The festive season is one of the most treasured periods in South Africa as people get to spend more time with their families and indulge in leisurely activities such as holiday travel and spoiling loved ones. While some are fortunate enough to get bonuses or even stokvel pay-outs during the festive season, others rely on their regular income, and it has to last them until roughly the end of January.
Yashen Singh, CEO of Retail and Private Core Banking at FNB Retail, says that, "During the festive season, people often have added responsibilities that require careful planning. The other reality is that businesses tend to pay salaries earlier than usual to allow people to fulfil their financial obligations ahead of the public holidays. Despite this, it is always important to ensure that the festive does not outlast your finances."
As a result, Singh recommends several measures to consider to better manage your financial obligations and spending during this period.
- Plan your spending: Customers who bank with FNB have access to smart tools such as nav» Money on the FNB App. This feature helps you budget smartly, track and control your spending by setting spending limits alerts to ensure you don’t go overboard. Customers can also track upcoming debit orders with this smart tool to assist them to stay on track with timing of expenses throughout the month. The service is available to all FNB customers and does not come at a cost.
- Know all your debit orders: The financial services industry has implemented DebiCheck. As part of this, FNB customers can view all debit orders on their FNB transactional account via the FNB App. This puts customers in charge of debit orders on their FNB bank accounts and helps them stay on top of their financial obligations.
- Avoid missed debit orders and penalties - In December, some service providers process debit orders early as businesses pay salaries earlier than usual. As a result, it is important to ensure that you have enough funds for any early debit orders. If you are not paid early, inform the service provider to align your debit order to your December pay-day. Aligning your debit orders as soon as your salary/income is deposited saves you the negative fees such as unpaid/honouring fees and interest.
- Smart use of a facility linked to your account: A facility linked to your transactional bank account such as an overdraft or fusion facility, or credit card can be useful in instances where you need to cover some emergency or unexpected purchases for the month. Customers who bank with FNB can apply to decrease or increase limits via the FNB App. The benefits of a linked facility are that it is largely part of your transactional bank account (current and fusion) and can assist you to manage the timing of income and expenses ensuring bank accounts are guarded against being overdrawn.
"It’s important for consumers to remember that money management is a 24/7 responsibility, irrespective of which season it may be. The prudent management of your money and financial responsibilities during the first season can give you a head-start to year 2022," concludes Singh.