To know what your needs are, you need to understand how your financial needs change across different life stages.
Whether you are on the verge of retirement, sailing along mid-career or just starting a practice, it is important to think ahead and plan for your financial future.
A good start would be to organise and change your financial habits for the better. “Take the time you need to take a closer look at your finances and make better choices to secure your financial future, start looking at what’s important and what changes you can make to free up some extra cash in your budget”, says Motlatsi Mkalala, Standard Bank Head of Main Market.
Here are a few tips on how you can start making better choices to secure your financial future:
Organise your monthly budget
First things first, look at your monthly budget – if you do not have one start building it today. A budget will help you manage your finances and understand your spending habits. When looking at your budget make sure you are not paying for services that you don’t need or subscriptions you never really use. Another important part of your budget is savings, remember to set aside some funds for saving and investing, start small and be consistent. When you budget consistently, it becomes much easier to reach your financial goals.
Catch up on late payments
The pandemic has had a negative financial impact on a lot of people to the extent that some find themselves unable to keep up with their monthly expenses and subsequently defaulting on repayments. The first option to explore, if you are in this situation, is downscaling your lifestyle. Downscaling will enable you to lower your expenses and help you cope with your credit obligations. If your financial situation is a lot more serious, then you need to pro-actively contact your creditors to inform them of your circumstances. Financial institutions are currently offering payment relief options which are usually over a few months, while you recover.
Assess your investments
Review your investments, make sure they’re still in line with your goals and if you need to make some changes, seek advice and act on those changes.
Evaluate your insurance cover/s
No matter what your financial situation is, we all want the peace of mind in knowing that we are covered for unforeseen events like the loss of a loved one, an unexpected emergency or retrenchment. Review all your insurance plans to ensure that you are adequately covered to respond to these events.
Set your financial goals
“Take a closer look at the financial goals you set out for yourself at the beginning of the year, have you achieved any? If your goals look a little out of reach right now due to circumstances beyond your control, take a step back and realign your goals to suit your current situation. Set realistic achievable goals that will encourage you to keep going,” concludes Motlatsi.