Good habits should not be seasonal, particularly when it comes to saving money.
Although it is not uncommon for people to become lax about certain good habits once winter sets in, such as going to the gym or eating healthily, not looking after the health of your finances all year round can have long-term repercussions.
Good financial health, just like good mental and physical health, can put a spring in your step, so why not use the feel-good mindset of spring to renew a savings plan?
There are several reasons people are successful with money - and several reasons people fail with money.
The top three secrets to money success are:
1. Spending less than you earn.
2. Saving for emergencies.
3. Finding the best savings investment, such as a fixed deposit account.
The top three reasons people fail with money are:
1. They don’t set financial goals.
2. They prioritise spending rather than saving.
3. They do not start to save early enough.
I believe not having financial goals is a biggie. Think about setting realistic savings and investment goals, and about the satisfaction you will derive from achieving these.
When it comes to saving money, the secret to success is saving regularly, not only when it is convenient.
If you are looking for easy ways to save money, think about simply having a pre-determined amount transferred to a savings account every time you get paid.
You may find yourself struggling to keep up and promising to fix your finances at the end of the month. If the end of the month has turned into six months and you are still not back on track with your money goals, perhaps it is time to clear your mind of negative thoughts about money and absorb some good money saving tips - a budget being one of the most important.
Here is how a budget should operate:
* Determine what you earn.
* Determine your fixed expenses.
* Determine your variable expenses.
* Compare your expenses to your income.
* Track your expenses.
* Adjust your budget as needed.
* Evaluate your budget.
It may take time for your budget to really work for you, but that is the beauty of a budget - it can be adjusted as you go along.
But as you get better at budgeting, remember to always keep your spending, debts and savings goals in balance.
What is known as the 50/20/30 budgeting rule is a helpful tool in achieving financial success with a budget. This means that 50 percent of your income must go to necessities (for example - rent, car payment, medical scheme contributions, groceries), 20 percent must be go into a savings account, and 30 percent can be spent on wants (such as eating out and hobbies).
And with spring lifting our spirits, if your finances have waned recently, it may be a great time to apply fresh perspective to a money saving plan and doing a savings account comparison to ensure you get the best interest rates.
Kena Setshogoe is African Bank’s group executive: customer engagement.