RD Debt Counselling is a professional and reliable debt counselling firm in Benoni, Gauteng. We help you become debt free in the shortest possible time.

fuel saving tips

Brilliant ways to save fuel | Fuel-saving tips

Petrol prices have hit record highs in South Africa and that’s going to affect all of us.

After the recent price increases, the government has advised South Africans to drive less. There was a lot of comments on social media about the price, as well. Did you know, the government takes over R5 of the price you pay for a litre of petrol?

Just for fun, we looked at a whole lot of items that cost about the same as a litre of petrol:

A litre of  long life milk

A 2-litre bottle of Coca-Cola

5-litre bottle of water

750ml cooking oil

A 250ml can of Red Bull Energy Drink

A kilogram of rice

The petrol price has increased quite a lot in Gauteng since January 2017 –  95 Unleaded has gone up from R13.33 in January 2017 to R15.20. So, to fill an 80-litre tank will cost an extra R150 and for 3 tanks in a month that’s an extra R450.

And Diesel has gone up in the same time from R11.44 to R14.18, that an increase of R2.75, so if you fill an 80-litre tank it costs you an extra R220, and 3 tanks a month costs you an extra R660.

READ MORE: The hidden costs of buying and owning a house

Here are 8 ways to save fuel

1.  Have you checked your tyre pressure?

According to a research, it’s important to make sure your tyres are properly inflated.

Driving with under-inflated tyres can cause your car to burn more fuel.

This can be done for free at the petrol station

2.  Speed racer = fuel wastage

Did you know a car’s engine easily uses the most fuel when you accelerate hard? If you didn’t know, well now you do.

So try and accelerate away from a standstill as smoothly as possible. Be gentle with the pedal and don’t push it all the way to the floor.

  1. Plan ahead if you see the robot change

It’s equally important to look ahead and pre-empt the flow of traffic. This way you can avoid hard braking and keep your rolling momentum going for longer.

4.  Shift gears sooner

This one is pretty self-explanatory. The higher you rev, the more fuel you will burn. Rev lower between each gear shift and you will certainly use less of the precious black stuff sloshing around in your tank.

5.  Remove the extra weight and drag

Did you know things like roof racks and bike racks can ruin the fuel efficiency of your vehicle by creating unnecessary amounts aerodynamic drag?

It is advisable to take them off when you are not using the racks in order to get the most out of every drop of petrol.

The same goes for open windows, a sunroof and overloading your car with passengers.

6.  Try to avoid the rush hour

Traffic is a nightmare and no one likes to be stuck in traffic, so if you can try to drive to and from work before or after rush hour sets in.

See if work will put you on flexi-time, you can only ask, and maybe they say yes.

The constant idling and stop-start driving conditions will send your fuel consumption through the roof.

7.  Never skimp on servicing

Don’t cut corners when it comes to your car’s maintenance

If your car is running on old engine oil, breathing through a clogged air filter and sucking petrol through a dirty fuel filter, it cannot be expected to perform at its total efficiency.

8.  Air-conditioning

The air-conditioning unit in your car contains a compressor pump driven by the engine. When the air-con 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.

So when you can, try and limit the use of your air-conditioner to maximise the mileage of every tank of fuel.

If you can use some of these tips to save petrol and put that little bit extra into the family budget, then do it.

READ MORE: Seven tips for saving money this winter

If you need debt assistance or a free debt review, contact RD Debt Counselling on 011 421 2918.

The hidden costs of buying and owning a house

Buying a home is probably the biggest amount of money that most people will spend in their lifetime.

Here, we discuss the hidden cost of buying and owning a house

 

Bond registration and transfer costs

These are probably the biggest cost associated with buying a property.

But to give you an idea, on a R1 million bond, the transfer and registration is about R50 000, but could be different, if the house was registered in a company.

These fees are attorney’s fees charged by the conveyancer and are guided by the Law Society’s.

Certain agreements of sale provide that the purchaser is required to pay a deposit and lodge it with the conveyancers and, if you are taking occupation of the property prior to registration of the property into your name, you will be required to pay occupational rent.

General repairs and maintenance

While some homes are in perfect condition on the day of transfer, chances are you’ll have to do some cleaning, repainting and general repairs to make your new place feel more like home. Some of these will be essential, others will relate to your own personal taste or budget.

“You should definitely set aside some cash for unforeseen expenses,” says Rall. “Try to gain access to the property ahead of moving in, so that you can write up a realistic budget for what you will need to spend.”

You should also set aside a few hundred Rand for all the basic household maintenance items you will need, like detergents, brooms, cloths and polish.

And remember that houses need ongoing maintenance, so always keep some cash ready for unexpected expenses.

Know what’s included and not

Traditionally, any fixture to the house – from curtain rails and doorknobs to air-conditioners – may not be removed when a house is sold. Yet these things often end up being grey areas and ending in resentment. Avoid confusion by:

  • Making your own inventory of what should stay and get your agent to insist the seller agrees to this
  • Considering the costs of replacing removable items such as outdoor furniture, pot plants and curtains.

Moving costs

You’ve bought the place; now you’re going to have to move in. Depending on where you’ve been living, and how much furniture you already own, you might have to hire a moving company to get you into your new home.

This costs anywhere between R5 000 and R15 000 in the same city, but most companies offer a discount if you move in the week and in the middle of the month, when demand is lower. You can also investigate mini move or bakkie-for-hire options, which would be cheaper, but perhaps a bit more work for you.

Getting the utilities in

If you are buying a freehold property (not a sectional title), you will need to register for your water and electricity connection, and your telephone and internet lines if you need those. These costs vary from area to area, and the internet fee will depend on the type of connection that you want, and whether the relevant lines are already installed.

Generally speaking, put aside around R1 000 to R3 000 for connecting the electricity, water and telephone – but you may be required to put down a deposit with the telephone company as well, depending on your credit profile. Investigate the different internet connection costs with your service provider.

And obviously, once those services are connected, you will have to pay for them every month.

Prepare for rates and levies

If you have purchased a freehold property, you will have to pay rates and taxes, which can be anywhere from a couple of hundred to a few thousand Rand, depending on the value of your property and the area. Rates cover sewerage usage and garbage removal, while your taxes are calculated against the value of your property. The estate agent should have included these rates in the information about the property when you were house hunting, but if you need to find out you can ask the municipality representative when you register for water and electricity. These rates will stay the same every month.

If you have bought into a sectional title, the apartment block’s body corporate will have set a levy to pay every month for the general upkeep of the buildings.

Security

When buying a new home, it’s a good idea to assess the security of the other houses in the area, and find out about the crime rates from the local police station, and then update your own security accordingly. And you’ll have to budget for a monthly armed response fee as well.

“Many security companies offer a package deal on installation with a contract for a certain term,” says Rall. “Be sure that you’re happy with the length of the commitment before signing a deal like this, but it can be a very cost-effective way to get a good security system in place.”

Insurance

Your bank will insist that you have homeowners insurance in place to cover any structural damage to the property. This is generally affordable with competitive options available to you and can be included in your monthly bond repayments. However, your possessions are not covered by this insurance, so it’s a good idea to explore the costs of an additional policy to cover you for theft.

Rall also cautions that if you have existing insurance cover, you must inform your broker of your new address as this can change the risk factors in your policy and alter your premiums.

Furniture and electronics

Once you have a home, you will want to fill it with beautiful things. Of course, this kind of refurbishment is a luxury, and one that can be put off until you have settled in. However, if there are any items that are vital to making your life in your new home comfortable, then get a costing on these and factor them into your budget.

“Owning a new home is liberating, but the financial commitment can feel like a burden,” says Rall. “With forethought and planning, you can budget for the major expenses that are likely to come your way, which will give you a bit of control and confidence as you settle into your new home.

Buying in a complex? Dig deeper

The value of your property is dependent on how well the block is run. Put on your detective cap and ask the body corporate some tough questions. Request:

  • A copy of the rules and regulations, and whether these are regularly enforced (noise, pets, litter, etc).
  • A copy of the latest financials to see what the body corporate has been spending money on.
  • An update on special levies. Are they are about to raise levies or implement additional special levies – e.g. for building alterations or painting? Such costs will be for the buyer unless agreed otherwise.

She advises that prospective buyers should make a list of all of these costs and put down an approximate figure next to each item, before signing a sale agreement which binds them to the purchase of their dream home.

small print in credit agreements what you need to know

Small print in a credit agreement – what you need to look out for

Before we discuss the small print in any credit agreement, we always tell our clients to take consider the following factors:

Borrow as little as possible

Borrow only as much as you need, and the smaller the amount you borrow, the lower your repayments will be. That little extra to “tide you over” could have a devastating effect on your budget over time as interest takes its toll.

Choose carefully

While there are not a wide variety of financial institutions in South Africa, you do still have a choice of who to go to. Once you know how much you will need to borrow, apply at as many institutions as you can to find out which one will offer you the best value for money.

Take note of the terms and interest rates and always read through the small print before signing any loan agreement.

Keep a record of all the relevant documentation

Keep all your credit documentation together. Make a file for each credit arrangement and keep both the contract and receipts in this file. You can also store your documents digitally in the cloud so that you can access them when needed.

READ MORE: How to get clearance from debt review?

Small print in credit agreements – what to look out for

Insurance on your vehicle

In all vehicle finance agreements, there is a clause which states that you have to keep the vehicle insured while it is still being paid. And whilst most people know this, we still have a number of clients who are paying off a vehicle that was written off in an accident because they stopped paying the insurance. Keep the insurance on your vehicle up to date, it could save you a lot of money.

READ MORE: Vehicle checks you must do before you go on a long trip

Balloon or residual payments on a vehicle purchase

Let’s explain what a balloon payment is.  It’s when you finance the car for 6 or 7 years and when you have finished paying, then you still owe the balloon payment, and this can be anything from R30k to one I saw recently of just under R130k.

When you get to the end of the time to pay the vehicle, the creditors want the balloon payment and very often if things are going well, they will refinance the balloon payment which makes you pay for longer to get the car finance finished.

But, what happens if during the 6 or 7 years that you are paying the car, you have an argument with your dentist and you don’t pay and he lists you on the credit bureau? Or worse, someone takes a judgment against you and now you can’t get finance, and you need to pay the balloon or sell the car?

Always ask if the vehicle finance has a balloon payment before you sign anything, and avoid a balloon payment if you can.

READ MORE: Consumer rights – everything you should know about your rights as a consumer

Change of address

We see this quite often, you move house and you forget to tell the bank, but the agreement says that you need to notify the bank in writing if you change your address. Many people will say that “I get my statements on email, so why do I have to worry?”

Well, if you get sick and you miss 3 payments, they will send out a summons, and where will they send the summons to?

The summon will get sent to the address on the credit agreement after they have checked if it was changed in writing. If you have moved and you didn’t change your address in writing and the summons is delivered to your old address, the people there throw it away and next thing you know, you have a judgement against you and you didn’t even know that there was any legal action against you.

So – save yourself the pain and if you change address, let the bank know in writing for each one of your credit agreements.

Catch Russell on East Rand Stereo, every Saturday morning at 08:15.

READ MORE: What services do we offer at RD Debt Counselling

How to get clearance from debt review?

How to get clearance from debt review?

I once had a client visit me and he was sure that his debt review process was finished. He said he paid all of his accounts. My client got retrenched halfway through the debt review process, after which he got a good job and paid off all his debt.

When he decided to buy another car, the dealership revealed that his finance couldn’t be approved because he was still under debt review.

Even after my client explained to the dealership that all of his debt was paid off, the dealership noted that they are not allowed to give any finance until the credit bureau flag which says you are under debt review has been removed.

This is exactly what the law says, so the dealership is not in the wrong here.

How does this happen?

Why are people stuck in debt review?

Many people often get phone calls from “debt counselling firms” and during this phone call, the “firm” convinces you to give your details to the caller. Sometimes, the callers also give their banking details in order to go under debt review.

Afterwards, they were debited, sometimes successfully and sometimes the debit order was returned, but they discover they are registered under debt review.

Another thing that can happen is that people go into debt counselling and somewhere along the way they cannot pay any more. This can be due to tough financial times, or losing a job. When things are going better or they get another job, they make a plan with their credit providers, pay them back and think their debt review is over.

ALSO READ: Financial stress in the workplace – how it can affect your finances

But, this is not the case. You need to get a debt review clearance certificate form a debt counsellor to get your name off the credit bureau.

There have been many court cases about this lately, and the final judgement is that once you are in debt review, you need to pay up all your debt, and then get a clearance certificate to get finished with debt review.

You don’t have to finish paying your house, but all the other debt needs to be paid up for a clearance certificate to be issued.

Another situation that we come across a lot lately is where people are under debt review, and they are struggling to communicate with their debt counsellor, or they think that things are not going correctly and they are not getting answers to their questions from their debt counsellor. At RD Debt Counselling, we investigate cases like this to see if things are going correctly or not.

So if you are sitting there wondering what you can do to get your credit record back and want to get your debt review status cleared from the credit bureau, contact us at RD Debt Counselling. We are registered debt counsellors with over 10 years’ experience. Let us help you become debt free!

READ MORE: What services do we offer at RD Debt Counselling

What services do we offer at RD Debt Counselling

What services do we offer at RD Debt Counselling

Over the 10 years that we have been doing debt review, we have learned a lot about the industry and how it works. We have had a lot of requests to help clients who have problems with their debt rather than straight debt counselling.

READ MORE: RD Debt Counselling – who are we

Debt review

There are several people out there who are in debt review at the moment and it can sometimes happen that the debt counsellor has stopped practising and you aren’t sure what to do, or you can’t get hold of your current debt counsellor.  We will then take over your debt review and find out what has happened, and what there is that needs to be fixed, sort out the problems, sort out the payments and talk to the banks, and get you out of debt review. Even if it is a situation that is not an easy fix, we can give you advice on what to do.

Debt advice

We get a lot of calls and people coming in to get debt advice.  Whether it is to discuss your situation and find out what you can do, if you are in arrears or they are threatening legal action, we give you advice on what can you do, what are your rights if they want to take your car because it is in arrears, etc. You are welcome to phone us and get some free advice.

READ MORE: How to get debt free

Transfer clients

Quite often people want to transfer their debt review to RD Debt Counselling.  The law allows you to transfer your debt counselling to another debt counsellor if you want to. However, the process doesn’t start again, but has to continue, so someone else is managing the process. If you are unsure of what’s currently happening with your debt review, contact RD Debt Counselling.

Clear credit records

We often see people who apply for credit and can’t get approved because of some black mark on their credit records. We can do an investigation and find out why your credit is not approved and then advise you what you can do about it.  This is not something which is fixed in a few days. We have to go through a process to get things sorted out, but at least it gets fixed and you can carry on with your life.

READ MORE: How financial stress affects you and your family

Debt counselling

If you are struggling to make ends meet every month, and have arrears that you can’t catch up, then come and chat to us.  In debt counselling , you can include your house and your car, and pay them and keep them, and this is very important for a lot of people who don’t want to lose their assets, but just need a bit of a breather on the amount that they are paying.

If you have any debt questions, if you are having problems with debt or with your debt counselling, or you want to clear your credit record, contact RD Debt Counselling and we will advise you what you can do to fix.

Seven tips for saving money this winter

Seven tips for saving money this winter

Winter seems to be here and with the colder weather setting in, our want for warmth and comfort increases. Instead of using more electricity and water to warm ourselves up, here are seven tips for saving money this winter.

These ideas might not work for everyone, but if you can do a few of them, you can make a difference to the extra money that you spend over the cold months, and not land up hating winter because you spend all that extra money.

READ MORE: How to get debt free

Seven tips for saving money this winter

  1. Use warm blankets and warm clothes at home. Instead of getting home and putting on the heater, add a layer of clothes, or change into some warmer, more comfortable clothes. Another advantage of not heating the room is that you won’t end up getting sick because you are moving from a warm room to a cold room and then back to a warm room
  2. Use ceiling fans in winter. Experts say that you need to change the direction of the ceiling fan so that instead of pushing air down, it sucks the air up, and the warm air is then fed down the walls.
  3. Close your blinds or curtains except when the sun is shining directly on the windows. This provides an extra layer of insulation which keeps the warm air inside your house. Glass is not a very good insulator and lets a lot of heat out.
  4. Use a geyser blanket. These can be bought and they aren’t too difficult to install yourself. What this does is keep the geyser warmer for longer, so the temperature takes longer to drop and it takes that much longer before the geyser switches onto the heating cycle again.
  5. Where you can, install LED lights, it saves a lot of energy.
  6. Start cooking in batches. Cook food for a number of meals at the same time. Consider foods that you can and can’t freeze and start making batches of food. For example, you can cook stew or soup for 3 or 4 meals and either refrigerate or freeze the other portions. When its supper time, just heat on the stove or in the microwave and you will have a quick meal and save power at the same time.
  7. As they say “een man se dood is ‘n ander man se brood”. We have just had a health scare in South Africa with Lysteriosis. As a result, many factories closed down. Pork is used to make polony and other processed meat, and as a result of the listeriosis scare, the price of pork has dropped dramatically. This will continue for quite a while, because there is an oversupply of pork at the moment.

READ MORE: Financial stress in the workplace

If you are still struggling with your finances, and you can’t keep your head above water, contact RD Debt Counselling for a FREE debt review.

Russell Dickerson from RD Debt Counselling chats about RD Debt Counselling and how they can help you become debt free in the shortest possible time. Catch Russell on East Rand Stereo, every Saturday morning at 8:15.

RD Debt Counselling

RD Debt Counselling – who are we and what do we do?

Russell Dickerson from RD Debt Counselling chats about RD Debt Counselling and how they can help you become debt free in the shortest possible time. Catch Russell on East Rand Stereo, every Saturday morning at 8:15.

We are RD Debt Counselling and we have been doing debt counselling for almost 10 years. Our offices are in Benoni.

Since we started with debt counselling, we have helped hundreds of people get out of debt and start a new financial life with no more debt. These people have managed to keep their houses and cars and pay them off and get out of debt review. They are now able to carry on with their lives, debt-free.

Read more: How do I know if I need debt counselling?

Many people think that debt counselling is a life sentence. This is not true. Most of our clients are finished with the debt counselling process within 5 years, and we have figures from the NCR (National Credit Regulator) which says the average person is finished with debt counselling in less than 4 years.

What happens during the debt counselling process?

We work out a 5-year repayment plan. The majority of people only need help for a year or 2 while they are struggling and then they find their feet and things start going better. What they do then is they pay more every month, and they finish the debt counselling process much quicker than the original plan.

Read more: Debt review works! Read Elizabeth’s story

Recently I had a client who got a  big payout 6 months after he started debt counselling and he paid all his debt and went back to normal. Debt counselling is not a 5 year sentence, if you can pay more than the minimum, you can get out of debt a whole lot quicker.

What does it cost for someone to come and see you for a debt review?

At RD Debt Counselling, we are in the business of giving people free advice on their debt, so it costs you nothing to come and sit with me and discuss your situation.  We won’t send some unqualified agent who doesn’t have the knowledge or experience to come and see you. With us, you can sit with a debt counsellor who has been doing this for 10 years and get the best debt advice.  You can get your whole budget and expenses worked out and see exactly how the debt counselling process will work for you and then you can decide if it is going to be the best option for you.

As I always say, the more information you get the better decision you can make.  Don’t listen to the guy at work who knows everything, speak to people who are professionals, who can give you advice and then after you have heard everyone, make your decision about whether debt counselling is the right thing for you.

 What is the difference between sequestration and debt counselling?

 My answer to this question always is, until you have seen what debt counselling can do for you, do not start with sequestration.

In sequestration you lose your assets, that is the house and car and furniture etc, that you have been paying for many years. If there is an option, and you want to keep your house and your car in debt review, then that is the wise choice.

Obviously, if your finances have fallen apart completely and there is no way that you will ever get out of debt, then sequestration has its place, but it will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Debt counselling is cleared as soon as you have finished paying your debt. When your credit bureau record is cleared, you can buy a house or a car.

How does the debt counselling process work, and how long does someone have to stay under debt review before their credit record is cleared?

The main part of debt counselling is that we take over all your debt, and we reduce the amount that you pay every month, and we stretch out the time that you were paying to make it longer.

Another very important thing that we can do is negotiate lower interest rates, if certain conditions are met.

You can imagine how much you save if your credit card has an interest rate of 22%, and we get it down to 3%, and we do on most clients. Think how much you can save on paying back the R15 000 or 20k that you owe on the credit card.

Another important point is that our applications go to court and this makes some people nervous, but they shouldn’t be nervous. The court order fixes all the terms and conditions. In other words, if we negotiate a 3% interest rate on your credit card, and the court agrees, then the bank can’t come back in 2 years’ time and say the interest rates are up and you must now pay more. If it is fixed in the court order, the other side of the coin is that the court order also shows exactly how much is the minimum that you must pay every month.

This is very important, because if you don’t pay every month, then your debt review will struggle and the banks can stop their account in debt counselling if they don’t get the money that the court said they were going to get. In this case, you end up with messed up debt counselling, just because of missed payments.

As soon as your creditors are paid, We at RD Debt Counselling issue a Clearance Certificate which clears you from the credit bureau and you are back on your financial feet, hopefully a lot wiser and more cautious, but able to buy houses and cars again.

Contact RD Debt Counselling today!

We are debt counsellors based in Johannesburg, South Africa. We help you become debt free in the shortest possible time! Contact us for a free debt review today.

 

Financial stress in the workplace

Financial stress in the workplace

The other day, I had an employee and their boss come and see me.  The boss had been worried about her employee missing a lot of work, and all her leave and sick leave was used up. After the boss had a discussion with the employee, she admitted that the reason that she didn’t come to work some days because she didn’t have any money and couldn’t afford to get to work.

This is an extreme example, but at any place of work, I can guarantee you, there are people in similar situations.  They might be getting to work, but are they concentrating on their work or are they just sick with worry about their financial situation?

If any of your employees are worried about their finances, do you think that they are doing a full day’s work, or do you think they are giving the work the attention and care that you would like them to?

What can you do about financial stress in the workplace

What can you do if someone that works for you or with you is in this situation?

Often it’s a budget issue. Sometimes, too much money is being spent on unnecessary things and not enough money is being kept aside for transport to work and back towards the end of the month.

It could be that their spouse has lost their job or is earning a smaller salary, and now they cannot make their money last for the whole month.

Sometimes it’s plain and simple – too much debt. In this case, people often take another loan because it helps them out for the next few months. This loan gets their monthly installment up to date and the creditors stop phoning them to hassle them for money all the time.

But… it’s only a temporary solution,

When that money is finished, you will need to find money to pay all the other debt plus the new loan.

This is how people get into the debt trap. And once you are in the debt trap, it’s very hard to get out without help.

Sooner or later you can’t get any more loans. Creditors look at your other debt and say, and if you have too much debt, they will refuse your loan and then you do not have any money left to pay of your debts.

Read more: 50 signs and symptoms of stress

Another situation, and one that I see all the time, is where the employee has so many deductions from their salary like garnishees and admin orders that they are very dissatisfied with the amount they take home every month. Very often these deductions should have stopped long ago, or the place that did the admin order has gone out of business and their creditors are not even getting paid.  We often deal with these situations, and we investigate all the deductions. Maybe these deductions are all justified, but then at least you know exactly what the situation is.

Very often, if you approach people who have issued a garnishee order, they will reduce the amount if we explain that the employee’s financial situation is bad and they can’t afford the basics.

If your employee is in a similar situation, then you have a very unproductive, unfocused and unmotivated employee. If you care about your employees, and they are prepared to confide in you, then maybe it’s time to get some professional help.

Read more: How to get debt free

As Debt Counsellors, we see these situations every day and at RD Debt Counselling we will discuss your situation and talk to you about the best way forward. We’ll also tell you whether debt counselling is the answer or if they need to budget better. Always go to someone who will give you an honest assessment and see if the situation can be sorted out.

Read more: How do I know if I need debt counselling

Often employees don’t want to talk about the situation, but if you have some sort of wellness program, where employees are given talks or information, even if it is just a notice board with the names of people that can be contacted in different situations, the employee can phone them and ask for help.

In the interests of happy and productive employees and a more profitable business for yourself, perhaps it’s time to start paying attention to the financial wellness of your employees.

If you have an employee in a similar situation, contact RD Debt Counselling today. We will spend some time with the employee, discuss their finances and decide on the best way forward. Don’t let bad debt influence your work, get help today.

signs and symptoms of stress

50 Signs and symptoms of stress

On Saturday, 7 April 2018, we celebrate World Health Day. Stress is one of the symptoms that can heavily affect one’s health and lifestyle, even if you are not aware of it. There are several factors that can contribute to stress; below we share some of the top stress factors as well as the 50 signs and symptoms of stress:

  1. Death of a loved one
  2. Loss of a job
  3. Financial stress
  4. Divorce
  5. Illness

Here are 50 signs and symptoms of stress:

  1. Frequent headaches, clenching of the jaw or pain
  2. Gritting or grinding teeth
  3. Stuttering or stammering
  4. Tremors, trembling of lips and hands
  5. Pain in the neck, back or muscle spasms
  6. Feelings of lightheadedness, fainting or dizziness
  7. Ringing, buzzing or constant popping sound in the ear
  8. Frequent blushing or sweating
  9. Cold or sweaty hands and feet
  10. Dry mouth and problems with swallowing
  11. Frequent colds, infections and sores
  12. Rashes, itching and hives
  13. Unexplained or frequent allergic symptoms
  14. Heartburn, stomach pain and nausea
  15. Excess belching and/or flatulence
  16. Constipation, diarrhoea and loss of control of bowels
  17. Difficulty breathing
  18. Panic attacks
  19. Chest pain and heart palpitations
  20. Frequent urination
  21. Lack of sexual desire or performance
  22. Increased anxiety, worry, guilt and/or nervousness
  23. Increased anger, frustration and/or hostility
  24. Depression and/or extreme wild mood swings
  25. An increase or decrease in appetite
  26. Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams or sleeplessness
  27. Difficulty concentrating and constant racing thoughts
  28. Trouble learning new information
  29. Forgetfulness, confusion and feelings of not being organised
  30. Struggling to make decisions
  31. Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed
  32. Little interest in appearance and/or punctuality
  33. Social withdrawal and isolation
  34. Constant tiredness, weakness and fatigue
  35. Frequent use of over-the-counter calming medicine
  36. Unexplained weight gain or loss
  37. Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use
  38. Excessive gambling or impulsive buying
  39. Nervous habits, fidgeting and/or feet tapping
  40. Increased frustration, irritability and/or constantly feeling on edge
  41. Overreaction to petty things
  42. Increased number of minor accidents
  43. Obsessive or compulsive behaviour
  44. Reduced work efficiency or productivity
  45. Frequent crying or suicidal thoughts
  46. Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness
  47. Lies or excuses covering up poor work
  48. Rapid or mumbled speech
  49. Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness
  50. Communication problems

If you are feeling under stress due to financial reasons and need debt help, contact RD Debt Counselling to discuss the several benefits of debt counselling and to get a free debt review.

Affordable things to do with kids during the school holidays

“School holidays” is just another term for spending far too much money or stressing about money more. With the kids home for the whole day, here’s how to ensure they do not eat you out of the house and home.

We have rounded up some ideas and suggestions to help you get through this time.

Affordable things to do with kids during the school holidays

  • Malls – local malls will usually have a kids area set up in one of their centre courts where they will have arts and crafts and usually some form of entertainment to keep the kids occupied for a few hours.
  • Parks and picnics – we tend to stay inside, but some parks are well cared for. Feeding the ducks and having an outside picnic could just be what the children need to make the school holidays fun.
  • Creativity and crafts – download the Pinterest app and find some fun ideas for your children
  • Camp out in the garden – this is one of the most fun things to do with kids during the school holidays
  • Join your local library – See if they have reading times, or simply take out a few books and enjoy some quiet time exploring the wonderful world of reading.
  • Kiddies theatre – see if there is a kiddies theatre in your neighbourhood and join in on the fun.
  • Visit the zoo or local museums and give the kids challenges so that they can continue the fun back at home.
  • Learn a skill – plant a herb garden, learn how to knit or do woodwork. It can be simple and so satisfying for everyone.
  • We all dread the infamous “I’m bored”, so have a daily holiday schedule the kids need to follow before they say they are bored:

Affordable things to do with kids during the school holidays

Leaving for a holiday? These are the car checks you must do before you depart!