Ricochet News

Wonga tips on how not to break the bank this Easter

Mar 27, 2018
Wonga tips on how not to break the bank this Easter

As Easter holidays approach, many South Africans are taking to the roads – or even the air – as they make the most of school holidays and vacation time. These breaks however, often put a strain on the budget, even when families choose to have a “staycation”.

“People often don’t realise that they end up spending more money during their vacation time, even if they’re staying home, than they do normally. It’s quite possible to spend more over a 24 hour period staying at home than it is renting a cottage at the beach and spending time there all day if one takes all the activities, food, movies and the like into account.

"This can lead to people struggling to pay their bills at the end of the month,” says Taryn Schmidt, Head of Marketing and Communications at short term loans company, Wonga South Africa.

Wonga recently asked their customers to share what led them to apply for short term loans during the lean month of January, with many answers being surprising.

45% of respondents said that unexpected household expenses left them strapped for cash, while 26% listed school fees and related costs and 12% noted utility bills that were higher than anticipated.

“While only 5% of clients indicated that they’d over-spent during the festive season, one could reasonably argue that the higher utility bills and unexpected household expenses could also be related to longer periods spent at home,” believes Schmidt.

“Our data shows us, however, that Wonga customers are savvy about how they use their money, using short-term loans to help them manage cash flow short falls that arise from unexpected emergencies. These consumers are not irresponsible with their finances, but rather need a helping hand over the short term for very specific reasons,” she continues.

Wonga is committed to helping people positively progress and so has collated their money-wise tips to keep your wallet healthy over the holiday period to avoid running out of cash before the end of the month.

  1. See where you can save

Websites such as Airbnb now allow families or groups of friends the option to rent great accommodation, at very reasonable prices. Staying in an Airbnb property also allows holidaymakers to cook for themselves, as opposed to eating out a lot and paying for hotel breakfasts.

“A meal for four at a restaurant is significantly more expensive and even just two or three evenings out with the whole family can make a serious dent in any vacation budget,” advises Schmidt.

Whether driving or flying to a destination it’s also good idea to pack snacks for the kids and, if driving to opt for good old fashioned padkos, as opposed to numerous fast food stops along the way.

  1. Consider a staycation

Foreign holidays, or even those in other destinations within South Africa, are exciting for all the family, but the costs add up quickly. More and more people these days are opting for “staycations” – staying at home, enjoying time with friends and family and even acting like tourists in their own town.

“When it comes to staycations planning is critical; draw up a budget and decide on family-friendly activities beforehand,” says Schmidt. “There are often early bird specials for events and booking these tickets allows for a saving which could then go to treats and other fun things.”

  1. Create a holiday budget

Schmidt believes that the most important thing to do when planning a family vacation, however, is to create a budget and to start saving well in advance.

“Saving up for a vacation lessens the risk of racking up unplanned expenses and credit card charges which can end up souring the memory of the trip.”

A big reason vacations can lead to debt is because they’re not planned for, especially when people opt for a staycation.

Schmidt advises that it’s important to budget for all the movie rentals, playdates, lunches, holiday clubs and day trips, as these do add up. “Saving beforehand really limits the risk of getting into debt while on holiday,” believes Schmidt.

Whether staying home or going on a family vacation this Easter, the best way not to break the bank is to budget, to save up and to stick to it.

Wonga is committed to providing people simple, fair financial choice and so has created the www.moneyacademy.co.za with expert budgeting and finance tips.