Motoring News

Salary increase? Be careful not to over-extend yourself

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – The start of a every new year brings, for many South Africans, extra disposable income in the form of a year-end bonus and maybe a pay increase or promotion.

Great, but bear in mind that inflation might have hit supermarket prices, DStv has raised it rates, a child might have started school, you moght be paying off credit cards after a Christmas buying binge.

Perhaps you bought a car, new or used, using your bonus as a deposit and now the monthly instalments will kick-in.

LOOK OUT FOR MORE INTEREST

Don’t be sucked into complacency (did we mention that pay rise will come with a PAYE increase?)

wesbank finance warning
DO THE MATH: Whether on a laptop, a sheet of paper, or with a financial adviser, stay within your means – even if you’re desperate for a new car. Image: WesBank

Bottom line: try to avoid increasing debt with tempting offers or new finance arrangements – that last means more interest payments.

WesBank’s marketing guru Lebogang Gaoakets says any “extra” income should be directed to clearing debt. That will benefit, perhaps, interest on future loans – for that is what ‘special deals’ usually involve!

STAY WITHIN YOUR MEANS’

“Borrowing more money to cover a current shortfall is almost always a surefire path to over-indebtedness,” Gaoakets adds. “Maintaining a healthy budget and living within your means should be practiced throughout the year. February, every year, is the ideal time to get started.”

Then, The Corner suggests, it might be feasible to go looking for that new car…

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