“Spring has sprung and while we looking forward to some time-off during the summer holidays, we should maybe start looking at how we plan our finances for 2018,” says Ester Ochse, Product Specialist FNB Advisory.
2017 has been characterized by uncertain economy conditions which continue to affect the financial situation for many consumers and businesses. “In some instances, this causes financial gaps which contribute to a culture of people living way beyond their means and getting trapped in a cycle of short-term debt,” says Ochse.
She adds that, “Financial literacy education from an early age is vital to ensure proper management of debt and boosting savings. On many occasions we make hasty and impulsive buying decisions that are not necessary and don’t benefit our lifestyle. Understanding the difference between needs, wants and responsibilities is key in changing buying behavior and at the same time will help elevate the importance of money management from a young age.”
Ochse says it’s important to re-evaluate and refresh the way you use money on an ongoing basis. Not only will it help in the long run but also help you be more organised and disciplined. She explains that consumers should be able to get finances in order this spring through these easy steps:
- Review: Compare budgets from last and this year for wasteful and unnecessary expenditures. Base your financial decisions on your needs, wants and responsibilities.
- Reuse and Recycle: Try to be creative and recycle what you have to the maximum instead of throwing it away. Or alternatively, trade-in the item for some cash which you can save for something else in the future.
- Reduce: Your debt and unnecessary household expenses. Focus on things that matter like your child’s education, that special family holiday, your retirement or even household groceries that we often take for granted.
Being mindful with finances is important. “It is a good starting point which ensures that you look at your finances holistically and not as just another chore in your daily life. Planning, ongoing research and evaluation on your spending habits will help you financially and in the long-term,” concludes Ochse.