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How to spend smarter this silly season

By Opinion Time of article published Dec 17, 2020

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Consumers are expected to spend an average of R5,706 each over the festive season - more than a third of the average South African’s ‘take home pay’. It’s likely then that most people will struggle financially in the new year.

“Unfortunately, a number of South Africans tend to experience a financial hangover following the festive season. But there are some things that can be done now to avoid this issue,” says Andrew Hardie, CEO of Pay - a leading bill payment aggregator offering secure payment solutions.

He shares some suggestions for preventing excessive splurging over the silly season:

  • Make paying your bills a priority. You don’t want to be sitting with no water, no internet, no TV, no insurance, no armed response and no electricity come January.
  • Draw up a budget. Once you’ve paid your bills, look at what’s left. First, see what you need to cover your daily living expenses like rent, transport, and food, then determine what you can reasonably spend on gifts and entertainment over the festive period. Put whatever’s over away so that you have some funds in January.
  • Avoid unnecessary trips to the shopping centre. With the spike in Covid-19 cases, it’s best not to visit the shops too often. It could also save you from spending unnecessarily.
  • Make good use of your year-end bonus. If you’re lucky enough to get a 13th cheque, don’t blow it all over the holidays. Rather, save some of it to see you through the seemingly never-ending month of ‘Janu-Worry’.
  • Support local. Instead of splashing out on expensive imported items, support South African businesses. Not only could this save you money, but it could also help a businessowner who was negatively affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

“Making smarter choices now will help set the tone for a prosperous new year,” concludes Hardie.

PERSONAL FINANCE

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