WAYS TO COPE WITH EASTER COSTS

CityPress - - Business -

CRE­ATE A BUDGET

1 Lizl Budhram, head of ad­vice at Old Mu­tual Per­sonal Fi­nance, ad­vises that, even at this late stage, you should cre­ate a budget for Easter and stick to it. If you find that dif­fi­cult, sign­ing up to Old Mu­tual’s bud­get­ing tool 22Seven can help you keep track of it all.

“You can ac­cess the app on your phone and it will tell you that you are go­ing over your budget,” she says.

If you do bor­row money to go away, make sure you un­der­stand the fi­nan­cial ram­i­fi­ca­tions of this de­ci­sion.

“How does that fit into your budget? There may be im­me­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion, but, over the long term, there is more stress on you and your budget. Re­mem­ber, there’s a new school term com­ing up, which brings ad­di­tional expenses. De­cide if it’s worth your while to go away.”

RE­DUCE HOL­I­DAY COSTS

2 If you want to go away at the last minute, con­sider online deals and spe­cials. Go to sites such as Airbnb, which of­fers homes in ev­ery cor­ner of the coun­try and caters for all bud­gets.

Put in how much you want to spend, and your com­puter or smart­phone does the rest.

Don’t book the first thing that you see – shop around for the best deal, and even con­sider group buy­ing web­sites for dis­counts and spe­cials that could ap­ply over the Easter week­end.

Try to con­vince fam­ily mem­bers and friends to come along with you so that you can share the cost of the ac­com­mo­da­tion.

OBEY ROAD RULES

3 While you may be keen to get to your des­ti­na­tion as fast as pos­si­ble, break­ing the speed limit can end up cost­ing you.

Des Fen­ner, gen­eral man­ager of Dat­sun SA, says keep­ing to the speed limit will re­lieve the stress that comes with con­stantly mon­i­tor­ing fel­low road users. It will also help you to avoid spend­ing hol­i­day money on speed­ing fines.

Fen­ner adds that, in ad­di­tion to this, it will re­duce fuel con­sump­tion and wear and tear on your ve­hi­cle – an­other saving!

EAT AT HOME

4 Res­tau­rants can be ex­pen­sive and some may even in­crease prices over the Easter hol­i­day to fur­ther boost prof­its. While the oc­ca­sional treat won’t break the bank, if you go out for each meal (un­less it’s an all-in­clu­sive hol­i­day), it a can all add up and leave you in debt.

De­cide how much you want to spend on eat­ing out and, for the rest of the time, eat at home to keep the costs down.

MAKE YOUR OWN GIFTS

5 Al­fred Ramosedi, African Bank group ex­ec­u­tive for sales and mar­ket­ing, says: “If you are giv­ing Easter gifts, con­sider home­made gifts this year. Bake cook­ies, paint eggs, put to­gether a photo al­bum, frame a fam­ily pho­to­graph or make a themed gift bas­ket full of smaller items.”

If you are a bit short on cash and want to earn some more, think about giv­ing the gift of time.

“Cre­ate a coupon of­fer­ing your ser­vices – clean­ing, babysit­ting, walk­ing the dog, cook­ing a din­ner or com­plet­ing house­hold projects,” adds Ramosedi.

GET OTH­ERS TO CHIP IN

6 Easter brings with it the gath­er­ing of fam­ily and friends, but cater­ing to ev­ery­one’s needs can be ex­pen­sive.

Ramosedi says: “In­stead of pro­vid­ing all the snacks to vis­i­tors, de­cide that ev­ery­one will bring an item to eat or drink. For the hol­i­day meal, ask fam­ily mem­bers to each con­trib­ute a dish.”

USE LOY­ALTY SCHEMES

7 For a bit of ex­tra cash, see if you can spoil your­self by cash­ing in on some of your re­ward schemes.

Marthi­nus Fourie, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of group buy­ing scheme bs­mart, says: “Dur­ing these dif­fi­cult and un­cer­tain times, the bs­mart card has proved to help con­sumers who man­age their bud­gets en­joy cash­back sav­ings.

“An­other ad­van­tage is that the cash-back card does not af­fect sav­ings clients might re­ceive through any of their other store or re­ward cards.”

He adds: “Feed­back from our mem­bers in­di­cates that bonus pay­outs do make a dif­fer­ence. The bonuses ease the debt bur­den and come as a wel­come sur­prise, es­pe­cially dur­ing a fes­tive sea­son.”

If you have a fi­nan­cial prob­lem or a pe7r­sonal fi­nance ques­tion you need an­swered, please share your sto­ries with us: per­son­al­fi­nance@city­press.co.za

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