Kirstie

Kirstie

Finance

How can Debt Review help you recover from the effects of lockdown?

We’ve all felt the horrible effects of the fast-spreading virus that surprised us in 2019. If you had told me last year that businesses would close their doors, people would be forced to wear masks when they stepped outside of their homes and international travel would come to a sudden halt, I wouldn’t have believed you for one second.

The world as we know it has changed… The worldwide pandemic, COVID-19, has caused an economic shock of unprecedented scale by shutting down sectors of the global economy. Following global initiatives to stop the spread of the virus, South Africans have been left devastated by the consequences of the lockdown. 

Although necessary, the lockdown has had disastrous effects on businesses and individuals. At first, people feared their health. But, since many South Africans have lost their disposable income, savings and investments, they’re worried about their financial future. 

The lockdown has caused a knock-on effect: 

  1. Many small to medium businesses could not generate enough profits. 
  2. They faced the threat of closing down. 
  3. This resulted in wage cuts and, even worse, job loss. 
  4. This has caused a major increase in poverty and unemployment. 

Unfortunately, many individuals have taken on more debt during the lockdown just to make ends meet. Others have been unable to keep up with debt payments.

If you’re in financial trouble right now, debt review may be your saving grace. Basically, as soon as you’re under debt review:

  • Your assets are protected
  • Creditors aren’t allowed to harass you
  • You only pay one reduced monthly instalment towards all of your debt

Are you receiving a reduced income due to the lockdown? Are you struggling to keep up with debt repayments? If so, debt review may be the perfect solution to your problem. 

Here’s some more information about debt review in South Africa.

What is debt review?

Debt review, also known as debt counselling, was introduced by the National Credit Act (NCA) in 2007 to help South Africans get out of debt and to prevent them from being blacklisted.

You can contact a National Credit Regulator (NCR) registered debt counsellor to help you with the legal process.

What are the benefits of debt review?

You only make one single reduced payment towards your debt

You won’t have to stress about paying multiple creditors every month. You will only be responsible for one single monthly reduced debt payment, which you will pay to your debt counsellor. Your debt counsellor will then take care of your debt on your behalf. This way, you can rest assured that your debt repayments will be paid on time, every time.

You can’t fall deeper into debt

The debt review process ensures that you will not make more debt. The process prevents you from taking out additional debt to ensure you get rid of your current debt.

Once you’ve completed the debt review process and you have paid off your debt, you will be allowed to apply for debt.

Lower monthly instalments

Your debt counsellor will negotiate with your creditors to lower monthly repayment amounts.

Your assets are protected

Once you’re under debt review, creditors aren’t allowed to harass you or take away your assets as a form of payment. Your debt counsellor will take over all communication with your creditors.

What are the disadvantages of debt review

You need to have an income to qualify  

You need to have at least one household income as well as a sufficient amount of debt to qualify for the process. You can see if you qualify here: debt calculator.

Some debt counsellors may not be registered

A debt counsellor must be registered with the National Credit Regulators (NCR). Ask a debt counsellor for their registration number and then make sure they’re registered by checking on the NCR website.

Ready to get rid of your debt?

Times have been tougher than ever. If you’re looking for a way to regain financial stability, consider the debt review process, especially if you:

  • Are living off your credit card. Credit cards have dangerously high-interest rates.
  • Are taking out ‘bad debt’ as opposed to ‘good debt’. Buying a house or investing in education is different from using credit cards and personal loans to maintain a certain lifestyle.
  • Don’t have an emergency fund. As the lockdown has shown us, we cannot predict the future. An emergency fund should be there to help you in tough times, like the lockdown. 
  • Creditors are harassing and threatening you. If you don’t pay your creditors on time, don’t expect them to be lenient. If they cannot get the money you owe them from you, they’re allowed to take legal action against you. If you’re worried about losing your assets, apply for debt review before it’s too late.
SABEST

Tick-Borne Diseases You Ought To Know About

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Ticks are the most annoying creatures on the face of the Earth as they cause immense difficulties and problems to not only our pets but to us pet parents as well. Apart from being creepy and itchy, ticks are also capable of spreading tick-borne diseases. In this blog, we will delve into those tick-borne diseases so that pet parents can be well aware of them.

Tick-Borne Diseases Pet Parents Must Know About

There are numerous diseases that are caused just by a solitary tick bite. They have been listed down below.

  • Babesiosis: Yellow dog tick and brown kennel tick are the two types of tick that are carriers of this particular disease. In this disease, the dog’s red blood cells are affected and it can spread from mother to puppy if not quickly adhered to. Moreover, this disease is likely to cause anemia due to loss of excess blood.
  • Bartonellosis: This disease is spread by both ticks and fleas and can be transferred from animals to humans. So being extra careful is very much important. Besides, if the disease is left untreated, it can lead to liver or heart disease.
  • Hepatozoonosis: It is a rare tick-borne disease that inflames certain body tissues and is close to impossible to treat. Besides, the signs that your dog may have this disease include: muscle loss, weight loss, eye discharge, blood diarrhea, fever, and poor body condition.
  • Ehrlichiosis: Dogs that are affected with this disease develop flu-like symptoms and at the same time, might develop bleeding disorders. Some common issues related to this tick-borne disease are: joint pain, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
  • Mycoplasmosis: This bacterial disease is transmitted by both ticks and fleas. It weakens the immune system of the host and causes depression, weight loss, and fever.

Tips To Keep Your Dog Free Of Ticks

As you have read above, ticks can caused several tick-borne diseases; some of which can be quite fatal. Hence, it is imperative for pet parents to stay alert and protect their furry pals. Below are some invaluable tips that pet parents should follow in order to keep their canine friend free from perilous ticks.

  • Gain knowledge about the peak tick seasons in your area.
  • Before the tick season sets in, get your pooch on a tick preventative schedule.
  • Keep your home and yard clean because a dirty area is like paradise for ticks.
  • Opt for quality tick preventatives. Visit BudgetPetSupplies for cheap and quality tick treatments for dogs.

Ticks are a big nuisance no doubt, but staying calm and getting your buddy on a tick preventative schedule does not only guarantee safety but keeps your pal safe from the above-mentioned tick-borne disease. Stay safe and keep protecting your pal from ticks and various other parasites.

SABEST

6 Lockdown money tips for South Africans

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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.

Side hustle

Set yourself up as a freelancer with sites like Fivver, Freelancer, Upwork and The Resource.

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.

SABEST

Fun ideas for the Easter weekend

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Easter doesn’t have to be dull, whether you are surrounded by family and friends or not. Here are some great ideas to keep you entertained this Easter weekend. 

Get cooking!

Easter breakfast

Start off the day with a bunny breakfast. Get the recipe here!

Later on in the day, enjoy a cooking competition with your family. Let each member choose a dish to make and then vote on the tastiest dish.

If you’re by yourself, perhaps you and your friends can post your dishes on social media and vote for the best looking dish! After all, isn’t presentation more important than taste?

Play!

Easter games

Play some good old fashioned games and get creative with arts and crafts this Easter weekend! Here are some fun suggestions: 

Chocolate bunny game 

  1. Place a chocolate bunny, hat, scarf, knife, fork and pair of oven gloves in the middle of a table. Tell your family to gather around.
  2. Everyone gets a chance to throw a dice, aiming for a 6.
  3. When a player gets a 6, they must put on the hat, scarf and oven gloves and then use the utensils to cut up the bunny and eat the pieces.
  4. Their chance ends when the next person gets a 6.
  5. The game ends once the bunny has been demolished.

Seek the bunnies

Hiding Easter eggs and finding them is always great fun but not all of us live in big houses with big yards. If you do not have a big yard you can add a twist to the game – find the eggs in 7 seconds! Eat what you manage to find!

Guess the flavor!

Players get blindfolded and are asked to guess the flavour of chocolate. The one with the most correct guesses wins. 

Madlips

This is a great game to play virtually with your friends and family if you are alone. Get a template of a story online or download an app for templates. Each person provides their own nouns, adjectives, etc. to complete the story before seeing the template. Each story then gets read aloud.  Try not to laugh, we dare you!

Good old fashioned board games

This is the best time to dust off those board games you haven’t played in forever. Here are the top 10 board games according to parent24.com.

Arts and crafts 

Let your creative juices flow with some Easter arts and crafts. Click here for a bunch of great ideas for you and the family.

Watch movies! 

Easter Movies

Make some popcorn and get cozy on the couch. Here are some fantastic easter movies for the whole family: 

  • The dog who saved Easter 
  • It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown 
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Hop (2011)
  • The Easter Egg Adventure 

Have your own Easter Weekend fun list? Share your ideas with us in the comment section below.