JOHANNESBURG -  We’ve endured arguably the longest month of the year, appropriately coined “Janu Worry”, after an expensive festive season. 

As South Africans gear up for the year ahead, we are again reminded that we are not yet out of the woods. 

It’s that time of year again when we South Africans will be glued to our TV’s watching, with baited breath, as the Finance Minister delivers the annual budget speech. 

This year, as with recent years, the South African budget speech will be delivered amidst several, radical political changes and a volatile economy. No one can predict the outcome of the political landscape or how it will affect the rand, but we do know that money is tight and that we may need to tighten our belts even further to prepare for the transformation that lies ahead. 

There are multiple ways in which the budget speech affects your pocket and while it may not be easy to navigate the changes we at Metropolitan have compiled a practical list of tips to aid you in your journey to financial wellness in 2018:

Define your life goals

Quite possibly the first and most important step in your financial journey is to determine your life goals i.e. Would you like to take your children to school, are planning on a holiday, would you like to retire early. Create a vision board that can ensure your goals are always top of mind pushing you to take the necessary steps to achieve these goals.

Budget, budget, budget.

A budget helps you figure out your financial goals, no matter how small or big they may be. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, if you neglect to have a budget, you’ll be tempted to buy things you may not need, and things you can’t actually afford. You constantly need to ask yourself, “do I need this, or do I want this? Can I afford this?” Having a budget will provide the awareness required to understand whether you are in good financial standing or in debt. 

Have a financial plan

A financial plan is not the same a budget. A financial plan helps you see the bigger picture, and allows you to make long-term and short-term goals. A financial plan also keeps you honest, and holds you accountable because you can map out realistic goals rather than just dreams. This tool will help you track your progress, making you more confident in the way you are spending your money. Part of having a comprehensive financial plan is ensuing you have a budget – and sticking to it. 

Re-asses your insurance products

It is almost possible to over-insure yourself. Financial planners are paid to give advice, use them. You could be paying for cover that you don’t need, or learn that you are duplicating cover for products that you already have. This assessment is also important to ensure that you are fully covered. 

Understand the budget speech

Every year the budget speech is delivered with complex jargon and terminology and truthfully very few of us are up to speed on the meaning of these terms never mind the kind of implications this pertinent information has on our lives. If you would like to get clued up on some of the vocabulary used in the budget speech head over to to download a cheat sheet that we have compiled for you to help you follow the conversation confidently.

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* This was a sponsored article.