As South Africa’s minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, bids a swift and undue goodbye, South Africans across the globe who earn in rands are watching in horror as the currency takes a brutal and devastating tumble.
The Daily Maverick describes the presidency’s latest antics as an act of willful sabotage – a perfectly engineered storm where the president and his cronies are but a few to receive shelter in the eye of the storm; the only place of calm amid a raging, and inevitable, super-tempest.
But the question on resident and expat lips alike is a resounding, ‘How far does the rabbit hole go?’. Though this year has prepared South Africans for a gradual dip in our currency, a few too many successive shock waves of late have unearthed the last stable roots of the rand-tree. Although we can undoubtedly sit in awe and follow the rand’s plummet to see how low it can go, like a highly distasteful game of limbo, it seems the best course of action is immediate action.
Buy new year’s necessities now
The problem with the new year is that most people spend so much in December, that they need a bail-out in January. If you buy some of your necessities for the new year (stationery, school supplies, books, etc.) now, you are covered for and you’ll also have less money to splurge on things you don’t need during the festive season.
Whether you’re still living in South Africa or have relocated abroad, now may be the best time to move your investments offshore. In doing so, you are spreading your risk, and could enjoy greater earnings in a foreign currency.
Pay extra instalments
No one knows what the future holds for South Africa, but it’s best to be prepared. If you have some extra money lying around, pay additional instalments on your credit accounts – this will give you a payment break early next year and also ensure that your debt is settled sooner.
Exchange your rands
Although the rand may, by some remarkable feat, manage to bounce back at some stage – it’s unlikely to happen soon. The best time to exchange your rands for the currency of your new home may have been in the past, but the second best time could be now. Of course, you can wait to see if the exchange rate improves, but it’s a gamble which could go either way. cashkows.com can help with your foreign exchange needs and offer you better rates than commercial banks.
One of the best, and most rewarding ways to save is by making things yourself. Whether furniture, preserves, decor or gifts – there are a myriad of instructable blogs and websites out there. Simply spend some time on Pinterest, Instructables.com, Lifehacker or Gizmodo and you’ll find a DIY project for each area of your house.
Grow your own
Fruit and veg are expensive. Of course, planting a fruit tree right now may only provide some pleasure in a few years, but it’s worth the wait. In the meantime, a vegetable garden will give your family much-needed nutrition, while saving you money in the long run. You may also look into faster-growing fruits like strawberries and gooseberries. And if you have the space, perhaps you could get some chickens or goats for additional fresh produce at home!
We hope these tips can help ease some of the financial burden South Africans have been dealt. Of course, our only new year’s wish is that the rabbit hole can be filled up, and we get a chance to repair our economy. For now, we’re all waiting with bated breath to see what’s next.
If you need help moving your money offshore from South Africa, simply leave your details and the cashkows.com team will see to it that your wealth is transferred to your new home.