Having worked with people and their money for a few good years, I realise that debt is one of those things that continue to cause havoc in the lives of many people. I am NOT a debt counsellor and I firmly believe that each one of us should be our own debt counsellor so that we never have to go under debt review, unless it is absolutely necessary. So below are just a few thoughts that I have about how we can become our own debt counsellors;

1. Know that sometimes it is NOT more money that you need but rather more discipline over the money that you already have
2. When your salary decreases, as it happened for many as a result of Covid-19; you must respond accordingly by adjusting your expenses downwards. Ignoring this will not make it go away but it will become more complex, the longer you leave it unattended
3. Sometimes the best thing you can do is DELAY incurring expenses. Let’s say you had planned to replace your lounge suite and something totally unexpected happens and you find yourself spending the money you had saved for the lounge suite to address the crisis. As painful as it is, delaying buying your lounge suite would be the best course of action instead of forcing matters and still buying the item and finding yourself in a high debt situation
4. Consolidating your debts is NOT paying off your debts. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul was never a good idea and with debt consolidation, you are simply lumping up a number of smaller debts into one big fat debt. In my experience, this doesn’t make it any easier – it actually complicates and makes your getting out of debt even harder
5. Do NOT be absent mindedwhen spending money. Be fully aware of what you are doing when you spend money. That is why I am not a fan of credit cards because they encourage mindless spending and we tend to spend more when we buy using a credit card
6. If you really want to get out of debt, the first step you would take is to STOP buying on credit. You cannot be buying stuff on credit if you are trying to get out of debt. Cut up your store buying cards
7. Debt counsellors negotiate with your creditors to increase the term of loan on your debts so that your monthly instalments would decrease. You can do this at a huge cost through a debt counsellors and spend a few good years under debt review or you can approach us to help you negotiate your instalment terms on your home loan and your car loan at a fraction of the cost. You can email us info@thuthuka-sa.co.za
8. Do your utmost best to keep your credit record clean and healthy. Once your credit record is compromised, it makes it very hard to get out of debt. You can read the book From Debt to Riches for more tips on what to do before you go to see a debt counsellor