How to commit to your financial goals

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How to escape the debt trap

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4 ways to improve your finances this year

Read time: ±1:20 min.

2020 taught us that taking action early on can help ensure you’re better prepared for unforeseen circumstances. Here’s how to plan your 2021 budget.

Many people have fears about money. Maybe more so following the hardships of 2020. But ignoring your financial situation does you no good and could even lead to:

  • Late-payment charges
  • Flagged store accounts
  • Blacklisting
  • A debt cycle

Fortunately, there are ways to turn things around and put yourself on a firm footing for 2021. Start by making a few changes and revamping your finances.

1. Get acquainted with your money.

Take an honest look at your financial situation. List all your debt, your bank balances and expenses. You can do this in a spreadsheet or notebook, or an app such as Mint.

2. Make a plan.

If you’re running late with a payment or are unable to pay a bill, call your creditors to talk about alternative options. Create a budget for all your expenses, and scan or file any important documents.

3. Hold yourself accountable.

Remove financial triggers such as credit cards (lock them away if possible), limit socialising that requires excessive spending and ask a loved one to be your accountability partner.

4. Ask for help.

You are not alone. If your situation isn’t improving or you need extra help, talk to a financial adviser. 

Remember, your financial coach is ready to assist with confidential and professional financial coaching and support.

For more financial advice, read these helpful articles:

The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a finance professional. E&OE.


Update these policies

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How to take control of your financial triggers

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Do you have a money disorder?

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Prepare (your finances) for the unexpected

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4 ways to relieve money stress

Read time: ±1:40 min.

Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but it can help secure a comfortable future. Read our tips.

Financial stress negatively impacts nearly every facet of your life, affecting concentration and focus, your work performance and family responsibilities, which can lead to problems in relationships. Fortunately, if you make wise financial decisions, money can bring relief.

Here are 4 ways to put your money to good use:

1. Get value for your money

Work on significantly reducing your bills and getting more value for the money you have. For example, this could mean paying your debt and not taking on more credit. This is important as the less debt you have, the more you can save for emergencies and prevent the debt cycle.

2. Prioritise saving

Saving ensures you have an emergency fund or a safety net for unforeseen events. It also enables a better future, creating the possibility of enjoying financial security in your golden years. Ideally, 10% of your monthly earnings should go towards savings. If you can’t afford 10%, commit to an amount that is more realistic. In some cases, 10% can be achieved if you reassess your expenses.

3. Spend wisely

While splurging can give you temporary happiness, carefully planning your finances will ensure peace of mind. Set up a monthly or weekly budget and stick to it as far as possible. Include your expenses, debit orders, savings allocation and a portion for recreational spending and entertainment.

4. Pay it forward when you can

Helping others can make you happier. When you can afford to, donate a portion of your income to those in need. You can either give money or you can buy essential items, such as blankets, perishable foods, clothing and soap, and donate those instead.

Remember, your financial coach is ready to help with confidential and professional financial coaching and support, over the phone or electronically.

The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a finance professional. E&OE.


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