How to Deal with Financial Difficulties Post-Lockdown

How to Deal with Financial Difficulties Post-Lockdown

As the majority of South Africans have been plunged into financial uncertainty post the COVID-19 outbreak, this has left a wake of destruction financially. Households are being forced to relook at their monthly budgets to slowly navigate their way into the future.
It’s useful to know some practical and smart steps to take on cutting costs and saving cash amidst this financial strain. Here are our top ten tips.

Top Tips to cut and save on monthly expenses and income
1. Reassess Your Income and Assets

You can only budget according to your earning and spending. If the pandemic’s knocked your income, it’s time to reassess your budget. Determine your new starting point to know what budget cuts to make.
If you’re now only receiving 60% of your original salary, match your spending accordingly. Know what UIF COVID-19 benefits you qualify for, plus evaluate your savings as a possible three- to six-month emergency fund or supplementary income.

2. Analyse Your Expenses

If you don’t already have a monthly budget, now’s the perfect time to create one. This is your spending plan. It helps you set limits for certain categories and track your income and expenses effectively.

List all your expenses, from fixed spending on food, housing, utilities and insurance to variables such as beauty, clothing, eating out and entertainment. Don’t forget your credit card debt or car finance plans, as well as property rates and taxes and your car maintenance and repairs. Try to differentiate between your basic essentials and luxuries.

Challenge yourself to only spend the cash you’ve allocated to a category within that particular timeframe.

3. Re-Evaluate Your Fixed Expenses
Your car insurance payment’s an example of a fixed expense, but are you sure you’re getting the best deal available? Begin by asking your insurer to decrease your current monthly premium. If this isn’t possible, phone other insurance companies for comparative quote to try and reduce this repayment.

In the same way, try to refinance your house bond for a lower monthly repayment. Alternatively, contact your bank to reduce or temporarily pause either your credit card payments or interest rates.
Instead of missing your monthly loan repayments, find out what your current options are. Keep your payments as timeous as possible, but with even short-term assistance or a grace period, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief.
Along with cutting monthly costs, save cash in certain areas in the following resourceful ways:

Explore Home Cooking
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Ordering take-away or home-delivered food is convenient, but quickly becomes pricey. Eating out makes a large dent in monthly budgets. Instead, cook your meals at home.
Use Cashback

Find out the best way of getting back a percentage of your purchases in cash, points or rewards each time you spend. From eBucks to UCount, Greenbacks and more, see how you can partner with your bank and credit card to shop and spend strategically.

Stop Outsourced Service

If you’re used to a garden service coming every week or month, now’s the time to do it yourself. Any outsourced service is convenient, but can be temporarily put on hold while money’s tight.

Cancel Your Unnecessary Subscriptions
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In the moment you may pay the price of saying goodbye to your DSTV or Netflix account or gym membership, but when the going gets tough you’ll be thankful for the spare cash to keep you afloat. Think of it as short-term pain for long-term gain.

Despite facing ongoing financial difficulty as you enter a post-lockdown world, knowing how to effectively and resourcefully manage your money better is invaluable. Consider this an excellent opportunity to take stock of your monthly spending, and dig deep into your imagination amidst the chaotic COVID-19 crisis.

In these uncertain times, it’s wise to be prepared for further financial challenges, a reduced income or even complete job loss. Having a re-evaluated emergency budget in place will help you cut costs and save cash in tough times both now and in the future.

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