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Interest rates got you worried? Here are 3 ways you can stretch your money

The South African Reserve Bank has announced an increase in the benchmark rate by a 75 basis points taking the repo rate from 5.5% to 6.25% while the prime lending rate rose from 9% to 9.75%.

With the recent interest rate hike announcement, consumers will be feeling the pinch forcing them to look for ways to stretch their money.

Here’s a look at how consumers in the country can make their money last longer:

Monitor your spending

Monitoring your spending and tracking your expenses is an essential step in stretching your money. You can track your monthly spending by reviewing your banking transactions and seeing how you can reduce your spending on unnecessary expenses.

According to Christian Hugo, Solution Strategist for FNB Integrated Advice, tracking your spending is a great way to see where your money is going and to draw attention to any possible unconscious spending.

Start your budget

Draw up a budget plan that takes into account your current and future income and expenses as well as the extra money that you save by cutting down on your spending.

A budget will give you a clear overview of your monthly expenses and ensure that you are setting aside money for savings.

Sebastian Alexanderson, founder and debt Counsellor at National Debt Advisors said, “When you budget, you know exactly where all your money goes, where you can make adjustments to save even small amounts, and also how to effectively save and leave enough money for unexpected expenses and emergencies.”

There are online templates available to help you get started. The most vital rule of having a budget is being motivated to continue budgeting, and sticking to your budget plan.

Shopping

Do your research on the monthly specials that retailers are offering. This will allow you to have a plan of where you are going so you can save on petrol instead of going shop to shop and never finding what you are looking for.

You will also have a clear idea of what you need to purchase and help you resist the temptation of buying unnecessary items. Online shopping is also a great way to avoid all of the things that tempt when you go to the shops with the added benefit of shopping from the comfort of your own home.

Finally, make use of loyalty and rewards programmes that retailers offer. Beside getting discounts by using your loyalty or rewards card, some retailers will allow you to redeem the cash value of your points against your purchase.

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