating

an accurate savings plan and ­adhering to it.

Paul Slot, a director of ­Octogen, a company that offers debt

counselling and financial advice, says this is extremely important because

consumers face an additional financial burden from the expected electricity

price increases over the next few years.

Many people face a difficult January because the costs associated

with the reopening of schools cause a spike in their ­regular expenditure.

Slot says people should consider part-time studies which are

generally cheaper than full-time education.

Financial advisers suggest that people do the following this month

to set themselves up for better financial health:

  • Review your lifestyle;

  • Set up a savings plan, which is

    essential in preparing for those unexpected events in life;

  • Separate expenses into essential and

    non-essential categories in order to see which expenses you can survive

    without;

  • Keep your fuel or transport costs down

    by avoiding multiple trips to the store. Plan on paper and prepare your shopping

    list ­beforehand;

  •  Upon receiving your salary advice,

    draw an accurate list of expenses and income. Do this on two columns on the same

    page;

  •  Compare your totals and if your

    expenditure exceeds your debt, re-evaluate your spending. You cannot create debt

    without enough income to service it;

  •  Budget to save a minimum amount every

    month and try not to withdraw that money; and

  •  Always try to settle your smaller

    debts within as short a time as possible.

These steps may save you from queueing outside the offices of debt

counsellors next January, as 141?088 people did this week.


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