Eliminate the financial strain this holiday

In this stressful world, we often go about our day unconsciously ‘holding our breath’ as we anxiously await a moment of relief. Usually, it is a financial relief that we yearn for. But don’t let money-related worries stop you from enjoying life. You can use this festive holiday as the season to permanently eliminate your financial strain. Here’s how.

Stop holding your breath

Ever notice how we tend to hold our breath when under stress? Ever wonder why? That’s because when under strain, our bodies naturally become highly activated in an attempt to protect us from a perceived threat or dangerous situation. It is mainly an unconscious, automatic response. It is hard to go one day without experiencing stress in one form or another in today’s world. With the current bombardment of stressful situations that many of us have to endure, we unconsciously go about our day ‘holding our breath’, anxiously waiting for that moment to exhale in relief.

Of the many sources of modern-day stress, a prominent feature is money. We all feel stressed about our finances at times. We may worry if we’ll be able to pay the rent on time or have enough money to pay our debts. This unrelenting, ongoing tension can become so severe that it can physically manifest itself in the form of stomach aches or headaches; or mentally as anxiety or depression.

Don’t let money-related worries stop you from enjoying life. Instead of living in constant breath-holding mode, get ready to exhale! Use this holiday as the season to permanently eliminate your financial strain. Here are some tips to help you get started.

6 tips to eliminate financial stress

  1. Balance your income and expenses. Carefully list all your expenses against your income. Do this monthly. Add up how much debt you have, how much your monthly repayments are, and what period remains before you are fully paid up.
  2. Know the details. Knowing exactly how much you earn, what you spend, and what amount you have to repay will help you determine your financial health. Determine which areas of your finances need urgent attention, and make it a priority to attend to that without delay.
  3. Keep to a budget. Monitor your monthly expenditure to ensure that you do not spend more than you earn. By keeping to a budget, you also avoid unnecessary expenses that could land you in more debt.
  4. Pay off your debt faster. By paying an additional R100 toward your credit card every month, for example, you will get out of debt quicker and be able to channel that money into a savings plan instead.
  5. Start saving immediately. If all you can set aside is R50 a month, that money will still make a substantial difference to your emergency fund, retirement fund, or savings plan.
  6. Make time to plan. Make time each month to review and manage your finances. Remember, time is money!

As you set out to eliminate unnecessary financial stress, remember to contact your Life EHS financial coach for advice and support.


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How to hone financial readiness

Reading time: ±1:50 min.

Remember all the times you managed to recover from an unexpected setback? That’s called resilience, the ability to bounce back after an unexpected challenge. ‘Prosilience’, on the other hand, is ensuring readiness – that you’re prepared before anything happens.

Prosilience is a crucial skill in building financial security, as it ensures that you’re prepared to face financial difficulties. Use the below questions as a guideline for things you should keep in mind.

1. Assess how ready you are for financial setbacks

  • Are you prepared for the death of a loved one?
  • Can you survive the loss of a job or an income in your family?
  • Are you able to cover hospital bills in a medical emergency?
  • If you become critically ill or disabled, will you be taken care of?
  • Can you cope financially if you suffer damage to or loss of your home, car or laptop, or major appliances like your fridge?

2. Do a mini insurance audit

  • What cover do you have? This includes your life insurance, medical aid and top-up cover, short-term insurance and income-protection policies.
  • Do these policies cover your specific requirements?
  • Is the amount of cover on each policy sufficient?
  • Do your policies reflect your correct details and status?
  • Have you met all the insurers’ requirements?

3. Be prepared by covering all your bases

  • How else can you prepare for future financial success?
  • Have you drafted an updated will?
  • Have you checked that all beneficiary nomination forms are current?
  • Do you have emergency funds equal to at least six months’ worth of expenses?
  • Are you putting away a portion of your income for your retirement?
  • Are you saving for holidays, further education or to realise a dream?
  • Have you invested in assets that will allow your wealth to grow?

Remember, your financial coach is available to guide and assist you. If you have any queries about the above, contact your Interface financial coach here.

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.


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