South African Consumer Outlook for 2017: What Can You Do?

Due to multiple factors beyond our control 2016 was tough on South African consumers’ wallets, and according to analysts 2017 will unfortunately not look much better.

Research and Market Analysis Firm, Nomura predicts a low GDP growth for the country, coupled with no interest rate cuts and a threatening junk status rating during the second half of this year.

Add the festive season’s overspending and the rise in fuel price to the news and suddenly 2017 seems frightening indeed. But all is not lost. Consumers can ready themselves for what ever happens by taking action now.

How can South African consumers protect themselves this year?

  1. Spend less

With over R1.6-trillion in consumer debt, South Africa has become one of the most indebted countries in the world. Now is not the time to take on any additional expenses but instead drastically curb spending. Re-evaluate every single one of your expenses, cut luxuries and stick to a strict budget.

  1. Save more

Get in touch with your “stingy” side this year. Save where you can, on what you can as often as you can. Make drastic changes to cut your grocery, telephone and electricity bills as well as any other fluctuating bills. Put these and other savings in an interest bearing account with limited access.

  1. Plan ahead

A proactive approach to your future’s financial needs is no longer a nice to have but a necessity. Now is the time to plan ahead and make provision for retirement, your kids’ education and all other saving goals including saving for things like this year’s festive season. Re-evaluate where you are going with your career, whether you are able to take on more responsibility for a better salary or whether it is perhaps time to look for something different.

  1. Tackle your debt or get help

With so many economical uncertainties looming in 2017, the last thing any consumer needs is high debt instalments buckling them down even further. 2017 is the year to tackle your debts. Don’t make any new debt and pay more than the minimum instalment on interest accruing accounts.

If you are already over indebted and find that the holiday’s spending has literally made things worse, get help as soon as possible. Debt Rescue’s expert debt counsellors can help you get back on your feet.

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