Be festive but frugal
Don't be tempted to over-indulge this holiday season and beyond. No need to be stingy, but be sensible and follow some money-saving tips from First National Bank.
l Pay all your bills on time. Remember, late payments have a negative effect on your rating.
l Take up a debit order and let it be set on the payment due date and the customer's amount payable (minimum due or full amount owing).
l Look at a 55-day interest-free period by paying your account in full on the due date.
l Lessen the number of credit cards you have.
l Consolidate all your existing budget instalments into one.
l Request in writing that your creditors reduce the credit limits on your accounts to lower your available credit.
l Create a realistic budget and stick to it.
l Read and understand your credit statement.
l Get mistakes on your credit statement fixed.
l Negotiate with creditors for better rates.
l Monitor results and stick to your plan.
l Draw cash from your own bank's ATM.
l Remember: good money management involves having control over your money - not the other way around.
Barrett Whiteford, head of FNB credit card marketing, says the best way to deal with credit problems is by develo- ping good money habits.
"Budgeting is the only way you will know where your money goes each month and where you can cut back if you are overspending," he says.