Tips for spending responsibly

2017-12-06 06:00
PHOTO: SOURCEDEncourage saving money at home.

PHOTO: SOURCEDEncourage saving money at home.

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IT has been a tough year for South Africans. Living expenses and transport costs have increased a lot, while wages and salaries have remained the same.

It is getting harder and harder to make ends meet, and it’s about to get worse as the season of spending is upon us. With many not receiving bonuses­ this year because of the bad economy, it’s even more important not to get into debt this December.

Roz Thomas, Hill + Knowlton Strategies Managing Director, shares tips for putting the brakes on festive- season spending:

DRAW UP A BUDGET AND STICK TO IT

The only way to reduce your Christmas spending is to have a budget. Know exactly how much money you have available, list all your expenses – from wrapping paper to groceries to transport costs – and decide how much you can spend on each item.

Start with the expenses that are fixed, like transport, and then move on to the costs you have some control over, like gifts.

THINK BEFORE YOU BUY

If you’re going to buy clothes for your children this December, consider getting them clothing they can wear a lot, not just on very special occasions.

Also make sure you buy at shops that match your budget. Your children will still look and feel good in new outfits, even if they’re not fancy or expensive.

FIND THE BEST DEALS

Once again, it’s a good idea to make a list of exactly what you need. Groceries are going to be expensive this month, so cut back on the luxury food items and look out for special deals before you buy.

If you don’t belong to a formal stokvel, you can still buy groceries with a group of friends to take advantage of bulk buying.

It’s important to stick to your list when you go shopping and not be tempted by festive season food, so avoid bringing more cash than you need.

SHARE COSTS

December is all about parties, but these can be expensive. If you’ve agreed to hold a celebration, then reduce the cost by asking your guests to bring a dish and drinks.

Remember that it’s been a hard year for everyone, so your friends and family will definitely understand and be more than willing to share the load.

ENCOURAGE SAVING

Rather than buying your teenager something “cool” they will only use for a month or two, open a savings account for them and make a small deposit.

Encourage them to put money away every month, even if it is just R20, and save towards something they really want.

It’s a good idea to do this yourself too – start saving now for next December so you are ready for the spending season this time next year.

- True Love (News24)

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