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Tips to help you make smart decisions around your money

Sourced from Htxt.Africa
Sourced from Htxt.Africa

In commemoration of Money Smart Week South Africa

As South Africa kicks-off Money Smart Week, it is important to reflect on how we, as consumers, manage our money. It is well known that South Africa consumers are stretched by the country’s rising cost of living. Therefore, a healthy relationship with money becomes even more important for anyone who wants to take full control of their money journey and life goals.

Christian Hugo, Solution Strategist for FNB Integrated Advice shares a few steps that one can take to make sure that they are making their rands work for them:

  1. Track your spend

This will be a great way to see where your money is going and to draw attention to any possible unconscious spending. It will also show you your main spending categories. Use the Track my Spend feature on the FNB App or a pen and piece of paper to record this.

  1. Check your budget

Now that you have a general idea of where your money is going, the next step is to create your budget. At this point, you should consider your priorities and determine whether your spending reflects those priorities. You can perform the following actions in this step:

  • Think, dream, and reflect – Consider your financial lifestyle over the next five, ten, or fifteen years. List all the things that are important to you. This could be your retirement, the education of your children, or having no debt.
  • Go through the list you created in the first step and select the top three items.
  • This step is the difficult one, this is where you look at where your spending is going using Track my Spend and if that aligns to what is important to you. For example, if being debt free is important to you but you are spending lots of money on takeaways, maybe you can reduce the amount that you are spending on takeaways each month and rather use this money to pay off your debt quicker. Once you have made that decision, action it! Make sure that you set up a scheduled transfer to pay off your debt as soon as possible. This will reduce the temptation to spend as much on the items that you have traded off on.
  • The last step is to review this on a regular basis. Do the 4-step process on a regular process to ensure that your spending is aligned to what is important to you.
  1. Use tech to help you

Once you have allocated the money to the necessary items, use technology to help you stay the course. For example, use Smart budget on the FNB App under nav»Money. This will send you reminders to notify you when you are close to your spending limit per category, helping you to keep on track. Additionally, ‘My available funds’ within the same tool lets you know what’s left to save and spend after all known upcoming payments. All the scheduled payments and debit orders are taken into consideration and if you are experiencing a shortfall, you can access other funds available like eBucks, savings, and credit all in one useful place.

  1. Loyalty programmes

Use your loyalty programmes to help you free up the cash that you may need. For example, use your eBucks to pay for groceries, fuel or beauty products. With the cash that has not been used to pay for these items, use that to pay off your debt or start saving for an emergency.

  1. More tips to save on fuel costs

Plan your shopping so that you don’t need to pop to the shops on a regular basis. It will also save you money from an unconscious spend point of view, i.e., those items that jump into your trolley. Even better, try to shop online so that you will only buy the items that you need and will also save you on fuel costs. If you travelling to the office on a regular basis, try to see if there is a way that you can carpool to save on fuel costs. Make sure that your car is regularly serviced and that the tyres are properly inflated. Stick to the speed limit and avoid aggressive acceleration. Additionally, to help you unlock some additional cashflow, the bank announced in July that it will give qualifying Retail and Commercial customers an additional R2 per litre back in eBucks for fuel purchases made at Engen. This benefit is available to customers irrespective of their reward level and is in addition to what they would have ordinarily earned. The R2 per litre back in fuel incentive ends 30 September 2022.

“Being aware of where your money is going and what you are spending it on is the first step in for setting yourself up for financial resilience. Using an app like Smart budget on FNB App will help you keep to your financial goals,” concludes Hugo.

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