The Official Petrol Price for October

This October petrol prices will be changing with Petrol 93 decreasing by 4 cents a litre, Petrol 95 will increase by 18 cents per litre and Diesel will be increasing by 25 cents per litre for both grades. Illuminating paraffin will also be increasing by 25 cents per litre. 

According to the Department of Energy, the difference seen in 95 and 93 grades is because of the recalculation in the basic fuel price (BFP) for each category. 

The differentials between 95 and 93 grades are adjusted at the beginning of each quarter in terms of the working rules to administer the BFP. The BFP differentials have changed between 95 and 93, which results in different price adjustments between the two. 

The price increase that is seen for most grades of diesel and petrol is mainly due to the higher international petroleum product costs, which comes from a higher oil price that followed drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil plants. 

Also, the rand gained against the US dollar during the period of review, when compared to the period before, which resulted in a more positive bearing on fuel prices. 

On average the rand/US dollar exchange rate was R14.84 for the period 30thAugust 2019 – 26thSeptember 2019, whereas the previous period was an average of R15.17.  This then led to a lower contribution to the BFDPO on petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin. 

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The New Driving Demerit System is now Law and Here is What You Earn Points For

The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Bill is now the law and through the implementation of the demerit system, the legislation aims to change driving behaviour. 

Every driver starts with 0 points and the maximum they are able to accumulate is 12 points. This accumulative points are assigned depending on the traffic infringement, with each infringement carrying a different number of points along with a fine. 

If a driver gets 12 or more points, then it will result in their license being suspended for a period of three months. Every three months, one point is reduced if no other violations occur during the three-month period. However, if a driver exceeds three suspensions then they could lose their license permanently. 

So, what do you earn points for?

Here are some of the traffic offences that will increase your points:

  • Four demerit points for driving without a licence
  • Six demerit points for driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance
  • One demerit point for using and holding a cell phone whilst driving
  • Two to six points for speeding
  • One demerit point for light vehicles and two points for busses and trucks that skip stop signs. 

If a driver is disqualified for a third time they will permanently lose their licence card and will then need to reapply for testing as if they were a first time licence applicant. Also, if you do not pay your traffic fines then the new system will prevent you from renewing your licence. 

Spring Clean Your Finances

It’s officially spring and whilst you may spring clean your home, you should also look at spring cleaning your finances

The Festive Season is Around the Corner

The festive season has a way of creeping up on us and some retailers start stocking Christmas items from October and end of year office parties happen in November. With this in mind, it is a good idea to use September to get ready by drawing up a detailed festive season budget. This can help to make sure you don’t overspend and when the silly season hits, you will be ready with your budget and a plan. 

What Are You Going to Do with Your Bonus?

It is not always guaranteed that you will receive a year-end bonus, but if you are counting on one then you should start planning now about how you will be using that extra money. You may want to top up your retirement annuity, keep it as an emergency fund or pay off high interest debt.

Get New Quotes for Short Term Insurance

It’s a good idea to shop around for short-term insurance, to make sure that you are getting the best deal. There are plenty of products on offer and it can be confusing, so you should consider seeking the help of an independent short-term insurance broker that can get comparative quotes for you. You may find that you can save money on your short-term insurance and use these savings to boost your investments. 

Check You Cellphone Contract

Many of us would have had our cellphone contract for years and we don’t really pay much attention to it or the small print when we upgrade. However, check your cellphone usage and go to your nearest service provider to seek advice on the best package for you. Service providers are now able to tailor make a package for you based on your usage and may be able to save money by changing your package. 

Your Loyalty and Rewards Programmes

It can be time-consuming to keep track of all your benefits offered from rewards and loyalty programmes, but spend some time with these and make sure you are maximising your benefits. 

You should avoid the trap of spending to save. This is where you are only rewarded after you spend at a certain level. This can result in you buying things you don’t need just for extra rewards. 

What Are You Subscribed to?

Nowadays there are a number of subscriptions on offer to us like DStv, Apple Music, Spotify, Netflix, Showmax and so on and these can drain our monthly budget. So, time to spring clean your subscriptions and see what you are subscribed to, how much you are paying and if you are actually using these subscriptions to their full value. 

If you find that you are not using some of your subscriptions then cancel them, it will save you money. 

Get Rid of Your Old Documents

It is important to have a good filing system, but keeping everything can cause inefficiency. Scan and file tax and financial documents that you legally need to keep, but the rest you can shred. 

Get Your E-Filing Done

The deadline for e-filing is December 4th, so you have plenty of time to get your tax returns submitted. Get all your documentation together now so you can file your returns on time and receive any refunds as soon as possible.

See Your Entire Financial Picture

There are apps now that will help you to see your entire financial picture at once. These apps help to track your income and expenditure as well as list your assets, liabilities, track your money goals, draft a budget and plan your investments. 

Clean Up Your Wallet

Having an organised wallet can help you to feel more in control of your finances. File all those receipts that you are keeping in your wallet, cut up any old cards and remove any unnecessary items. Your wallet doesn’t need to be full of old receipts, business cards and coins, so get organised.

What is Your Bank Charging You?

This is the perfect time to assess your bank and what they are charging you, because there are now newer and more innovative banks in the marketplace. You may find that by shopping around you are able to get a better deal. Take stock of what your bank is charging you and then do some research into what other banks are offering. 

Plan for Black Friday

Black Friday is taking place on November 29ththis year and is a sale day where retailers and big brands offer huge discounts on products ranging from food to appliances and more. Black Friday happens less than a month before Christmas and many use this time to do their Christmas shopping and often use their bonuses to fund their purchases. There is a lot of hype around Black Friday and it often means that we end up spending our money on items that we don’t really need. 

If you are planning to shop on Black Friday then get a list together of everything that you need, make a budget and stick to it. 

Take the time now to sort out your finances, make sure everything is in place and tackle the rest of the year with a financial plan.

Major Banking Strike Heading Our Way

At the end of September, a major strike is being planned by the largest financial union in South Africa. Sasbo, who currently has more than 73 000 members, are talking about downing tools at the end of the month in protest of the planned retrenchments in the banking sector. 

Sasbo general secretary, Joe Kokela said that the union wants banks to look at other options instead of retrenchment and begin a program to re-skill employees who are at risk. Kokela went on to say that if the banks turn them down then they will ensure that the system is shut down until they come to their senses. In addition, Kokela said that they can make sure that ATMs are replenished at a minimum so that the country runs short on cash. 

According to eNCA, Cosatu is in support of the strike, which has warned that the strike is ‘just a warm up’. Deputy general-secretary, Solly Phetoe said that all Cosatu-affiliated unions will mobiles to ensure that the Sasbo banking sector strike, planned for the 27thSeptember is a success. Also, Phetoe said that this strike is just a build-up to the full national strike on the 7thOctober. 

Why Are They Striking

Recently several local banks have closed numerous branches throughout the country due to digitalisation, which promotes self-service as clients can use their cell phones and computers instead of going to a branch. 

Lenders are cutting jobs as they try and find ways to lower costs and contend with the slow economic growth. Also, there is new competition which is branchless, such as the digital entrants Discovery and TymeBank. 

In recent months, Absa, Nedbank Group and Standard Bank have consulted with staff about cuts. Standard Bank is closing 91 branches, Absa is restructuring operations and Nedbank is in talks with about 1500 employees over job cuts or redeployments according to a report by Bloomberg in July. 

Job cuts is a sensitive issue in South Africa, especially as the unemployment rate has risen to 29%, which is the highest it has been in more than a decade. 

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Fincheck Invests in FundingHub, Making it the Largest Financial Comparison Site in SA

Fincheck is a financial comparison site and has recently taken over the full management and equity in FundingHub, which now makes it the biggest financial comparison site in South Africa as well as the largest lead aggregator having signed 71 banks, insurers and lenders. 

FundingHub aims to meet the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa, who are looking for finance to grow their business by offering 30 alternative lenders and banks.

Over the two years that the business has been in operation, it has attracted loan sizes on average of R300 000. The largest loan R72 million. In order for SMEs to apply for funding on the online hub, they must have been in business for at least 12 months and operate with an annual turnover of R1 million. 

Fincheck CEO, Michael Bowren said that with FundingHub, SMEs can apply for business finance in under six minutes and can compare multiple accredited finance providers, so that they can make the best choice for their business. 

Various forms of finance are available to SMEs, which can then make it difficult for them to choose the lender that is best suited to their business needs. A business may not know if they need unsecured or secured loans, equipment finance, lines of credit, overdrafts and so on. With FundingHub this has been made simple as they filter options and offer quotes from lenders that are the most appropriate for the business. 

This means that the SME can apply to more than one lender via FundingHub and can choose the most suitable offer. Also, money can be put into a business account within 24 hours, making the process simpler, quicker and easier. 

Fincheck said that would still be offering its core products where consumers can compare personal finance, business finance, vehicle finance, debt consolidation and counselling as well as various insurance products including business insurance, life insurance and funeral cover. They also offer a complete health check.