debtfreeWe previously spoke about the dangers of debt and how the Bible says the borrower becomes a slave to the lender. This warning is all well and good, but what happens if you are already indebted? What can you do? Is it possible to get out of debt?

The simple truth is that it is possible to turn your financial situation around. There are practical things you can do in order to get your debt under control and eventually be debt free. It goes without saying that budgeting is a key part of this process. In other words, have a clear record of where your money is spent. After budgeting one can look at a few considerations:

  • Stop borrowing money: This may seem quite obvious, but debt does have a snowball effect and you need to make a conscious decision not to incur more debt and to limit yourself to cash and debit purchases..
  • Understand your debt. Make sure you know who your creditors are, what outstanding balances you have and what the interest rates are. This will help you to prioritise your debt repayments.
  • Pay more than the minimum monthly amount. Often the minimum monthly amount is simply to “service” the debt rather than repay it quickly. When possible always pay more. This way the debt will be repaid much sooner and you will pay less interest.
  • Live on the absolute minimum budget. When wanting to pay off debt you need to ensure that you cut out luxuries. Things like satellite television and fast food are expenses that need to be stopped until your debt is manageable. The more you repay towards your debt the faster you will be debt free.

Proverbs 21:5 says “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty”. Have a structured plan and don’t just watch your money go towards debt repayments. Tough times call for tough decisions, sacrifice the luxuries for a time to ensure a better financial future.

Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant at Citadel.

debt ball and chainQuite a lot has been happening economically in our country of late. The petrol price increase and the worst drought in decades are two such examples that have resulted in a lot of people having to tighten their financial belts. Often when we find ourselves under financial pressure, we look for immediate relief. The seeming solution bringing the quickest relief is credit, or rather, debt. Consumers are inundated with offers for credit but if one misuses a repayment, you can find yourself in very hot water.

How does one then manage their finances in such a way as to avoid unnecessary debt? And what are the dangers of high and unmanageable debt? Here are a few considerations:

  • High levels of debt are a like a handbrake that is engaged: you will go nowhere: As long as you are paying debt you are enriching your creditor. High and unmanageable debt keeps you from saving and therefore obstructs your financial progression financial.
  • Debt is expensive. We all know that if you borrow R100 for instance you pay back more than R100. Interest rates have gone up twice already this year and therefore our debt has become even more expensive.
  • Manage your finances well enough to avoid debt. Sound financial and expense management will ensure that you know where your money is going and where you can cut back to save money. Rather than opening new lines of credit, cut back some of your expenses and pay off your existing debt.
  • Delay your gratification. Rather save money and wait a while before you make large purchases. Owing nothing on your possessions is so much sweeter!

In Proverbs 22:7, the bible says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave”. While credit and debt may provide instant relief, remember you have to pay the money that you borrow back, with interest! The relief you feel will be short lived. Your debt can soon enslave you if your finances are not managed properly. It is not a crime if you cannot afford a certain purchase, rather save for it. Or better yet, if your purchase is not a necessity, don’t make the purchase at all and save instead.

Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant at Citadel.

wealtheaterWe previously spoke about how after the budget speech it was time to tighten our financial belts. We then spoke about how wealth is accumulated. Most of us have some habits that eat away at our wealth. We often find in life that people want to cut expenses because we know that even a small leak can sink a large ship. Some of the smaller and more frequent expense can empty out our wallets without our realising.

If you are old enough to spend money, whether it is your own or you receive pocket money, you should be saving and cutting back on unnecessary expense. Here are a few from the very many that eat away at our wealth:

  • Food (Groceries) – Use your coupo’s and bank rewards, store reward cards! Time your shopping, don’t be in that store a second longer than you have to be. Cook extra and freeze, for days where you don’t feel like cooking, instead of having take-outs.
  • Insurance – Don’t cancel your short term insurance, have it reviewed then shop around for a more affordable and appropriate one. Don’t pay for unnecessary cover e.g. “seat cover insurance”, “Car rental for a 4x4”
  • Credit Purchases - Avoid credit as far as possible .When making credit purchases shop around, 1% interest makes a huge difference.
  • Entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive – Over and above spending less on entertainment, couple it with exercise. Hiking or taking a walk with loved ones. This will be better for your wallet, body and relationships!
  • Cell phones – Often we don’t consider this as a cost but it can be. Most of us pay for a contract but we still by additional data and airtime. Cut down on the time you spend on your phone.

The Bible in James 1:5 says:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Should you find that you are failing to manage your finances successfully, ask for wisdom to do so from The Lord. Learn to cherish the money you work hard for and learn to use it wisely. Realise that you need to gain control of your finances now or the lack of it might control you forever

 

Lesetja Madiba
Financial Wellness Consultant at Consolidated Financial Wellness

*** Consolidated is a national financial planning and financial wellness practice with offices in Western Cape, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. For more information visit www.consolidated.co.za

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Finance on Friday

Personal Financial Coaching with Lesetja Madiba

IMG 3437Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant and has a B.Comm Statistics.
He discusses Personal Finances live on a Friday during Changing Gear at 17h00.
Podcasts of these talks are also available.
Click HERE  for Lesetja's Profile and contact details.
Click HERE to read Lesetja's latest Financial Advice Blog.

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