As everyone prepares to ring in the new year in just a few days, experts provide critical tips for planning your personal affairs for 2024.
This includes varied subjects ranging from finance, self-care, deciding on a suitable budget, insurance decision-making, and household planning around interest rates offering different perspectives.
Following are four ways to help you plan your personal affairs for 2024.
Fun and self-care
To avoid overspending, think about creating a weekly budget for the upcoming year. Seek out free events taking place in your city.
For instance, there are several national parks and conservation areas featuring picnic tables and braais in South Africa. To split costs, it is suggested that one invite friends and family over for a potluck meal where everyone brings a dish.
Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront’s guest relations manager, Papy Mingashanga, says set menus are a great way to do this.
“Planned menus are paid for in advance and include drinks, savoury meals, and desserts. This way, you know that food, an abundance of drinks, and entertainment are all at one set price, and there’s little risk of overspending if you have allocated this cost ahead of time,” he adds.
Ensuring you are insured for 2024
In this day and age of customisation and plenty, consumers have more authority over their insurance decisions than ever before.
Pre-packaged insurance solutions that may include extraneous items are no longer the only option. Individuals can customise their insurance policy to meet their individual needs by changing the coverage, provider, perks, and extra features.
“For instance, a married couple without dependants can limit the number of authorised drivers on their vehicle, yielding substantial savings on their car insurance,” says Mishaya Chettiar, executive head at Everything Insure.
Getting your investments into gear
If you are in the final stages of your working career and looking forward to retirement, you will have some important choices to make.
Harry Scherzer, CEO of Future Forex, shared important information about investment and said: “Either way, you’re probably going to regularly be moving reasonably large sums of money from an offshore account to a South African one. It’s something that can be frustrating and complex, especially if you choose the wrong international payment provider. If, on the other hand, you choose a partner that prioritises customer service and transparency, then you’re much more likely to have a smooth experience when bringing money across to South Africa.”
Household planning around interest rates
Bradd Bendall, head of sales at BetterBond, says in 2023, interest rate hikes impacted many consumers’ home loan affordability.
He says if you are a first-time homebuyer, in 2024, you will still be able to find some comparatively affordable options in new residential developments in the inland provinces of the Free State, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo.
Pockets of opportunity to meet buyers’ needs remain across the country.
“BetterBond data shows that average home purchase prices have remained virtually unchanged year on year, so any positive shifts in interest rates could spark activity in the housing market.
“BetterBond data shows that, despite price increases, first-time buyers have managed to retain a share of more than 60% of all home loan applications for the past two years, and this positive statistic is likely to be carried forward into 2024,” says Bendall. The top three areas in terms of average home loan values granted to first-time buyers over the past 12 months have been the Western Cape, Greater Pretoria, and Mpumalanga.
An alternative to buying on your own is collective home buying. As economic challenges persist, collective saving schemes, “stokvels”, offer an increasingly popular way to buy property.
Some of South Africa’s big banks have launched collective buying home loans that allow up to 12 people to buy together, with each person contributing towards the monthly instalment.