Who ever said winter is cold and tedious? It is never too late (or chilly) to apply new financial habits to help clear old debt.
Make the last bit of winter your spending freeze (it’s an ideal time as July is National Savings Month) and practice financial fasting by curbing all non-essential expenses. This temporary arrangement can range from a few weeks to a month and will help you take stock of every expense. What should stay, what can go and learning to make do with what you have available. According to Wikus Olivier, debt management expert at DebtSafe, South Africans can save up to R1000 with a spending freeze and there are a few things that you can do to put additional spending on ice.
Review your budget
Take a good look at your current budget and separate ‘necessities’ from ‘wants’. Think about it, how many items on your grocery list are ‘wants’ that you don’t need? Furthermore, entertainment, DSTV subscription(s), and winter clothes are all the things that fall under the ‘want’ category. Olivier suggests that it’s best to revise your budget and shopping lists to exclude these ‘wants’ when money is tight. If you really want something, add it to the saving section of your budget. If you do not have a budget, stop delaying and draw up a budget plan to see where your money is going.
Choose free activities
We often equate feel-good activities with spending money. However, occasionally having the best time comes at no cost. For those who like to be in control, why not consider de-cluttering your home as experts agree that it’s therapeutic and it makes you feel accomplished. Re-evaluate existing habits from a fun perspective – Does supper have to be in front of the telly, or can a homemade dinner under the blanket-fort be more fun? Remember, the library is there for all the bookworms. Or you can start a DVD library with friends to exchange movies. What about a movie marathon with the whole family?
Winter clean the house
Gather old toys and kitchen equipment for donation and take it to the Hospice. If you prefer to rather sell it – take it to your local pawn shop or sell it on OLX / Gumtree. This can give you a sense of contributing to someone else’s needs or you can save a few extra bucks in the process. Not to mention your various cabinets / closets being organised.
Use available products in the freezer, fridge or pantry
Take a look at what you have in your fridge, freezer and food cupboard, instead of buying more products. Commit to finish what you already have in front of you. There are plenty of budget recipes as well as clever ideas on the internet to make the most of your existing food items.
Whether you want to slash your debt, save more or just spend your money thoughtfully, you can develop wise spending habits with a spending freeze. Don’t delay; start with money-wise habits today. If, however, you find yourself in an uncomfortable over-indebted position, where a spending freeze won’t ensure extra cash flow, consider speaking to the DebtSafe team. SMS your name and INFO to 30898 (at no charge) for a free debt assessment.
DebtSafe is a registered debt counsellor and has helped thousands of over-indebted South Africans to clear their debt via its innovative debt review program. Start your new beginning by contacting one of our skilled debt advisors: 0861 100 999; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS “info” to 30898 (free SMS).
Carla Oberholzer (Public Relations Officer)
Tel: 0861 100 999