Coping with Financial Stress 2019
SA households battle with financial stress
As many South African households struggle to “get by” financially and live from pay cheque to pay cheque, they often experience high levels of financial stress. While stress levels are the highest among low-income earners, more than a quarter of households with a monthly income above R40 000 also experience high levels of financial stress.
It is not surprising that many South Africans are interested in getting assistance on how to minimise their bills and create budget plans.
In the current South African economic landscape consumers are faced with tough decisions such as how much cash to withdraw while leaving enough invested to provide a suitable income.
Suffering from debt stress
Although the cost of living is rising, many South Africans have kept their quality of living much the same as before. Where is the money coming from?
South Africans are combating the high cost of living with loans, credit cards and store cards to make ends meet. This can result in psychological pressure. There are many factors contributing to depression. It can be biological, hormonal, genetic or attributed to medical illness or recreational drugs or medication.
Managing your household finances and making ends meet at the end of the month can prove to be a challenge.
Here are seven tips to help you cope with financial stress:
1. Commit to a budget - Compile a comprehensive household budget and stick to it.
2. Keep your family healthy - Plan healthy meals for your family, including lunchboxes for school and work. This helps avoid overspending on takeaways.
Having a healthy family will keep illnesses at bay, also reducing medical expenses. It might help to cut out sugar consumption, too, and to save on sugar tax.
3. Quit bad habits - Stop smoking and cut down on your alcohol intake.
4. Keep saving - No matter what, don't stop saving. Stay committed to your long-term goals and take advantage of tax-free savings options.
5. Don't live to impress - Don't put yourself under pressure by trying to keep up with the Joneses. Live and dress according to your means and not according to your friends' lifestyles. (They may also be in deep debt behind the scenes).
6. Learn to say no - Don't allow yourself to be pressured into buying things you don't need and can't afford.
7. Stay up to date - Take note of any taxation changes that could affect your financial decisions.