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Get into the budgeting groove

The benefits of having a budget and managing your budget for the
year ahead.

A South African Reserve Bank report states that about 75% of the average working
professional’s monthly salary goes toward repaying debt. 1According to the National
Credit Regulator, almost 40% of credit-active consumers have damaged credit records.
These shocking figures paint a bleak picture of the financial sustainability and the
realities many South Africans face.
With the cost of living at soaring heights, inflation, and exorbitant fuel prices, many of us
cringe at the thought of putting a few bucks aside for a rainy day. Let’s be honest.
Budgeting is difficult. And remaining disciplined in the savings process is a challenge.
While we are focused on living in the present, we find ourselves in a financial rut when
the festive mode is in full swing.

Get into the budgeting groove
Wikus Olivier, the founder and managing director of CreditSmart, is a pioneer for
healthy financial habits and is an advocate for budgeting. In his view, a small saving can
go a long way. Maintaining a budget will certainly be tedious, but you will reap the
benefits of your sacrifice.
He has shared insights to help you create a sense of financial security:
1. Set a realistic budget.
2. Create a weekly spending cap for daily essentials such as bread, milk, and petrol.
3. When heading out to the shops, stick to a shopping list to avoid spending money
on unnecessary items.
4. If you find yourself in a position where you are unable to save for a particular
month due to unforeseen circumstances, try saving extra in the following month.
For example, if you can’t save X amount in June, save double the amount in July.
5. While many want to maintain a certain social status, it’s important to refrain from
living above our means. If it doesn’t fit your pocket, don’t do it.
6. Set money aside for entertainment and stick to it.

Here’s how including a small savings to your budget can change your outlook for year
end. You will have R6,000 at the end of the year if you sacrifice around R500 a month
starting in January. As for how much money you should save, there is no golden rule, as
it depends primarily on your ability to afford it. A small amount goes a long way, whether
it is R100 a month or R1000 a month.
Budgeting may seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be with the right discipline.
“Budgeting is a habit which you need to exercise. If you do it regularly, it becomes a
habit. Habits are things we do naturally, things that we almost do without overthinking.
Budgeting needs to become a habit,” adds Wikus.
Make wise money habits a part of your lifestyle and encourage others to do the same.
Perhaps you and your family should consider saving small amounts of money together.
Your budget will provide a framework to manage your finances and reach your financial

With a focus on credit, debt, and financial management, CreditSmart assists consumers
with every aspect of their credit, debt, and finances. Get budget smart with CreditSmart