With the rising cost of inflation and the prices of electricity and fuel also increasing, South African consumers have had to tighten their belts in an attempt to make their money stretch further to survive these tough times. According to a recent survey, South Africans have had to turn to credit cards to help get them through the month and with debt levels at around 72%, this means that for every R100 a person earns, R72 goes towards debt, leaving little room for monthly expenses.
It makes sense that many South African consumers are trying to be thrifty with their hard-earned cash by cutting down on monthly expenses, separating the ‘needs’ from the ‘wants’ and focusing on the essentials. You may be wondering how this can be done, and more importantly, what areas you can cut back on first to create some financial leeway.
A good place to start is by cutting back on your major expenses, like your car, which accounts for one of the biggest ‘household’ related expenses. In a recent report by Standard Bank, transport comprises of 15% of aggregate household expenditure which includes fuel and purchases of new vehicles. Despite the costs involved with owning a car, there are things that you can do to make sure that your vehicle doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and can actually save you money in the long run.
- If you are thinking of buying a new car, consider a second-hand car where you can enjoy the benefit of paying lower monthly instalments and service fees
- To avoid high expenses in the long run, service your car regularly. These days, most modern vehicles will have a light that flashes to remind you that your car is due for a service. But if you have a slightly older vehicle, it would be a good idea to access your vehicle’s manual which lists all the service intervals and which service operations are required to be carried out.
- Your driving behaviour is key to lowering fuel consumption and maintenance costs. A car uses more fuel under heavy acceleration and braking, than it would if one keeps the revs relatively low and pulls away decently. Constant ‘spirited pull-aways’ and ‘slam-on’ braking does not do your fuel consumption or your car for that matter, any favours.
For many, a vehicle is not only a means of transport to get from point A to point B, but it is a main source of income. In the unfortunate event of theft or hijacking, it could certainly affect a person’s livelihood and have detrimental effects on their financial situation. So it’s important to ensure that your family and friends install a stolen vehicle recovery device that, in the event of a hijacked or stolen vehicle, it can be recovered and returned quickly and pain-free.
To find out more about Beame’s services and value added services, visit www.beame.co.za or call us on 0860 23 26 31.