05 February 2018 – We often left feeling overwhelmed and guilty from the excessive spending and increased expense after the holiday season. As much as we plan our budgets for the year or any event for that matter; we often don’t stick to them.
Ester Ochse, Product Specialist – FNB Financial Advisory explains that, “We tend to overburden ourselves over the holiday season with unexpected expenses like gifts, holidays or entertainment. Our budget gets consumed quite quickly and without us noticing at all.”
With the recent unchanged interest rate by the South African Reserve Bank, South Africans have an opportunity to review their December spending patterns, plan better and save more in 2018. She adds that, “this initial step of re-evaluation and consolidating expenses at the beginning of the year is a great starting point to your savings journey.”
South Africa like many other emerging countries has seen a low savings culture. We need to start saving now for the future and any other unforeseen expenses that may arise. Ochse suggests the
following financial resolutions for 2018:
- Conduct a needs analysis: Conduct a needs analysis for a 12 month period and determine what your needs, wants and responsibilities are especially in the current economic environment.
- Identify your financial resolution: The list is endless from – shopping less to planning to buy your dream home. Whatever your financial resolution is, live it and ensure that you stick to it.
- Consolidate your budget: Review your 2017 budget by looking at places where you overspent and where you can save. Budget with long and short term goals in mind as this will help you identify what you need now and in the long-run.
- Find a savings mechanism: There are many tools and apps available which can assist in kick-starting your savings goals. The FNB Savings Pocket (Bank Your Change®) helps you save money as you spend it.
- Have a personal finance day: Set a day aside to manage your monthly spend and expenses. Time spent on managing your budget and expenses can help you understand where those unforeseen expenses are going. Ensure that your will is updated and check that your long term risk cover is appropriate for your goals.
- Financial advisor: Financial advisors are a great asset as they guide and provide immense value in helping you manage your money better. This guidance will help your money go a long way
- Consolidate debt: We live in a credit active culture, where interests are high resulting in higher debt levels and less savings. Start the year right by clearing your debt. It will be a difficult process but once you are debt-free; you can focus on things that matter.
We live in our own financial bubble and assume that savings is not that important. “Getting up to speed and ensuring that you are financially savvy should be a focus for everyone. Given the economic climate and rising costs we need to ensure that we have enough for the future,” concludes Ochse.