Despite a year of mixed blessings as far as the economy is concerned, South African consumers show little sign of slowing down their spending. While retailers are expecting a subdued festive spending season compared to previous years, recent figures indicate that South Africans have not modified their spending habits much over the course of the year, which saw the Rand fall amid labour unrest and an increase in inflation all-round.
For many South Africans, the current level of consumer spending is business as usual. However, some consumers are racking up thousands of Rand in debt as they try to maintain their lifestyles or make large purchases, like cars and property, which push up their monthly repayments significantly. If you’re worried about your monthly expenses, you should consider seeing a financial advisor who specialises in debt counselling to discuss a strategy of debt management – here is an overview of the process involved:
Assessing Your Debt Levels
Your debt counsellor will ask you for a full list of your monthly income and expenses, and will use this information to assess whether you are over-indebted or not. Remember that not all debt is a bad thing – some forms of debt, like your bond and car payments, are necessary and can be sustained as long as your income allows you to make these payments comfortably.
Taking Action to Reduce Your Debt
If your debt counsellor finds that your debt level is too high, you will need to agree to a plan of action to reduce your debt and regain financial freedom. This may involve applying for debt counselling if your debts are so large that you are struggling to make your repayments, but in many cases a few adjustments to your monthly spending habits will be all that’s needed.
Help From Northwood
To assist our clients in dealing with debt issues, Northwood has published an eBook, Overcoming Debt – How to Implement a System that Works. The eBook is available on our Books page and also in paper format for clients who would prefer a hard copy.