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Question
Posted by: Lauren | 2012/09/13

Money Woes

Hi Doc, I''m feeling very down today. I''m usually not concerned about money (not because I have more than enough to go around, but because I feel money isn''t everything). Well, as of today, I have a grand total of R200 to get me to the end of the month. I saved for years to take a little holiday, now I have no money because we had to go away for a friend who was getting married in another province (and we thus used our savings to get there, and have an extra two days holiday).

I am stressing a bit. I know I''ll make it through the month (because really it''s just petrol) but my credit card it literally maxed out (I''ve used it to pay for car repairs, early start on Christmas presents, lots of birthdays, a little extra towards the holiday- I pay over R700 every month to my CC and it''s maxed out?), my neighbour asked if I could lend her some money because SHE is broke, I had to pay over R600 to SARS for some reason, my car needs a bit of repair work now (because to get to the stupid wedding venue we had to travel on dirt roads and it obviously didn''t gel with my car).

I owe R18 000 on my credit card. I know if I am VERY good (i.e. NO SPENDING) I can pay half off within a year, it''s just that expenses are just a little too high for my income, and I got an increase in May, but it still doesn''t help. I can usually put R150 aside to my savings (yes, even though I struggle to make ends meet I still insist on saving), and my boss gave me a very nice bonus last year so I''m hoping for one this year again (not as good as a 13th cheque, but still). I''m planning on putting 40% to my savings, 40% to my credit card and using the rest for my car to be fixed.

I know if I can just start replenishing my debt and savings I''ll feel better, it''s just that I''m so down right now and I really regret taking that holiday (even if it was just four days, my first holiday that I''ve paid for myself- last holiday was when I was 15, now 25).

I do extra work on some weekends (nothing fancy, some promotions) to earn extra income (if I''m lucky an extra R200 a month) that also goes towards expenses.


WHY IS THIS SO HARD?!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I'm a financial idiot, but I'm sure other readers will come up with some helpful suggestions.
I might comment that some of the expenditure you describe is not actually compulsory - there's not really a need to give expensive birthday and Christmas presents, and even a holiday isn't always essential, when one can have a pleasant and cheaper time at home, when cash is scarce.
All of these are NICE, but not essential.
I gather that paying off your debts is more profitable overall than investments, and of course far more so than buying things as gifts for other people.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Roco | 2012/09/13

Instead of doing part-time work for someone on weekends open a business, sell stuff start small.

Reply to Roco
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/09/13

I'm a financial idiot, but I'm sure other readers will come up with some helpful suggestions.
I might comment that some of the expenditure you describe is not actually compulsory - there's not really a need to give expensive birthday and Christmas presents, and even a holiday isn't always essential, when one can have a pleasant and cheaper time at home, when cash is scarce.
All of these are NICE, but not essential.
I gather that paying off your debts is more profitable overall than investments, and of course far more so than buying things as gifts for other people.

Reply to cybershrink

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