Budgeting for the Increasing Costs in SA
In my last article, I wrote about how to budget on an impossible budget. For me, the blog was about introducing budgeting and methods on how to budget, no matter the amount. As my journey of educating you about budgeting persists, this article is about budgeting for the increasing costs in South Africa.
The rise in petrol prices has impacted everything when we broadly look at the economic value chain within the country. The cost of transport, groceries, and housing keeps ascending, and sadly, most incomes remain the same. This lets us know that we need to go back to our budgets and remove items that may be less important compared to other items on the list - creating new budgets. When constructing your new budget, you need to be very strict with how and where you’re placing your money.
As a financial advisor, my advice is; to focus on the things that you can't survive without. These are usually things like:
Electricity and Airtime
If you use prepaid electricity, it would be advantageous to be aware of how much you spend on electricity monthly. In doing such, one opens the opportunity to buy electricity once at the beginning of each month. It helps knowing when and how much to buy as such knowledge can save you a lot of money that you can use elsewhere in your budget.
You are guaranteed to make a saving when you buy your airtime in a bundle form. Visit your network service provider to discover which bundles fit your needs and budget.
An example would be Vodacom; you can get a bundle to call any network for 60 minutes for only R12. For data, you can buy WhatsApp and social media tickets, which allow you access to the platforms you might need the most instead of purchasing actual data.
In South Africa, most retail shops offer reward cards, which allow you to buy some items at a discounted price if you have registered with them or have their card. Having the reward cards from the shops you buy from often will prove to be worthwhile in the long run. As small as those savings and points earned may seem, they will eventually equal huge savings within your budget.
For those communing with public transport, the cost of taxi fares has increased sharply since the fuel price increase, as expected. If there are buses on the routes you take daily, I would recommend comparing the prices charged for those routes. Although you might have to get up an hour earlier to catch the bus, they cost much less and are considered safer than taxis on the road.
Adjusting your budget is not easy. Finding other ways to increase your monthly income can also be one solution to your budget. Ultimately, you might have to cut some items out or look for other cheaper products to stay within your budget. The goal is for you to avoid finding yourself in debt. Visit our website to find budgeting tools you can use to start your budgeting journey.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Zanele Mokoatle