It is important to reflect on how we, as consumers, manage our money. Here are five ways to make smart decisions with your hard-earned money
It’s no secret that we are stretched by the country’s rising cost of living. Therefore, a healthy relationship with money becomes even more important for anyone who wants to take full control of their money journey and life goals.
Christian Hugo, solution strategist for FNB integrated advice, shares a few steps that you can take to make sure that you are making your rands work for them:
Track your spend
This will be a great way to see where your money is going and to draw attention to any possible unconscious spending. It will also show you your main spending categories. Use the Track my Spend feature on the FNB app or a pen and piece of paper to record this.
Check your budget
Now that you have a general idea of where your money is going, the next step is to create your budget. At this point, you should consider your priorities and determine whether your spending reflects those priorities. You can perform the following actions in this step:
- Think, dream and reflect – Consider your financial lifestyle over the next five, 10 or 15 years. List all the things that are important to you. This could be your retirement, the education of your children, or having no debt.
- Go through the list you created in the first step and select the top three items.
- This step is the difficult one, this is where you look at where your spending is going using Track my Spend and if that aligns with what is important to you.
- The last step is to review this regularly. Do the four-step process on a regular process to ensure that your spending is aligned with what is important to you.
Use tech to help you
Once you have allocated the money to the necessary items, use technology to help you stay the course. For example, use Smart budget on the FNB app under nav» Money. This will send you reminders to notify you when you are close to your spending limit per category, helping you to keep on track. Additionally, ‘My available funds’ within the same tool lets you know what’s left to save and spend after all known upcoming payments. All the scheduled payments and debit orders are taken into consideration and if you are experiencing a shortfall, you can access other funds available like eBucks, savings, and credit all in one useful place.
Use your loyalty programmes to help you free up the cash that you may need. For example, use your eBucks to pay for groceries, fuel or beauty products. With the cash that has not been used to pay for these items, use that to pay off your debt or start saving for an emergency.
More tips to save on fuel costs
Plan your shopping so that you don’t need to pop into the shops regularly. It will also save you money from an unconscious spending point of view. Even better, try to shop online so that you will only buy the items that you need and will also save you on fuel costs. If you travelling to the office on a regular basis, try to see if there is a way that you can carpool to save on fuel costs. Make sure that your car is regularly serviced and that the tyres are properly inflated. Stick to the speed limit and avoid aggressive acceleration. Additionally, to help you unlock some additional cash flow, the bank announced in July that it will give qualifying Retail and Commercial customers an additional R2 per litre back in eBucks for fuel purchases made at Engen. This benefit is available to customers irrespective of their reward level and is in addition to what they would have ordinarily earned. The R2 per litre back in fuel incentive ends on September 30 2022.
Are there other ways you are saving your money? Share in the comments below.