Namibia has just received an all-time record high fuel price hike – an increase that will really affect the consumers’ pockets. With this increase in the fuel price, it is a good time to look at where you are spending and if there are ways that you can manage your money and free up some cash.
Alna Booysen, FNB Premium and Consumer Head, says there are a few steps that one can take to make sure that they are making their dollars work for them over this time:
- Track your spending – This will be a great way to see where your spending is going and also highlight any unconscious spending that may be happening; it will also highlight your major spend categories. You can do this either by using a pen and paper or a spending tracker app.
- Now check your budget – Now that you have an idea of where your money is going, the next step is to put your budget together. This is where you need to look at what is important to you and check if your spending is aligned with the things that are important to you. On this point, you can go through the following 4-step process :
- Step 1 – Think, dream and reflect – what does your financial lifestyle look like in 5, 10, 15 years? Make a list of everything that is important to you. This could be your children’s education, your retirement, or being debt-free.
- Step 2 – The next step is to prioritise what is important to you. Look at the list that you made in the first step and choose the top three most important ones to you.
- Step 3 – this is the difficult one where you look at where your spending is going and if that aligns to what is important to you. For example, if being debt-free is important to you but you are spending lots of money on takeaways, maybe you can reduce the amount that you are spending on takeaways each month and rather use this money to pay off your debt quicker. Once you have made that decision, action it! Make sure that you set up a scheduled transfer to pay off your debt as soon as possible. This will reduce the temptation to spend as much on the items that you have traded off.
- Step 4 – The last step is to review this on a regular basis. Do the 4-step process on a regular process to ensure that your spending is aligned to what is important to you.
- Loyalty programmes – Use your loyalty programmes to help you free up the cash that you may need. For example, use your FNB Rewards to pay for cosmetic products as well as fuel where you can get up to 15% cashback on your fuel spend. With the cash that has not been used to pay for these items, use that to start saving for an emergency.
- Festive season – The festive season is also around the corner, so if you are traveling during this time, start saving for the extra fuel costs that may be associated with traveling over this period. Also be aware that some financial institutions will run monthly debit orders a bit earlier, which will help with cash flow in January and keep your credit score intact.
- More tips to save on fuel costs
- Plan your shopping so that you don’t need to pop to the shops on a regular basis. It will also save you money from an unconscious spending point of view.
- Even better, for safety and convenience try to shop online so that you will only buy the items that you need and will also save on fuel costs.
- If you travelling to the office on a regular basis, try to see if there is a way that you can carpool to save on fuel costs.
- Make sure that your car is regularly serviced and that the tyres are properly inflated.
- Stick to the speed limit and avoid aggressive acceleration.
“Being aware of where your money is going and what you are spending it on is the first step in setting yourself up for financial resilience. Using a tool like the FNB App will help you keep to your financial goals,” advises Booysen.