News Column

Four of the Worst Spending Habits That Are Making You Poor

May 27, 2014

Ester Kali

BAD spending habits can easily lead to a big financial hole if you don't look out for them carefully and it is never too late to tighten the belt.

South African Reserve Bank recently announced that the current interest rate will stay put for a while longer. I am sure numerous South Africans are breathing a sigh of relief and now might be a good time to save where you can to prepare for the possibility of an interest rate hike in future.

Nowadays it is of great importance to think twice before purchasing. Do you need this item or do you want it and can you afford it are some of the basic questions we should ask ourselves before queuing at the till.

Here are some things for fellow Namibians to think about and to hopefully get out of debt:

Shopping without a plan or a budget

How often do you decide to pop into a mall or shop during your lunch hour or on the weekend without intending on buying anything, and come away with armfuls of new clothes, shoes or even a nice cake from a bakery. It is these quick trips to stores that are the major undoing for many people. Even if you go into a store with the best intentions, such as going to pay off your store card, you are often led astray and end up buying something as you leave. The best thing to do is to avoid going to the shops in the first place. Unless there is a very specific thing that you need and it is written down, do not venture into a store.

Small purchases that make big differences

A take away cappuccino and lunch every day might not seem like a big expence as a once off, costing around N$50. But, what is most people's undoing is in its regularity. These small daily purchases quickly accumulate. An average working month has 22 working days, so N$50 for each of these days will amount to N$1 100, without you even realising it.

Not knowing what you are spending on your debt

Do you know the current interest rate on each of the cards in your wallet? The answer is most likely not. If you don't know how much you are paying to borrow money, how can you be expected to keep control of it?"

Spend some time going through all the different debts you have, from store cards, to credit cards, short term loan repayments, car repayments or your bond and find out exactly what you are paying on each loan.

Lazy spending

One of the biggest undoing of spenders is lazy spending. Spending wisely and saving is not unachievable, but what it does require is time and patience. Most people end up making bad spending choices, just because they haven't taken the time to consider an alternative. Almost everything that you spend on has an alternative that may be more cost effective and just as good. Everything from discounts on school fees if you have more than one child in school, to reviewing insurance policies, to what common household items you purchase each week. Let us all become and remain financially smart, take action and start spending sensibly.

*Ester Kali is the Executive of Retail and Business Banking at FNB Namibia.

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Source: AllAfrica