Residents get tips on how to avoid ‘budget busters’

Financially savvy... Nitesh Patel, head of customer financial solutions, personal banking at Standard Bank, advises residents on how to stick to a set budget this year.


The head of customer financial solutions, personal banking explained that the reason many people struggled to keep to a budget was because they often set unreasonable targets for themselves.

“Setting goals that are too big to be achieved in a reasonable timeframe can lead to frustration and, eventually, resignation,” he said.

Patel offered tips on how to stick to a set budget and save more; firstly by reducing money spent on entertainment, especially during the weekends.

Another way to increase money saved was to start saving with an amount that is easily affordable and then increasing it over time.

“If you allocate a huge chunk of cash each month and an unexpected expense presents itself, you may get derailed,” he pointed out.

Patel concluded by urging residents to consider the tips, as they could significantly improve their financial situation over time.

“Choose one area to focus on, then when you have mastered it, move to the next one on the list. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Other tips to stick to a set budget include:

  •  Avoid constant weekend blow-outs: After a hard week at work, weekends provide a welcome respite. However, a trip to the mall or the garden centre can relieve you of R500, which can easily be saved for future use.
  •  Don’t ignore changes in your financial situation: Budgets should be adjusted when your financial situation changes; if you settle a bill, get a salary increase or add an expense – the outcome of your budget will change.
  •  Dealing with a spendthrift spouse: For your budget to successfully contribute to your financial security and prosperity, you and your partner must reach consensus on your spending and saving habits.
  •  Have an emergency plan: Try to build up an emergency fund of at least three to six months of living expenses in case of financial emergencies.


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