Restoring your financial well-being is similar to restoring a rare classic car it can be fulfilling and frustrating, and sometimes you need to call in the experts. Photo: File

Restoring your financial well-being is similar to restoring a rare classic car: you're in it for the long run, it can be fulfilling and frustrating, and sometimes you need to call in the experts, said Theesan Moodley, the general manager at Sanlam Financial Advisers.

Moodley says his experience of buying a 1968 Jaguar Mark 2 a few years ago, after it had been left in a garage for 10 years, can be as rewarding as achieving your financial goals, whether saving towards your retirement or your child's education.

Moodley said that restoring cars and restoring finances come down to three things: it starts with a vision coupled with a passion to see it through; you need to consider your capabilities and the areas where you may need help.

“Lastly, you need to commit to making continuous improvements in order to persevere. There will be tough days, where a part doesn't fit, or the markets fail. That's when you need to have grit to hold on,” said Moodley.

Moodley said that consumers are faced with a number of challenges, whether it is a lack of money or time and, in some cases, a lack of confidence, but they need to be patient.

He said it is important to have the solid basic structure in place when saving for the future.

Moodley says it could have taken him about three months to restore the car, but it took him about a year-and-a-half, as he had to juggle various challenges and day-to-day commitments.

“It was a very rewarding experience. I think achieving your goals in the financial space is probably also very rewarding, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labour, whether that is a down-payment on a motor vehicle or as an endowment saving, or being able to put your kids through university, or retire comfortably,” said Moodley.. 

Moodley provides more information on how to restore your financial health:

* What are you trying to achieve? Before you commit to restoring a car, you need to have an objective in mind. Are you doing it as a passion, or do you want to resell the vehicle for a profit? Do you want it to be original, or would you like to build “restomod” (the vehicle is put back together with the addition of modern or after-market parts that were not on the vehicle when it came from the factory)? Likewise, when it comes to your finances, you need to know what you want. What are you saving for? What are your goals? Have a plan in place for how you'll achieve them.

* Dodge the rabbit-hole of restoration. Restoring a car can become an endless project; and it’s often difficult to know what to prioritise. It's about having the foundation in place and likewise the same for your finances. Get the basics right first. And then keep your eye on the goal.

* Get help when you need it. When it comes to your finances, there are things you may feel confident sorting out yourself, and there are other aspects where assistance will probably prove valuable. At your current age, what do you need to save annually to retire comfortably? Are you on track? The answers to these questions may require advice from a trusted financial adviser.

* Have a timeline, but be flexible. Selling a classic car requires careful evaluation of market conditions. The same principle is true for money matters. You may need to adjust your timeline and actions to account for market conditions. You need to plan for the fact that the value of an asset doesn't always appear when you want it to.

* Push through the tough times. “There have been icy winter days when I've been under the Jaguar in a miserably cold garage, battling with a bolt, and I've wanted to pack it in. Most times, it helped to stop, take a break and start again. Similarly, creating a financial plan and reaching your key financial milestones can take some time and commitment, but when you see the fruits of your labour - even just one small victory at a time - it really is worth the energy,” said Moodley.