I think this article from Business Report pretty well states the obvious. It's a time to get on top of our expenses.
This applies as much to business as to personal finance.Rising interest rates and inflation, coupled with a slowing economy, are a given based on the economic data released this week.
The reality is that days of low interest rates and low inflation are numbered and those who have overstretched themselves will start feeling the pinch.
Dawie Roodt, an economist at Efficient Group and who calls himself a conservative on finance, says: "It is better to have a budget. This budget should include your income and expenditure and this might seem obvious to most people but most of the time it is not followed."
Roodt reckons that it is important for people to categorise their expenditure in order of importance - such as the mortgage, electricity and child support. "The bottom or least important items on expenditure should be eating out, presents and holiday. The most important on top of the list is unexpected expenditure in the case of something going wrong, such as increasing interest rates and petrol price."
I think when faced with a squeeze on margins, we tend to think in terms of growing our sales to solve the problem. Whilst there is nothing wrong with growing sales (in fact it is a fairly good idea most of the time), We do have more control over our expenses than our income. And most often, especially after a good run such as the economy has just had, there is plenty of fat that can be trimmed.
The trouble is, we become quite attached to our "fat".