Can the Total Card help you budget? Yes. Here’s how…

Trycolyn Pikirayi Avatar

Even in these hard times, I’m sure you can all agree with me that the temptation to live beyond our means continues to get the best of us. Well, what’s interesting is that there are some service providers who still strive to ensure that they give us some form of competitive advantage over such life hassles. I won’t be naïve to think that they have nothing to gain from this….but hey, if it’s of mutual benefit then why not??

Total, with its Total Card can help you budget better. I know the service might seem mostly beneficial to fleet owners, but trust me, you can harness its power even as an individual and I will show you how.

By the way, I’ll just use a month as the standard since most people in Zimbabwe get paid and subsequently budget for a month.

So, with the Total Card you can:

1. Allocate fuel money for the prescribed period

Back at primary school, to ensure that I don’t chow my transport money, I’d put it in a separate pocket from the rest and likewise for any other ‘important’ thing like buying my friend a birthday present or something. This helped me spend with much more ease knowing that I will still afford going home at the end of the day. The Total Card gives you the same advantage; you get to ‘put your fuel money in a separate pocket’.

But according to the introduction of this article, that’s not the problem I presented. I just figured I might as well be generous and give you an extra hint while we’re at it.

The problem for most might arise from the fact that fuel is an ‘on demand’ service which means the possibility of overspending on it is quite high. Even worse for spontaneous people who often find themselves in Gweru after leaving their home in Bulawayo to see a friend in the CBD. Good news is, the Total Card helps you to allocate the amount you want to spend on fuel (say, for the month) while you’re still in a more sober state. This helps you to be conscious of how much you are spending on fuel and for the ‘stricter’ people, you can even punish yourself by using less in the consequent week after that spontaneous drive just so you can balance your usage for that month.


2. Place ceiling limits for purchases

This works more or less like the above mentioned but applies on more than just fuel. See, the Total Card doesn’t just work on fuel but it can also be used for non-fuel services or products. Of course, this is exclusive to products and services from Total shops and garages.


3. Select products to be purchased during card creation

Notice how rational you are when you are doing your monthly budget?? Well, you can prolong this rationality for the rest of the month. When requesting for Total Card (which takes 72hrs max to generate after payment by the way), you get to select the products and services you are to pay for using the card. This reduces the likelihood of impulse buying since you would have separated your needs from your wants by selecting your needs during the card creation.


4. Define geographic boundaries

As I said earlier on (maybe not in so many words), this card is definitely the it for fleet owners since they can set geographic boundaries as to where their drivers can purchase fuel particularly in cases where they are dealing with dodgy drivers. In fact, I should write an article specifically on how fleet owners can harness the Total Card but for now let me stick to what I started.

Setting geographic boundaries will not only reduce the occurrence of spontaneous trips but even for planned random trips. Sometimes we actually plan for unnecessary trips which we later on regret once we realise that our account balance won’t be enough to take you through to the next paycheque. Therefore, knowing that you cannot use the card to refuel once you get to Chinhoyi can be the deterrence you need to get you to cancel that trip.

Of course this won’t be an automatic way of overcoming the habit but like I said, it just gives you competitive advantage and the rest is up to you…


One response

  1. Cheated

    Please remove the option to buy goods from a service station shop….at those prices it make no sense at all. Add the disclaimer for a sponsored article… This card makes no sense unless you need proof of spending usually got tax purposes…. For the individual just put you money aside… Plus who want to be tied to a single brand….I went to two totals with no fuel