Resist the urge for a festive splurge

Johannesburg – While COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with many people’s finances, there are still the fortunate few who will get a cash injection in the form of stokvel payouts and bonuses.

Lindi Monyae, an executive for Liberty Emerging Consumer Markets, says that while having some responsible fun and enjoying some time off sounds like something you deserve, excessive and, unplanned spending is not a good strategy to take with you into the holidays.

“Don’t spend all your hardearned money on celebrations, no matter how tempting the spending seems to be.

“You’ve worked hard for your money, especially this year, so it’s wise to put a chunk of it away for the future to make sure you can maintain your lifestyle,” said Monyae.

She has three suggestions for those with a bit of extra money:

Settling your debts

Debt costs you money every month. Many of us found ourselves with extra debt because of financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that you have extra funds, it is wise to use the money to pay off your debt. The quicker you can make it disappear, the happier you will become. Extra payments, no matter how small, will make a difference in the long run.

Invest some of the money

Consider putting some of your extra income into a retirement annuity or a suitable investment vehicle. Speaking to your financial adviser will help you make well-informed decisions.

Make next year count now

Plan a budget for yourself for the upcoming year and see what your major expenses will be. Do you have school fees to pay? Does your car need a service? Maybe you need to buy new furniture for your house? Put some money aside for these things so when the time comes you can cover these expenses without too much hassle.

The message here is to keep focused on your financial goals. Any extra money you may have coming in should not just be spent on festive season activities. Rather see how it can benefit you in the broader scheme of things. “This past year was tough for everyone. As we look forward to a brand new year, we need to think about how we want to deal with our finances and how we can future-proof ourselves against any unforeseen challenges,” Monyae says.

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