Discipline and financial resilience can help your budget survive any curveball

While South Africans need to be disciplined with their money management they also need to be resilient to face any financial curveball. Picture: Freepik

While South Africans need to be disciplined with their money management they also need to be resilient to face any financial curveball. Picture: Freepik

Published Feb 19, 2024


As South Africans await Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s budget speech for the 2024/25 financial year, they should take the time to focus on their current personal finance situation and how they approach money.

This is the view of Wikus Olivier, the managing director of CreditSmart Financial Services, who says people should adjusting their budget accordingly with changing needs and situations.

Being disciplined on your financial journey can secure financial success even if there were disruptions along the way.

“You may not be able to prevent events and external decision-made implications from happening but it is crucial to keep tabs on your personal money management,” Olivier said.

Here are five ways people can achieve financial success:

Assess your current financial state

According to Olivier, people can start this process by downloading your last three months’ bank statements. Review your income, expenses, debts, and savings or investments. This can help gauge current financial pressures and give perspective on the areas that need immediate improvement.

Credit and debt

People can also access their credit score from a reputable platform for free, once a year according to the law. Some banking apps and other portals, offer the service free and update monthly.

According to Warren Tromp, Executive for Product Development at Nedbank, the individual credit profile gives lenders an idea of how one has managed credit in the past.

“If your score is in the upper end (660 and above), you stand a better chance of getting the credit you have applied for at the lower end (590 or less) that shows you haven’t been managing your debts that well,” Tromp said.

You can also do a Debt-To-Income Ratio (DTI) calculation to understand your debt situation. This is how you can calculate your Debt-To-Income Ratio:

Olivier said that if the calculated percentage is above 40% you must seek help to improve your financial standing and lower your debt. If it is above 60% you can be classified as being over-indebted.

Create a realistic budget outline

Olivier said that people can list, amend, and refine their budget each month according to any financial responsibilities or changes that may occur.

Try to search for useful educational material or download an easy-to-use budget template or app works for you and your individual needs. As a start, don’t wait – set up a simplistic budget outline and fill in your personal-picture-portrayal gaps. Here is how you can sort out your budget:

If the calculated amount reflects a surplus (+) amount, you can pay off your debt (bit by bit) or add to your emergency fund and other saving initiatives.

But, if the amount reflects a minus (–) you need to be proactive and identify and deal with the problem. Don’t forget to always try and implement ways to lower your debt.


Olivier said: “Appoint someone reliable in your circle that will support and keep you responsible for your budget, spending, and other financial habits.”

This is an important initiative to help you improve your behaviour and reach your money goals. Check-in regularly with your accountability partner whether is every month or twice in a year to see if your financial situation is on the right track

Endure and stay disciplined through all of your financial changes

According to Olivier, apart from trying to stay disciplined with how you manage your money, you should also think about financial resilience and remind yourself that you can succeed even when curveballs like an interest rate hike or a fuel price increase creeps in to disrupt your plans.

When faced with these curveballs try to stay positive and proactive by going back to the drawing board to see what you can change within your budget.

Take an intentional look at what else you can do to avoid debt and unnecessary spending like cutting unnecessary subscriptions.

You can also ask registered and preferred professionals to support you on your journey. Having the support may just be the game-changer that you need to achieve financial success.

IOL Business