26 September 2018 – Spring is here and while this is great as we enjoy the outdoors; consumers are encouraged to manage their finances and ensure that there is no wasteful expenditure before the end of the year.
“There is nothing wrong with being more festive between the Spring and Christmas period; just be mindful about your spending patterns and behavior as this can add undue financial pressure on your finances,” says Este Ochse, Product Specialist, FNB Wealth and Investments.
According to the 2Q18 GDP numbers, South Africa is in a technical recession. There is no support coming from the household sector, as household consumption dropped, with clothing, transport and recreation spend bearing the brunt of consumers tightening their belts.”
Being trapped in a dreadful debt cycle will cause you financial strain so ensure that your budgets are continually refreshed and updated. “This is important as it will help you be more organised and disciplined with your finances,” adds Ochse.
“Highlight your upcoming expenses such as entertainment, daily household, and determine whether you need them or not. Your entertainment budget may include things like: movies, DVDs, takeaways, restaurant visits and weekend getaways. The list is endless, but also dependent on your lifestyle and what you enjoy doing,” says Ochse.
She highlights a few areas where you can cut costs and save more this Spring:
- Picnics vs eating at a restaurant: There is nothing wrong with eating out but balance this by preparing your own picnic so you can enjoy this time with friends and family without straining your budget.
- Movies vs DVDs: Movie night is great, but the costs will gradually add up. From popcorn to the odd beverage, chocolate and movie tickets you could spend well over R150 per person. Rather rent a movie and enjoy in the comfort of your home and with your loved ones.
- Cooking vs Takeaways: Try your hand at cooking a healthy meal with your family or get the family involved in making dinner. There are many simple recipes online that can take you through the process.
- Shopping for new summer wardrobe vs recycling: We tend to be adventurous when it comes to fashion and keeping up with the trends. Recycle what you have and instead of buying clothes for every new season, save that extra cash for a short-term goal like a special birthday treats or a long-term goal like retirement or education.
- Gym vs DIY health remedies: You can never cut costs with your health, so ensure that your gym contract suits your lifestyle to the best. Alternatively, if you not the gym type, look out for workout apps which gives you the ability to train at home.
“It’s not easy to always stick to your budget as unexpected expenses will arise. But a great way to start is to ensure that you stick to your savings goals and not over exert your expenses,” concludes Ochse.