Financial Mail

FAT When there’s no wiggle room left

Reader letter of the week

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Question:

I earn R19,000 per month and my bond is R6,000, R2,000 goes to “family tax” or “black tax”, R2,000 for petrol to work and back, R1,000 to rates, R1,000 to electricit­y, insurance, money for medicine, groceries and so on. I also have a five-year-old daughter — what am I doing wrong?

Apart from taking on two jobs, is there any other way I could save more money?

Answer:

— Michelle C

The unfortunat­e answer is you’re doing nothing wrong.

You have a budget, you know where your money is going and your bond payments are a little under 30% of your salary, which is considered responsibl­e, and you have no expensive car repayments.

The problem is that with rising rates, petrol and food inflation, things are a lot more expensive than a year ago — and it’s tough.

What you can do is speak to your employer about a salary increase, or if you’re not due one, engage them ahead of your next increase for an inflationr­elated raise.

You can also shop around for cheaper insurance, starting with asking your current insurer for a reduced rate as the goods you’re insuring are a year older and hence worth a little less.

Your “black tax” is tricky, but it may be worth a conversati­on with your family to see if you can’t send a little less every month.

Also consider ride-sharing with somebody who works and lives close to you. If possible, chat to your employer about more hybrid/remote working to save on fuel bills.

And, of course, what about some extra income, something you can do to earn a few extra hundred rands every month? Maybe you can babysit, or sell a skill you have. Remember, every extra R100 helps.

The FM Your Money team

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