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Have you caught yourself trying to scratch your nose whilst wearing a mask? Who would have thought that it could be so tricky? In fact, so much of what we know to be “normal” has changed over the past few months that we can’t really imagine going back to our usual routines of early morning school runs, traffic and racing to the office. The downside of course is that many people are on reduced pay, temporarily unemployed or formally retrenched.
It’s been a challenging time and I’ve had to relook at my budget over this period as my partner is currently out of work. An unexpected start to 2020 and we’re unsure of how long it will last. Having an emergency fund has been a life saver, but we’ll need to change our financial plans a bit in order to survive the year.
Here are my survival tips for 2020.
Stick to the budget
Now is a good time to start using a budget if you don’t already do so. It’s essential to know how much money you have to work with, and where you’re spending it. It also helps you to visualize your expenses and prioritise things as you’re bound to need to cut down somewhere. Part of budgeting is to track your expenses and make sure that you know where each rand has been spent.
I’ve needed to adjust my budget based on the circumstances and cut out non-essentials such as a holiday trip I was planning. Logistically I could simply delay the trip, but realistically I have better uses for my money right now. Like surviving!
Cash is king
It’s always better to have cash available during uncertain times. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you only spend physical cash (although that’s not a bad idea), but rather that you have money available that you can access quickly.
Nedbank’s JustInvest account is a money market account offering competitive, tiered interest rates with access to your money on 24 hour notice. This is a good option for saving money during this time as you can access your money quickly if you need to, but it’s out of immediate temptation.
The Electronic 32-day call account is also a great option as it offers slightly better interest rates. If you have sufficient cash flow and don’t need immediate access to your funds, then this is something to consider.
Both these accounts allow you to deposit money at any time and you can give notice to withdraw funds via the app in a few clicks.
Save for the future
Although it may be tricky, it’s a good idea to save some money for the slightly longer term. You might want to invest a little money for the next year, but you can’t afford to loose any capital. If that’s the case, a fixed deposit would be perfect. This allows you to choose how long to hold your money and will give you a guaranteed growth with no risk.
You can open a 12 Month Fixed Deposit from Nedbank with as little as R1,000. They have competitive rates and no monthly fees or commission.
Surviving guide for 2020
The year sure has started off with challenges and we’ve all needed to adapt. When people say there’s a “new normal” it refers to your finances too. We need to keep a watchful eye over our finances, find new ways to earn income and make sure that we can make it through this time by having a little extra stashed away for “just in case”.