Eunice Sibiya, Programme Manager of FNB Consumer Education, offers easy-to-follow tips to manage your finances when shopping for consumables.
Draw up a budget
Your expenses should include fixed expenses that don’t change each month and variable expenses such as electricity and water services. You should also include discretionary costs such as entertainment, takeaways, etc. Basically, know where your money goes.
Draw up a list
When going shopping, the best thing you can do to save yourself from spending money unnecessarily is to draw up a list of things you need to buy – when you go to the shops start with the listed items first before buying extra stuff. In this way you get to stick to your budget.
Needs vs wants
If your expenses are greater than your income, and you are borrowing or surviving on credit, it’s time to take action. Split your expenses into wants and needs. Anything you need – shelter, food, etc – remains. Anything you want – takeaways, fancy shoes – goes. This will show areas you can cut back on.
Use your credit card wisely
While owning a credit card has its benefits, it also takes some discipline to make sure that you do not run up a balance that you will find difficult to pay off. To keep control of your credit, rather use cash or a debit card to pay for purchases. When you do need to use your credit card, you should treat it like cash. This will help you avoid buying non-essentials, which you cannot afford in any case and also help you avoid steep interest charges on the high amounts that you may find yourself owing.
Pay off your debt
Increase your installments so that you pay less interest. Don’t take things on credit that you should be paying cash for. Never owe more on your credit card than you can afford to pay off each month.
Set yourself financial goals
If you want to buy a car, have a plan in place to save up for the deposit. If you need to pay school fees, it’s time to cut back on those takeaways and fancy clothes. Start saving now for your dream home or holiday.
Make your money work for you
Don’t be complacent about how you use your bank. Make an appointment to speak to a consultant who can make sure you have the best account to suit your needs.
WIN SHOPPING VOUCHERS!
Buying the most cost-effective consumable goods can also help lower spending. Because Baby Soft is thick and soft you use up to 35% less sheets than an average one-ply family would use in a year, therefore saving you money. Baby Soft wants to show you how much you are saving and they have created two giant figure sculptures to do just this. Each sculpture is made out of toilet roll cores. Make sure you visit Eastgate Shopping Centre, Johannesburg, on the weekend of 14 and 15 July and Jabulani Mall, Soweto, on 21 July to see just how much you can save.
The prize: Three lucky DestinyConnect users can win a Baby Soft hamper consisting of a R500 shopping voucher from Eastgate Mall and Baby Soft products. To enter, simply mail firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us which toilet roll brand will be giving away shopping vouchers. Entries close on 20 July 2012.