Expert tips for families in impacted municipalities starting this month
Renova Foundation’s Economy and Innovation area developed the Financial Education project to guide the population of the territories affected by the Fundao dam collapse in Mariana (MG) to organize their personal finances.
The content offers information that helps families to manage their budget, in addition to promoting entrepreneurship.
The main recommendations on personal finance management will be shared using WhatsApp and a digital booklet, with tips provided by Nautilos consultancy. These guidelines range from the best ways to deal with the household budget (list essential and unnecessary expenses, and achieve a balanced checkbook) to alerts to avoid credit card traps and debts.
The following are some of the main tips and guidelines:
- Survey all household expenses and income;
- Classify essential expenses (housing, water, electricity, telephone, food, health insurance, clothing, education, and transportation) and non-essential expenses (gym, cable TV, leisure, gifts);
- Control essential expenses and reduce or even suspend non-essential expenses;
- Record expenses daily, preferably after each expense: day, kind of expense and amount spent;
- Always keep track of your spending to make sure you manage to keep within your budget;
- Look for alternative sources of income;
- Try to keep up to date and look for training courses. In this quarantine period, many institutions are offering online courses, several of them for free.
Tips to reduce expenses at home
- Review the hydraulic part of the house to avoid wastage;
- Turn off the light in empty rooms and the TV when no one is watching. Unplug devices that are not being used (the microwave clock consumes energy), avoid opening and closing the refrigerator;
- Change the telephone plan (landline and cell phone);
- When you go to the supermarket, make a list of the products that are really needed, to avoid impulse buying.
- Do not use your credit card as an income supplement. What you bought on the card this month will compromise next month’s budget (or next months’, if purchased in installments);
- Always pay the full invoice amount to avoid revolving credit (which has interest rates that exceeds 300% per year).
- Try to stay within your household budget to avoid debts;
- If you have obligations on your credit card and overdraft, which have the highest interest rates, negotiate a personal loan with more favorable terms to settle them.