Dealing with change is not easy, especially change as drastic as a nation-wide lockdown.
Even though the lockdown is easing in South Africa, we’re still dealing with heavy financial impacts. People who were financially comfortable are now struggling to make ends meet. And, people who were on the breadline are battling to survive.
The South African government has put initiatives in place to help ease financial burdens, but the drastic changes will still have long-lasting effects. Being financially responsible and savvy is immensely important during this time.
Although your financial situation may seem out of your control, you can try to manage your money a little better to get by the best you can.
While we don’t know how long this crisis will last, we need to best prepare for future challenges.
FNB consumer education programme manager, Dhashni Naidoo, stated that “top of mind, for many consumers, are the financial concerns and uncertainty during this difficult time. We need to to do is be incredibly disciplined in how we manage our money, during this period and to the foreseeable future.”
Below are a few money tips to help you get through this tough time.
1. List every single expense you have
Once you have a list of every expense, you can find ways to change your spending habits to free up money. Here are a few ways you can free up money:
- Cancel subscriptions you don’t need, such as exercise apps, live-streaming apps, etc. You can re-subscribe once you have a steady income again.
- Don’t order takeouts.
- Shop carefully and avoid unnecessary trips to shops.
Even if you’re able to make ends meet comfortably, consider cutting down on luxuries and unnecessary spending. You can use any extra money you have to create an emergency fund for in case things go south in the future.
2. Speak to your creditors about readjusting your repayment plan
For some, the lockdown has had a drastic impact on salaries and has even resulted in job loss. If you’re unable to keep up with any payments, like your credit card for example, contact your provider instead of just not paying. They may be able to readjust your repayment plan.
3. Avoid debt like the Coronavirus!
Racking up debt now is extremely dangerous! You need to do your best to avoid personal loans, payday loans, credit cards, etc. If you do have to take out a loan, make sure you’re well aware of the conditions of the loan:
- The time it takes to pay off the loan
- The amount you will pay on the monthly installments
- The amount you will pay on interest
And then, ask yourself: Can I afford this loan if I receive less income in the future?
4. Find ways to earn more money
Struggling to get through the month? Well, there are ways you can create an additional income. It isn’t always easy to generate more income, but if you’re willing to work hard, you will succeed. Debt Rescue mentioned 3 ways in their article How To Manage Your Money During Lockdown.
Sell products online
Shopify, one of the biggest e-commerce platforms, allows you to manage your own online shop easily.
Become a freelance writer
If you enjoy writing, there are so many opportunities for you to turn your talent into cash. Don’t know where to start? Visit Contena Community for guidance.
5. Stop wasting money on things you don’t need
Now is not the time to buy luxury items, such as new cellphones, streaming platforms, fancy clothing or new furniture. Your focus should be on buying what you need – NOT what you want. Before making any purchase, ask yourself: “do I really need this?”. If the answer is no, don’t get it!
6. Think long and hard before making any big financial decision
A huge financial decision could backfire in the future. Make sure you seek professional advice if you need it. Don’t be impulsive.