Consumers urged to tighten their belts

JOHANNESBURG – As the festive season comes to an end it is back to reality for consumers.

Parents will have to spend big for the school year ahead and with the economy under pressure, 2016 is likely to be a difficult year for some.

Economists are warning of tough times ahead and are urging consumers to tighten their belts.

Economist Dawie Roodt said, “Something that is happening internationally is that the Americans started recently increasing the interest rate… Locally we will see a couple of increases in interest rates as well and all those factors is likely to weigh on the economy and the possibility of recession cannot be excluded.”

Rising inflation means parents can expect to spend more on filling up lunch boxes in the months to come.

Here are some tips for saving money in the coming months from Debt Rescue’s blog.

Step 1: Choose 3 financial goals

Choose a short- medium- and long-term financial goal you believe to be the most important, i.e. saving for an emergency fund (short), becoming debt free (medium) and saving towards a college fund for your child (long).

Step 2: Relook your budget

Your December pay cheque will have to carry you through to the end of January 2016. Don’t be tempted to overspend during the holidays, as this decision will give you a false start in the New Year. The time to budget and plan is now!

Step 3: Reach the first milestone of each goal

Combine the money you saved on your December budget as well as any extra savings you have made. Now, divide this number into three equal portions, and use it to reach milestone one of each goal. If you need to create a savings/investments account, choose one that doesn’t give you immediate access to your funds.

Start working on your financial goals now, before the year is done. Not only will it give you a head start but it will also give you the necessary motivation to make 2016 a financially stable one.

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