4 Money Rules to Break

Some long-stand­ing fi­nan­cial ‘tru­isms’ are to­tal non­sense. Feel free to rebel against these…

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A lit­tle plas­tic can go a long way to­wards es­tab­lish­ing a stel­lar credit score, some­thing you’ll need to buy a car, a house and even some phone con­tracts. When you skip get­ting a card, lenders have fewer ways to con­firm you’ll pay your bills on time. Wor­ried about sink­ing into debt? Start small. Keep your bal­ance low, or use your card only a few times a year to build up a charge his­tory. Pick a card with no an­nual fees, and opt for a re­wards one (they have higher in­ter­est rates and lots of fi ne print) only if you can pay off the bal­ance each month, says Bev­erly Har­zog, au­thor of The Debt Es­cape Plan.

Your R15 morn­ing habit could add up to al­most R5 400 a year – but de­priv­ing your­self of small plea­sures can make you less likely to stick to big­ger sav­ings goals, says Cathy Derus, a fi nan­cial plan­ner and the founder of Bright­wa­ter Fi­nan­cial. Pinch­ing ev­ery cent may even­tu­ally lead to a spend­ing binge. Rather than fi xat­ing on each cost you can cut, shift your at­ten­tion to how you might earn a bit more, whether that means seek­ing some ex­tra part-time work or in­vest­ing in a skill-build­ing class now to be­come a more com­pet­i­tive job can­di­date later.

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