It is almost July and somewhere along the line, you could not stick to your financial resolutions as pledged.
You had great expectations in January BUT are experiencing an entirely different story at this stage. Sound familiar? Life happens – no doubt about it. And, it is therefore best not to ponder over these past few months. Rather ‘restock’ and take ‘financial action’ the rest of the year.
Matthys Potgieter, debt expert at DebtSafe, says: “Just because your financials feel unrepairable, does not mean that it is”. Potgieter says his #FIXIT financial plan (of six months) can help you improve and repair your fiscal situation:
JULY = Get your savings going
Since July is also known as ‘Savings Month’, why not implement a well-needed savings action plan for a change? Think about events like Christmas, for example. It is around the corner. Save whenever you can and either add savings to your separate holiday savings account OR go old-school by using a piggy bank. It would also be a good idea to start buying a few presents with your saved-up cash. You will definitely spot a good price for most of your gifts prior to December.
AUGUST = Financial communication – the sooner the better
It is always better to communicate the financial queries and concerns that you have (like retirement planning or getting out of debt), sooner rather than later. Do you have a financial guru in your midst that can assist you? What about a financial planner, your broker or – in worst debt case scenarios – a registered debt counsellor?
SEPTEMBER = Budgeting and goals go hand in hand
You shouldn’t let financial planning and budgeting overwhelm you. Go ‘back to the basics’ – your budget should be practical and to the point. Use what works for you like an excel sheet or a budget app on your phone, for example. And, be aware that your financial goals (short, medium and long-term) should be added to your budget. You will be able to track your achievements (like saving or paying off debt) easier. Outline your budget for a month /six months / a year – whatever works for you.
OCTOBER = Healthy Credit
According to Potgieter, you have to know what is going on with your credit profile to improve it or keep it in ‘a healthy and good condition’. “It is better to rather stay on track with your current credit agreements before you take out any further credit,” says Potgieter. You can download your free credit profile each year at various credit bureaus like: Compuscan, TransUnion, XDS or Experian. What is stopping you to know where you are at with your credit score?
NOVEMBER = Reevaluate your service agreements
Before you get too excited about the December holiday or Christmas tree decorations, you have to rethink and reevaluate certain agreements. This will help you a lot before 2019 makes its appearance. Take a look at your:
- current medical aid and plan;
- different insurance packages (like vehicle, home and life insurance);
- phone contracts (landline or cellphone service agreements); and
- ‘luxury’ service agreements like pay TV or gym contracts/packages that you currently pay for. No need to further spend your money on agreements that you don’t really use or benefit from.
DECEMBER = Pin down practical financial 2019 resolutions
While you are (hopefully) in a ‘chilled’ type of mood over the December month, it would be the ideal time to write down realistic and achievable 2019 resolutions. And, this includes financial resolutions. Incorporate small behavioural tweaks (like tucking away a savings amount each month) that you want to achieve in 2019 as well as big financial goals that you need to add to your long-term goals (buying a house or saving for retirement, for example).
Don’t feel discouraged if you unintentionally neglected your financial resolutions this 2018. Take these tips into account and repair your finances little by little. If, however, your financial situation is going utterly cuckoo in debt – it is time to turn it around. How exactly? Contact the DebtSafe team to inform you about the debt counselling process. Send a free SMS with your name and INFO to 30898.