Be festive but frugal

Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

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.