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Picture: Supplied
Picture: Supplied

I earn R19,000 per month and my bond is R6,000, R2,000 goes to “family tax” or “black tax”, R2,000 for petrol to work and back, R1,000 to rates, R1,000 to electricity, insurance, money for medicine, groceries and so on. I also have a five-year-old daughter — what am I doing wrong? Apart from taking on two jobs, is there any other way I could save more money?

- Michelle C 

Answer:

The unfortunate answer is you’re doing nothing wrong. You have a budget, you know where your money is going and your bond payments are a little under 30% of your salary, which is considered responsible, and you have no expensive car repayments. The problem is that with rising rates, petrol and food inflation, things are a lot more expensive than a year ago — and it’s tough.

What you can do is speak to your employer about a salary increase, or if you’re not due one, engage them ahead of your next increase for an inflation-related raise.

You can also shop around for cheaper insurance, starting with asking your current insurer for a reduced rate as the goods you’re insuring are a year older and hence worth a little less.

Your “black tax” is tricky, but it may be worth a conversation with your family to see if you can’t send a little less every month.

Also consider ride-sharing with somebody who works and lives close to you. If possible, chat to your employer about more hybrid/remote working to save on fuel bills. And, of course, what about some extra income, something you can do to earn a few extra hundred rand every month? Maybe you can babysit, or sell a skill you have or even baked goods. Remember, every extra R100 helps. 

- The FM Your Money team 

Send us your questions to yourmoney@fm.co.za

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