For young professionals, it can be challenging to maintain financial independence - especially in tough economic times, and the temptation may be strong to rely on credit to cover costs.
Head of Advice at Old Mutual Personal Finance Lizl Budhram warns against this practice. "While credit may seem like the obvious solution, the truth is that loans and credit cards charge interest, which can accumulate at an alarming rate if you're not careful," she explains.
"Many young professionals paying their bills for the first time can find the experience overwhelming."
To help lighten the financial load, Budhram shared her 10 top tips on saving money and cutting back expenses with Fin24.
1. Make savings fun – Turn savings into a game; look at savings as an adventure. Try to top your own savings each month or compete with a friend.
2. Become financially savvy – Learn about everything from tax to savings to retirement planning.
3. Set a monthly limit on your airtime and data spending – Be mindful of your daily usage.
4. Build up an emergency fund – Make provision for unforeseen expenses, otherwise your budget may be at risk.
5. Avoid ATMs outside your network – They usually attract higher fees.
6. Check with your bank – Make sure you have the best type of account for your needs.
7. Downgrade your brand purchases – How about dropping a brand level on everything you can? The overall price drops by 30%, said Budhram.
8. Familiarise yourself with seasonal sales – But forbid yourself from buying things simply because they are on sale. An extra expense is just that – yet another drain on your resources.
9. Avoid getting into debt – pay for your purchases with a debit card or cash, rather than buying on credit.
10. Try discount shopping – Products are cheaper at certain times of year. Follow the shops' sales cycles and use this to your advantage. Build a shopping calendar.
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