How to develop a thrifty money psychology

2018-08-08 06:01
PHOTO: supplied

PHOTO: supplied

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SOUTH African women don’t only tackle their daily schedules hands-on; they are also known as providers, chauffeurs, caretakers and so much more. It is therefore fair to say that women need all the support they can get — even if it requires financial guidance along the way. Since women endure and take care of various tasks and bills, DebtSafe’s debt adviser, Carla Oberholzer, says: “they should be notable for their uniqueness and also deserve a few pointers on how to embrace who they are, while developing a thrifty money psychology.”

DebtSafe shares some tips and what a few South African women have to say about their current money behaviour and mindset.

“I like to live in the moment and love spending time with my friends, especially when going out for some girl-time shopping,” Cindy (mid-twenties & from Gauteng).

SHOPPING / SPLURGING TIPS

To Cindy and all the social butterflies out there — keep on being unique, but do take note of some pointers.

• Try not to get caught in an “over-shopping” epidemic or culture. A once in a while impulsive buy can be good for the soul but, the question is, is it in line with that budget?

• Don’t spend just because others are splurging during certain outings.

• Only buy what is really needed and make sure shopping trips are properly planned beforehand. Do thorough research where the best buys are, and also compare prices before rushing off to the nearest store.

Remember — it is always best to not only stick to a budget, but to also have a monthly / weekly shopping list within reach.

“Saving is not easy, I have to be honest BUT I always try to save a bit of money each month and whenever I can,” Karabou (52 years old & from Limpopo).

SAVING TIPS

Well-done to Karabou and all the frugal savers. Here are some extra saving tweaks to consider.

• Try and stash a certain amount (small at first) away before other deductions creep in. In other words — women have to “pay themselves first”. This can put them in a new way of thinking about their finances while getting a financial habit going.

• Saving goes hand in hand with a timeline and financial goals. Women have to therefore outline short- (Christmas holiday), medium- (a new car) and long-term (retirement) goals and see what their bigger savings picture involves.

Remember — There are various savings women can get going, but, an emergency fund is a crucial savings buffer that can come in handy.

“I love my phone. I usually make use of my calendar and different apps to make my life a little easier,” Nadia (31 years old & from the North West).

FINANCIAL PHONE APPS

Like Nadia — women tend to be lost without their phone these days. There are countless financial phone apps available; here are a few to consider.

• 22Seven — consolidates accounts to get the bigger financial picture.

• Moneysmart — for managing money and spending.

• FillApp or Fuel Log3 — for keeping track of fuel expenditures.

• Money Mammals Save for a goal — a practical app to teach children about saving.

Remember — Women should find an app or apps that will work for them and their own situation. Do some research and give one or two a try for a few months.

“Life is expensive. I can barely keep up with debt repayments because of the 2018 VAT and regular fuel increases,” Indu (46 years old & from the Western Cape).

CREDIT AND DEBT TIPS

Life sure happens and it can be really tough for Indu and other women to continually try and keep the fort going.

Here is advice about debt and credit agreements.

• Women need to service their credit agreements as best they can and, where possible, they should pay more than the minimum required fee or payment. They can consider alternative ways to help them achieve just that.

• Credit is not a bad thing, but women should not apply left, right and centre for it. Having spending boundaries is a good start or else they may fall in arrears and sit with the devastation of becoming over-indebted.

Remember — Women are in control of their own money. When things get tough they should first try and negotiate with their creditors. In worst-case scenarios, women should consider debt consolidation.

August is #WomensMonth. Remind women to “own” their money psychology by keeping their financials thrifty and manageable.

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