TOUGH TIMES LAY AHEAD OF US!

TOUGH TIMES LAY AHEAD OF US!

Bokang Moeko

Food inflation is to peak in this last quarter of 2016 and then improve for 2017 following better weather conditions.

That is, this quarter we are yet to embrace ourselves for higher food prices – the poor will be hit the hardest; some might, literally, starve to death.

Remember this is not all the bad news there is this quarter. There is so much more:  expectations of US interest hike in December have risen, and if this coincides with a negative assessment of domestic prospects by rating agencies later in the year, the rand will fall badly.

That is chances of interest hike remain significant – your debt might increase.

When the police decided to investigate SA Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan last month, they increased the possibility of interest rate hike.

It is more like rand was thrown in a crocodile infested river and was expected to come out unscathed.

Simply put: there will always be ramifications whenever a Finance Minister is accused of something. Investors will pull out and in this case, the rand will fall.

In capsule, you should continue tightening your belt.  Continue to be mindful of how you spent the cents in our pocket. Because at this point, nobody knows what’s to come: a downgrade into junk status has never looked real.

And for those with a fixed income, it will dawn on to them what inflation really is.

Many people continue to ask: What more can we do to save? Apparently, their lives continue to fall apart irrespective of putting into use all the saving tips I have shared up to now.

Do you have a car? Arrive Alive offers you a lifeline; a list of fuel-saving tips:

Tyre Presure

Under-inflated tyres increase rolling resistance between your vehicle and the road; meaning your vehicle has to work harder to overcome the extra drag, thereby using more fuel. Research has shown that correctly inflated tyres can increase mileage by approximately 3.3%.

Stop-start driving

Every time you accelerate the engine has to work and every time you break, this energy is lost. Stop-start driving is therefore hard on energy (and the brakes) and does consume fuel. By planning your route carefully, and using your accelerator more gently, you will improve fuel economy.

Accelerating hard, and using high engine speeds, will also drastically impact your consumption. Another tip, if you can manage it, avoid rush hour traffic. The long delays in traffic will increase consumption and force you to make more stops at the pumps.

Idling

If you are idling for an extended period your vehicle will consume more fuel and expend more emissions. During idling period of several minutes or more, it’s best to switch off your engine (if it is safe to do so), which will reduce fuel consumption.

Drag

Any external additions to your car such as roof boxes and bicycle racks should be taken off when it’s not in use. These fixings change the airflow over the vehicle and increase the drag. Open windows and sunroofs also increase air drag over the car requiring extra power from your engine that will lead to increased fuel consumption.

Air-con

The air conditioning unit in your car contains a compressor pump driven by the engine. When the aircon is used , the compressor uses power from your engine, thus increasing the work it has to do and the amount of fuel it needs to keep going.

Service your vehicle

A badly maintained car will not perform optimally. Poor engine performance means the vehicle will not operate according to the manufacture’s guidelines and will result in increased fuel consumption.

Keeping your car in good condition means it is working as it should and will use the fuel it needs. Check if your car has an ‘economy’ setting. If it does, activate it. It will make a difference.

When the economic climate is like this, you might as well save as if recession has already hit home.

Let me remind you: curbing inflation is not a task to be left solely in the hands of monetary authorities. Conspicuous consumption is largely blamed for our economic downfall. So, it is also our responsibility as a nation to buy only what we can really afford and need.

How am I contributing in the downfall of my economy? This is a question we should ask ourselves in the privacy of our own homes.

When we truly understand the impact of our spending habits on the economy, we somewhat opt to be citizens who care not only about themselves but for our country as well.

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