Direct Talk

How to Recover from a Financial Emergency

It feels great when your life is on track - your savings are growing steadily, you’ve got a fulfilling job, your car is almost paid off and you’ve got your sights set on a house you’re hoping to make an offer on. It seems like nothing can go wrong, but what happens if it does?

 

This is the situation Sateesh Shaganti found himself in, when one day he got the call that his father had fallen gravely ill. Sateesh had come to South Africa to find opportunity, and was relatively well established when he had to drop everything and fly home to care for his father.

After two months in hospital, his father recovered, but since his father had no medical aid, Sateesh was left with a hospital bill of R300 000. He turned to friends and family for the money, and after settling his debt with the hospital, he faced an uncertain financial future.

Sateesh has since paid back the money he borrowed from his loved ones, and thanks to his financially savvy nature managed to keep himself afloat and comfortable during that time. Here are some of his tips for paying off debt without breaking his budget:

  1. Keep track of all your incoming and outgoing money, even down to the last rand! When you’re constantly aware of your budget, your spending will fall in line.
  2. Cutting down on small expenses can make a big difference. Switch to pay-as-you-go data vs contract bundles. Eat out less. Buy second hand.
  3. Pick up a side hustle by using your skills to upskill others. If there’s something you can teach, and you can earn a respectable amount from working after hours.
  4. Sell anything you don’t need on second-hand e-commerce websites or Facebook. Your unwanted goods might be someone else’s treasure!
  5. Don’t use your credit card unless it’s an emergency, and consolidate your debt where you can.

Planning for emergencies seems like an impossible task, but training yourself to be more mindful with your money can ensure that when a crisis does come around, you are better established to manage it.

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