Tough times are ahead for South Africans. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni presented some of the real realities facing the country. It is obvious each year that aspects like sin tax will go up, but with the tough economic times the entire country is affected. The country is spending more money than collected through tax, which has resulted in the need to borrow around R1,2 billion, but borrowing money does not come cheap.
Additionally, with fuel levies increasing, consumers need to be cognisant of the fact that this will affect your pocket every time you fill up your fuel tanks, but also indirectly impact the rising cost of goods, including food and consumables. So, what can we all do to try and alleviate the tough road ahead, given various increases in the cost of living for 2019?
Be aware of financial situation
It is imperative for you to be aware of your financial situation. You may need to start by setting up a budget to give you a full and true view of your financial position. What do you really spend each month, not only on necessities, but other luxuries like take-out food? You need to start to consider your income in relation to your deductions and living expenses to determine what is left after payments are made.
Getting rid of debt
After establishing the important payments, it is useful to start getting rid of your debt. Even a small monthly payment will make a difference. Start by paying back credit card debt or paying off a clothing’s account.
Cut unnecessary expenses
Once you have an idea of the important payments that need to be made, it is useful to see what luxuries can be reduced or be cut out. This will also assist you in having cash flow to support the increases to aspects like fuel. Maybe consider joining a Parkrun rather than getting a gym membership.
Think about especially cutting down on goods that have sin tax like sugary foods, alcohol and tobacco. Friday sundowner drinks with colleagues and/or friends may have to be reduced to once a month.
Save, save and save
After cutting luxuries and paying off debt, try and save the money left over for a rainy day.