It is a new year, a new start and a great opportunity for you to review the last decade, take a long hard look at your personal finances and decide what you would like them to be in 2010 and the decade to come. The last ten years were marked by a consumer boom fuelled by credit, but the next ten years are not likely to follow this route. So what can you do?
The first thing is to plan a realistic budget. If your budget is more wishful thinking than actual planning, then you won't be able to meet your personal financial goals. Set aside a portion for savings so that come 2020 you will have built up a sizeable fund for you to blast off into the next decade beyond with. In South Africa we do not have much of a savings culture, but savings are essential for financial fitness, so getting into the habit of saving is a great way to start the New Year.
Manage your debts by paying off what you owe as quickly as you can. Do not just pay the minimum on your bond or your credit card. Paying more than the minimum will save you thousands in interest charges. If you feel that you can't get on top of your debt, contact a professional debt management firm to help you go into the future debt free and on the path to realising your personal financial goals, this year and in the years ahead.