South African consumers are feeling the pinch from food, petrol and electricity price hikes. Economists estimate we are now paying around 12% more than a year ago for food items, while fuel has jumped significantly this year. This has had an impact on all other essentials, such as public transport and gas which is mostly used for heating in winter.
According to NerdWallet.com, here are some tips that can help you survive this tough economic climate.
Relook your spending habits
If inflation is making it difficult to stay within budget, take a moment to reassess your cash flow and where it's going. Start by determining if there are things you can temporarily do without so to ensure essential needs are covered, like housing, groceries, transportation and utilities. For many, this reassessment may result in pressing pause on non-essential expenses like dining out or subscription services.
Avoid taking on new debt
With the recent interest rate increase, this means that debt has become more expensive. You may find that its best to postpone going into debt now until things change economically to ensure that you are flexible enough to meet your current financial commitments instead of getting new ones.
Look out for sales
Especially for groceries, now is the time to check out your local newspaper for those promotional leaflets at month end to compare prices. This will guide your shopping and where to get best value for your money. Buying bulk also helps especially for non-perishables like washing powder and toiletries. Some items can be crossed off the list for 3 to 4 months as you may still have stock at home.
Maximize loyalty and reward programs
Loyalty programmes like Standard Bank Ucount and others like it, can come in handy to stretch the rand. You can enjoy discounts and cash back on your monthly spending patterns. If you plan right, you can use your rewards to pay for your groceries one or two months of the year, especially if your rewards programme is linked to your daily transactional account. Visit their website to learn more.
The tips shared above can never replace the need to have a conversation with a skilled and professional adviser that will assist you with a financial plan which is customised to your unique circumstance. Click here to speak to a Liberty Accredited Financial Adviser.