Lock down your finances

By Danielle van Wyk

There are quite a few things that may influence your personal finances. These include an economic recession, losing your job, not receiving your full salary, your company closing, or even a state of disaster in your country, such as the current lockdown due to the Covid 19-outbreak.

While these situations may be out of your control, there are steps you can take to ensure that you’re still managing your finances as best you can.

“Good financial management means being prepared for the worst of situations,” states Standard Bank.

While this is true, at Justmoney we believe it’s never too late to start cultivating healthy financial habits.

Tip: If you need to speak to a trusted financial consultant about your debt load, click here.

To get you started we have highlighted seven quick personal finance tips to ensure that you and yours are able to weather the storm:

1. Re-visit your budget

While this may not come as a surprise, it’s important to realise that your financial health is only as good as your budget. And as your situation alters, your budget should too.

This means taking the time to sit down and work through your income versus expenses again and seeing where you can adjust; re-evaluating your expenses and cutting what isn’t essential; and deciding how you can reallocate money towards your savings.

2. Review your bank statements

This is often something many people skip over but reviewing even just the last three months’ worth of bank statements can save you money in the long run.

Understanding where your money is going is a big part of effective financial management. So, make the time, pull your statements, and go through them. Pay specific attention to your bank charges and transaction fees, and debit-orders. 

People often find that they’re being double debited or that debit orders aren’t correctly accounted for. This can result in being charged extra in interest in the long run or taking longer to pay off the debt.

3. Declutter your finances

Task yourself with cleaning up your banking profile and reorganising your filing system.

Consider throwing out unnecessary documents and effectively filing important ones or maybe even going digital and scanning and filing all your necessary documents to store online.

Spend time with your online profile and finally delete those old beneficiaries you’ve been meaning to. Also ensure that your passwords are secure, and your cards properly linked. Once you get started you may find quite a bit that needs doing.

4. Re-evaluate your financial goals 

Whether it’s you on your own or with a spouse it’s never a waste of time to re-evaluate your financial goals and whether you’re still on track in achieving them.

A good place to start is to measure your goals against what’s important to you and the future you envisioned. Then take stock of what you need in order to get there.

For many people setting financial goals is the easy part but maintaining them is where the difficulty arises. Therefore, ensure that your goals are achievable and realistic.

5. Save, save, save

None of us are assured of tomorrow, or our jobs, or the stability of our economy on any given day.

Trusted financial advisors will tell you that this is why you need a good emergency fund.

At the very least it’s always good to have at least six months of your salary saved up. If you need help in setting up an emergency fund or comprehensive savings plan, then contact your bank or click here for advice.

6. Get help with your debt

If you find yourself unable to meet your financial agreements it may be time to enlist professional help.

This will not only free up some of your cash-flow but ensure that you’re actively paying your debt off in the most manageable way. It will also ensure that you won’t have to deal with your creditors anymore. Your assets will also be legally protected.  

To get started, click here.

7. Take advantage of loyalty programmes

You may know when to swipe your card, but are you optimising your points and your earning potential.

Take the time to understand your loyalty programmes and whether it’s even worth having, and how you can maximise its benefits. This can help you save money in the long run.

For more financial advice and tips, click here.

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