The beginning of the year is always a good start to get your finances in order. A lot of people start of the new year with positive attitude and want to improve their personal circumstances and their finances.
Your money and you
What type of relationship do you have with your finances and your money? If you’re like most other people, you have a love-hate relationship. Your money is never there when you need it, and you probably don’t like it that you and your family depends so much on money. Don’t continue to have an abusive relationship with your money and instead, learn what to do to ensure that your money works for you, instead of the other way around!. Get control back of your finances.
When paying down your debt avoid unnecessary expenses such as credit monitoring services. You are able to attain a free credit report from each of the two credit reporting agencies each year. The tow credit reporting agencies in South Africa are Experian & Transunion Apply the extra cash to your debt instead of paying a third party company to monitor your credit report.
To make sure your bank accounts aren’t a drain on your finances, take the time to find a low cost bank account. Some bank accounts claim to be free or low cost, but have high minimum funds requirements or will charge a fee per transaction. Some back accounts come with a status factor, but they come at a cost. Are the extra benefits offered on a platinum or gold account really worth the extra banking fees. In most cases one can come by on a silver or standard bank account. A non gold or platinum account might not give you a certain prestige, but it will close that financial drain hole in your wallet (bank account).
Manage your debt
To best manage your finances, prioritize your debt. Pay off your credit cards first. Credit cards have a higher interest than almost any other type of debt, which means they build up high balances faster. Paying them down reduces your debt now, frees up credit for emergencies, and means that there will be less of a balance to collect interest over time. Once Credit Card debt or other debt is paid off, try not to fall in the trap of overspending. Try to settle you Credit Card in full every month.
Manage your bill payments
To improve your personal finance habits, try to organize and manage your billing. Every month certain bills are a given. Utility Bills, Rates and Taxes. Budget for these bills and set yourself a date when you pay them. This can help you to avoid late payment fees and other missed payment penalties.
Establish a savings habit
One of the best things that you can do in order to effectively manage your finances is by saving your “pennies”. Saving small amounts of money here and there will eventually add up to big savings in the long run. If you have the discipline to save on a small scale, it will be easier for you to be able to save on a much larger scale.
Change your shopping habits
Have a closer look at your shopping habits. Lots of money saving can be found here.
- To save money, you may want to purchase the generic version of items you would usually buy. For instance, a name brand shirt could cost you R400,00 at a high-end store. At many stores you could find the same quality noname shirt for R150,00 You will save a lot of money, by shopping this way.
- Plan your groceries shopping. Get into the habit of planning your meals a week ahead, create a shopping list and stick by this list. Not only can you reduce trips to the super markets, you might be able to buy larger quantities if you know you are going to use the same item again in the week.
- By planning your meals for the week one can also plan to make the best use of the specials for the week.
- When you go shopping, try to shop with a full stomach. With an empty stomach one tends to buy unnecessary foods and snacks to satisfy the hunger while in the shop.
After reading this article, your attitude towards your money should be much improved. By changing some of the ways you behave financially, you can completely change your situation. Instead of wondering where your money goes after each paycheck, you should know exactly where it is, because YOU put it there.