Budget woes

This reader is struggling to pay her bills. Our expert looks at her budget, sees where the problem lies and offers a solution. Agree with the advice?

Question
My gross salary is R15 000 and here is my Income and Expenditure statement:

Gross Salary            15 000
Net salary                 8 200

Car installment           2 600
Nanny                       1 700
School                         800
Insurance policy         1 500
Groceries                  1 500

I am always stressed. I do not know what to do since I am a breadwinner. I have other debt which I cannot afford to pay. What can I do?

Charne van der Walt answers:
Your car installment and nanny are taking more than half of your salary, which is way too much. I'm not saying there are better options – I'm just saying that you are currently living beyond your means.

My advice? Look at your insurance policies again. They may be great policies, but you are spending 18% of your take-home salary on this alone. So, when you've paid your car, nanny and policies, then 70% (more than two thirds) of your take-home is gone.

I cannot comment on your other debt because I don't know what kind of debt it is and what you pay each month. Again, take a good look at your policies, consider a cheaper nanny or daycare for the short term (it's never my first advice to let go of people as we should try and create work but in your case I really cannot see another way with what you take home) and then try and get your car paid off faster.

Once the car is paid, put the extra cash on your other debt (and don't use any credit cards or store cards until they are paid). The interest rates will go up, so make sure you are ready for that, as the payments on your car and your other debt will also increase.

Make sacrifices now and pay off your debt - there is no other way.

Are you also having sleepless nights over your finances? Ask Charne a question!

- Women24

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