Author: Faith Mneno – Head of Emerging Markets
The start of a new year is an ideal time to set new financial goals as well as to craft a plan to meet those goals in the year ahead.
It is important to plan early on so that you can put these into action as soon as the year starts. Having a good understanding of financial matters will make it easier for you to target relevant financial goals and implement a plan that meets those objectives.
“Getting onto the road to financial freedom requires one to be financially literate, decide on a plan that aligns with their goals and, arguably most importantly, implement the plan. It is important to start as early as possible because as time progresses it becomes easy to lose track of your money matters,” advises Faith Mneno, Head of Emerging Markets at Standard Bank.
Mneno offers the following tips for those looking to get a hold of their finances in 2022:
1.Become financially savvy
Knowing and understanding your financial choices and options is the first step to your financial wellbeing. With WalletWise, you can educate yourself in the financial areas that are relevant to you, which can help to fast track your way to financial freedom.
This platform can act as your own personal financial advisor, teaching you about managing your money and providing tips that will improve your financial standing in the short and long run. Just by staying informed, you can budget better, reduce your debt, and save more.
2. Draw up a budget before reaching for your wallet
The core component to managing your finances correctly is budgeting for expenses, paying off debt and savings and investments. Prioritsing and allocating your funds accordingly will ensure that you meet your monthly commitments and don’t reach for your wallet unnecessarily. If you are failing to meet these monthly commitments, it might be worthwhile looking at a second stream of income.
3. Become debt-free
Instead of splurging on luxury goods and non-essential items, consider using extra money to pay off your loans. Becoming debt free is essential to financial freedom and as you can then put the money that was used to service your debt towards savings and investments that will help you to build wealth.
4. Make your money work for you
After taking care of your monthly expenses, it is important to portion a certain amount for savings and investments. This can be put aside for a big goal like a holiday or education, or it can be set aside for a rainy day where incidental expenses or loss of income occurs. There are many savings options available, and each provides their own advantages.
Tax free savings vehicles have become popular in recent years, offering a tax-free profit on your investment upon withdrawal. If you would like to make use of this savings vehicle, be sure to max out the yearly savings allowance of R36 000, which ends on the 28 February 2022.
5. Declutter your expenses
Many of us are guilty of having unnecessary debit orders lurking around our accounts. It is a good idea to re-evaluate your fixed monthly expenses on memberships, subscriptions, and insurance. There may be memberships and subscriptions that you are paying for but not using anymore. Insurance is another area that needs to be regularly updated according to lifestyle changes.
With these small simple steps, you can transform your financial future and improve your lifestyle, ending off 2022 better than when you started.