Make your money work for you…

…Despite the fuel price increase
Otis Daniels_Finck
Namibia has just received an all-time record high fuel price hike – an increase that will really affect consumers’ pockets. With this increase, 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 one can take to make sure that they are making their dollars work for them:

1)Track your spend - This is 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.

2)Check your budget - Now that you have an idea of where your money is going, the next step is to set up your budget. This is where you need to look at what is important to you and check if your spending is aligned to this.

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.

• Step 3 – Look at where you’re spending and if that aligns to what is important to you. For example, if being debt-free is important to you but you are spending money on takeaways, perhaps you can spend less on takeaways each month and rather use this money to pay off your debt. Once you have made this 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 on.

• Step 4 - The last step is to review this on a regular basis. Do the 4-step process regularly to ensure that your spending is aligned to what is important to you.

3)Loyalty programmes - Use this to help you free up the cash. For example, use your FNB Rewards to pay for cosmetic products as well as fuel where you can get up to 15% cash back. Save the cash that has not been used to pay for these items.

4)Festive season - If you are travelling during this time, start saving for the extra fuel costs that may be associated with travelling. 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.

5)More tips to save on fuel costs

• Plan your shopping so that you don’t need to pop to the shops too often. It will also save you money from an unconscious spend point of view.

• For safety and convenience, try to shop online so that you will only buy the items that you need and you will save on fuel costs.

• If you travel to the office on a regular basis, see if you can carpool.

• 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,” Booysen concludes.