Our Rands don’t seem to go as far as they used to, and it’s too easy to get into debt. Come the new year we vow (especially after a heavy spending December) to halt our spending and manage our debt more effectively.

Financial planners advise making specific budget-friendly rules, rather than pronouncing overarching and often unattainable goals.

Only allow yourself to eat one dinner out a week, for example. Take a packed lunch to work most days. Shop around when making big purchases. Also shop around for home insurance and for credit cards with lower interest rates.

What about putting an extra R500 or even R200 a month toward paying off that loan. Once you’re out of debt, the goal then is to put enough money away for retirement. When the temptation to spend strikes and those shoes seem to be calling your name, just repeat a positive affirmation, like: “I will save money this year, I will save money this year.”

Our GetMore finance expert says: Living beyond your means causes stress and will get you into financial trouble. Budget smartly, start a savings plan and manage your expenses. Remember that GetMore offers budget advice, help with bank and financial products, and can assist with loans and debt management.

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