MONEY

Another Petrol Hike On The Cards -- Here Are 7 Ways To Make Your Rand Stretch

Stretching your rand comes with some sacrifices.

05/12/2017 10:43 SAST | Updated 05/12/2017 10:43 SAST
Rogan Ward / Reuters

The petrol price for all grades will increase by 71 cents per litre on Wednesday. This is the fifth month in a row the petrol price has increased.

The main reasons for the increase are the rand's depreciation against the dollar and the rise in crude oil prices, said the department of energy.

The petrol price increase means many people will have less money to spend, putting further pressure on an already financially demanding festive season.

Here are a few tips from FNB's head of consumer education, Eunice Sibiya, and Old Mutual's head of financial education, John Manyike.

1. You do not need to be at every event

The easiest temptation to spend money is at events, so self-imposed house arrest can literally save your pocket. If you have no option but to go, leave your bank cards at home or take cash that you need for things you've budgeted for such as food and liquor.

2. Carpool

If you're going to the same event, take one person's car and contribute to the fuel money. Not only does this save on your pocket, catching a lift with someone else can decrease the carbon footprint and you get a chance to know those people a bit better.

3. Eat at home

Dining out can be expensive, especially in December, when there are so many events, so spoil yourself by making your own food. There are many easy recipes online. In addition, cooking at home is proven to be the healthier option compared to fast food, because you can control both the ingredients in your food and your portion sizes –– and even have leftovers!

READ: Want To Stick To A December Diet? Don't Go To A Party Hungry

4. Host at a friend's as opposed to a venue

Hosting an event at a venue can be very costly, especially if the venue is providing the food. If you or one your friends has enough space to host that braai, last book club meeting and new year's eve party, rather do it there. It can also be a bring-and-share, so one person shoulders the financial cost, plus you can agree to collectively wash the dishes afterwards.

5. Enjoy your liquor at home

Liquor at events can come up double the original price, never mind at event venues. And while you deserve to enjoy yourself, if you're a bit stretched for money, you can save a lot of moolah by buying liquor from the shops and enjoying it in the privacy of your home, or maybe with a few friends.

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6. Sell unwanted stuff for cash

This might be a good time for a little spring clean. Some of us have stuff that is in good condition that we we haven't used -- that birthday gift you never opened, that sporting equipment, clothes you haven't worn in ages and that old laptop. You can sell all these. There are a number of stores that will pay cash immediately for your goods. There are also reputable online platforms where you can sell your stuff.

7. Cut down on nonessentials

Sibiya cautions against buying on a whim and buying when you haven't budgeted for something. Do I need it and with what money will I purchase it are two questions to ask yourself before any buy, especially if you're already stretched, she advises. Budgeting has never been more important, she said.

"We can definitely expect tougher conditions, because even the economic growth prospects are still very minimal," said Manyike. He emphasised the importance of consumers living within their means, especially this festive season. "It is important that consumers focus on things we can have control over, such as how we control our money or our expenses," he concluded.

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