Arriving at the festive season is both gratifying and daunting. On the one hand all the glare and glitter around the festivities are really exciting. But on the other there is that dreary feeling that all these things comes at a price, one that might just be out of reach.
31 May 2015
Make this the year you finally take control of your money, instead of letting it control you.
We have reached the 2015 half-way mark, which means it is a good time to reflect on the first 5 months of the year to see if you’re on the right track.
Reflecting on 2015
Jan – Plan for Jan
Are you stickling to the monthly budget you created in 2015? Remember, a budget is a breakdown of your income and expenses. It will help you plan for the month ahead and by sticking to it, it helps prevent you from spending more than you earn each month.
February – Assess your current financial position
It might be the right time to do another financial check by requesting a copy of your free credit report. Please note: If you are DebtBusters client – logon to www.smartcents.co.za to request your free credit report! Alternatively, you can get one from TransUnion.
March – How is your short-term savings plan looking?
Have you committed to making saving money a habit? Saving money, like anything else, requires practice and persistence! Realistically, you should be saving up to 16% of your salary on a monthly basis. Look for money saving areas in your budget to cut down on expenses.
April – Have you reviewed your insurance?
It is important to review your insurance as this can save you money going forward. If your insurance needs have changed, perhaps change your insurance policy and get a pay a lesser premium that will still provide the cover that you are looking for.
May – Are you on track with your long-term savings plan?
Your future is probably the last thing you are thinking about, but securing a financial future for you and your family is essential. Speak to a licenced financial planner who can advise you on the best long-term insurance products available, which are affordable and suit your particular financial needs. Insurance Busters, DebtBusters sister company, has equipped financial planners who will conduct an assessment and give you expert advice on the most suitable products for you.
Mapping the way for the rest of 2015 to stay in order with your debt management plan
How are you doing financially? Are you happy with the financial progress you have made for 2015? If you think you have strayed off the financial path, it’s not too late to get back on track with your finances. Here’s what you need to do:
June – Look at ways to increase your income
Now is the time to try and look for ways to increase your income. You can do this by looking for ways to increase your salary at work, by taking on more responsibility or working longer hours. Or, you can turn one of your hobbies into a business to make extra cash.
July – Avoid using your credit card
If June was all about increasing your income, you don’t want to spend it all on repaying your credit card debt. Rather use the extra money you have saved to make smaller purchases and avoid using credit at all times. There are high interest charges on credit card debt and you will end up spending more money to repay this debt.
August – Get debt free
Pay more money towards your debt. By doing so, you will move that “I’m debt free” date closer, so you can focus on other financial priorities. Use the spare cash you saved in June towards accounts with outstanding balances and even settle small balances so that you save on interest charges and improve your credit score.
September ‘s the time to reduce expenses
Start September by finding ways to cut your expenses. You can do the following:
- Use shopping coupons when purchasing your groceries.
- Make a list of things you need to purchase from the store and stick to it to avoid purchasing unnecessary items.
- Make home-made meals instead of buying expensive ready-made meals from the store.
- Turn off your geyser during the day to reduce your electricity consumption.
October – Save for the end of year festive season
Start planning and saving for your Christmas purchases now. Instead of buying gifts, try making your own gifts from home, using left over materials. If you really need to purchase gifts from the store, now would be a better time to do so rather than purchasing closer to Christmas as items will be cheaper.
November – reward yourself for reaching your financial goals
November is a great time reward yourself for sticking to your budget throughout the year. Our financial mind set affects how we spend money, how we save, and how we perceive and react to our financial situation. The best way to change your mind set is reward yourself by purchasing items with a small portion of your savings, for yourself and enjoy the moment.
December – Have you reached your financial goals?
Write down your goals and look at your expenses again! Your savings will be a result of your goals and whether or not you stuck to them. In December, focus on re-assessing your budget if things have not worked out as you hoped. Prepare your financial plan for 2016 and make any changes to your plan if you require.
Do you need financial help?
If you are still left with little or no money at the end of the month, it is better to act NOW and do something towards rectifying your financial position. DebtBusters will provide you with a way of reducing your debt in 5 simple steps:
- WE can give you a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL credit assessment
- WE can CONSOLIDATE your debt repayments into one affordable monthly instalment
- WE can NEGOTIATE with your credit providers to reduce interest rates and fees on your accounts
- WE can get you LEGAL PROTECTION to stop creditors from hassling you
- WE can get you DEBT FREE and issue you with a Clearance Certificate – CLEAR YOUR NAME
The process is 100% confidential with no obligation, allowing you to opt out, should your situation change. Call DebtBusters on 0869 99 06 06 or visit www.debtbusters.co.za and have a consultant call you back.