It is almost the end of the year and I usually work on getting my affairs in order. If you follow me on social media, especially Instagram, you will know I love starting over and hence Monday is my favourite day of the week. The end of the year is as equally exciting for me, because you get a new leaf on life. One of the things I do this time of year is work on my finances. I am not a financial adviser, my ideas should be explored to your own situation and if you can, find a financial adviser to assist. But these ideas have worked for me the past couple of years.
There is no better time than the current to have a look at how your spend you money. Now that I have a bit of time, before the year gets busy, I try to look through my bank statements to really understand where my money goes. Usually this shows me where I not only need to adjust my budget, but where my money wasters are. For me, this year has been on going out and groceries. Now that I know, I can manage these two categories better.
Once I know where I spend, I redo my budget for the year. Before I took budgeting seriously, I used to a have list with the amount I wanted to spend and did not really track it. It was simply done to see if I could afford what I wanted each month. After a while I got serious and smart about spending. I then found great tools online that are easy to use and that I can update at any time. It’s great that the tools also do all the calculations for you.
Start Saving Smart
In your budget, its important to make provision for saving. It can be daunting to think about saving when everything else adds up and there is not much left at the end of the month, but the little you start saving now, will go a long way later in the year. You could even save towards an affordable holiday. I like that in South Africa you can open a tax free account and save each month. Any interest you make is then tax free up to R33 000 per year. This is a great option for long term investment, like saving for your child’s education. Alternatively, open a simple notice account and start saving. Be realistic about how much you can save, no use putting an amount in the budget knowing you will spend it, it will derail your progress.
Once all this is done, I ensure to repeat these steps at some point during the year. It helps to know your financial situation and getting better at managing this.
Happy New Year and good luck with your financial success in the new year.