Rashida Ntotela | 06 Rabi ul Awwal 1437/18 December 2015
South Africans often hit the festive season as if it is the end of time, choosing to ignore the looming financial responsibilities such as school fees and other bills that come only too quickly in the New Year.
Financial expert Neil Roets, CEO of Debt Rescue, one of the largest debt management firms in South Africa, shared some helpful tips on how consumers can enjoy the festive season, while also enabling them to meet their financial commitments going forward.
- Do we need items that we are purchasing
People feel like they have had a hard year and they need to spend for themselves and family. So what happens is that they end up spending and splurging money on useless and unnecessary items. Retailers thrive on this. Avoid this trap since you end up spending much more than you can afford.
- Spending on Credit cards
If you want to “protect yourself against yourself,” leave your credit cards at home when you go to shopping malls.
In fact, Neil recommends that you should not have credit cards at all because that would just mean that you are going to spend money that you don’t have at all.
What people tend to do is that if they don’t have cash they spend on their credit card. What he recommends is to prepare a budget for the December and January period in order to curb overspending. It is very important to set a budget defining your limits.
If necessary buy only essential things on credit- Things that you will need, use and be thankful for in January.
- You do not have to spend huge lumps of money to wind down
People feel entitled to go on holiday, but there is a way to do it without overstepping the limit. Unnecessary spending can defeat the purpose of winding down.
So many activities and traditions are inexpensive or even free – you just have to know where to look. By making cheaper events and traditions part of your celebration, you can save money without skimping on the festivities and memories.
Obviously there is a remedy out there if people find themselves over indebted but prevention is better than cure.
- Financial transparency between spouses
Children suffer when parents find themselves over indebted and alternative means need to be taken to remedy the situation. That can be prevented if spouses are financially transparent. Even if you are married out of community of property, you have to spend as a family.
- How to use the bonus or 13th cheque wisely
Consumers use this money to spoil themselves or their family. Rather use that money to pay off debt. It will bring long lasting relief for the ensuing year.
- Hadeeth of Nabi (SAW) related by Muhammad Ibn Jahsh (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
We were sitting with the Messanger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), when he lifted his gaze towards the sky, he then held his forehead and said: SubhaanAllah!, what strict warnings have been revealed, and he remained silent and fearful.
The next morning I asked, Oh messenger of Allah what is the strict warning that has been revealed, and Rasululallah (saw) replied, by the one whose hand is in my soul, if a man were killed in battle for the sake of Allah, and then brought back to life, and killed, and brought back again, and then killed, and owed a debt, he would not enter Jannah (Paradise) until his debt has been paid off. (Saheeh al-Nasaa’i)
This is a stark reminder to us that Islam takes the matter of debt very seriously and warns against it and urges the muslim to avoid it as much as possible.
Nabeela Vadi – Cii Radio | 06 Rabi ul Awwal 1437/18 December 2015
December in South Africa is well known for relaxation and taking some well needed time off. With the common slogan ‘Ke December Boss’ working South Africans traditionally take their leave in this month as schools are also closed and families often use this time to bond.
December tends to be the ‘season’ where the malls, beaches, parks and theme parks are at its busiest. Be prepared for long queues and busy places.
Some families prefer to spend this time in the comfort of their homes with steaks and chicken on the braai. Others use this as an opportunity to travel, either to local destinations or abroad.
Alhumdulilah, our beautiful lands of South Africa, has so much on offer. With our accommodating climate of sunny skies to rainy days, we are able to explore the outdoors and enjoy the wonder of Allah’s creation.
Places To See In South Africa
Day trips to nearby points of interest are mostly welcomed at Resorts, Nature Reserves and Theme Parks in South Africa at a fee. Some others choose to spend longer periods at destinations and require affordable, clean and safe accommodation.
With so much on offer in our beautiful country South Africa, SubhanAllah, there are some important pointers to remember after choosing your holiday destination, whether you day visit or choose to stay over.
Naturally, there are some do’s and don’ts set aside especially for this ‘silly season’
Carry laundry bags and changes of clothes. You will need different clothes, gear or accessories suited for different activities. Laundry bags enable you to separate clean and dirty clothing,
Alert your neighbours before you leave on holiday, so that they can keep an eye on your home.
Pack more than 1 reliable phone charger and a very comfortable pair of shoes.
Expect to learn new and interesting (and sometimes annoying) things about your family. You snore in your sleep? You’re afraid of heights? You’re an amazing photographer!
Before you leave your home, make sure:
The iron/curling iron/flat iron and all appliances are unplugged
The garage door is closed
The main water valve or geyser is turned off
The doors and windows are locked
Set reminders on your phone to apply sunscreen liberally and periodically throughout the day.
Explain to your kids your budget, set a few rules and include their activities into the vacation. So that they understand more or less what they can be prepare for and not to, to avoid disappointment on the holiday.
Insist your party use the toilet before leaving any location with functional restrooms. It matters not whether they need to go. It matters not if they used the toilet ten minutes ago.
Talk to the locals. Get the insider scoop on the best and halaal places to eat and play while on vacay!
Check your expectations. You’ve waited a long time for this. And things don’t always go according to plan. Remember: travel is an exercise of going with the flow.
Try to please everyone all the time.
Forget your duties as a Muslim.
Pack everything you own. Believe it or not, there are places you can pick up just about anything you’ll need while away from home. Besides packing light is the best way to go, with just necessities.
Forget to pack a travel Mussallah and istinja bottle.
Spend the whole time documenting your vacation on social media instead of actually enjoying it. Get off your phone already!
Pack too much into your agenda. Allow enough free time to explore whatever unexpected awesomeness comes your way.
Check your email and cellphone if you can at all avoid it. Trust me, those emails aren’t going anywhere.
Allow your fears and insecurities keep you on the sidelines of your own great adventure. Keep it Halaal always but Brave that zip line! Or try that new cuisine!
Forget to care of yourself and your family. Drink enough water. Get enough rest.
Home Sweet Home
There is so much activity to do in the holiday season.
For those spending time at home, it is important to remember that December in SA is also known for its high crime rate. Be sure to keep an eye on the kids playing in the neighborhood. Encourage them to play in the yard and not on the streets as boys traditionally enjoy some good cricket action on the road.
Visit naerby places for day visits and stay-overs if your budget permits.
If you are frequenting places and you know you will be home a little late in the night, alert your neighbours and be sure to check that nobody is following you home.
All in all, enjoy your holiday break. Get that much needed rest you’ve anxiously been awaiting, enjoy the summer and if you are a traveler more than 77km’s away from home, be sure to remember family, friends and the Ummah in your Musaafir duaas.