September is the first month of spring – a time, traditionally, to clean out, refresh and renew. It’s a good reminder to review your budget and put plans in place to help your finances flourish.
Consumer finance website JustMoney.co.za offers some helpful tips to assist you with this process, and get your financial affairs in order.
Review your budgeting goals: Review your bank statements to see where your money goes. Cutting extraneous spending can free up cash, enabling you to reduce your debt and reach your financial goals.
Organise paperwork: Documents left lying around are likely to get lost. File important documents and shred records you no longer require.
Examine your policies: Are your insurance policies still relevant to your needs? Your circumstances may have changed in the past few years, particularly in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Seek expert advice: A reputable financial adviser can help you to review your policies, and advise you of the financial implications of any changes you are considering.
Check investment performance: Are you receiving optimal returns, paying fair management fees, and adopting the appropriate risk profile for your life stage? For example, a middle-aged manager would generally require a more conservative investment portfolio, while a young professional may be less risk-averse.
Make the most of your medical aid: Ensure that you make the most of any benefits, such as free health checks, and savings at affiliated companies. Check that you are on the appropriate tier for your needs. Consider gap cover to prevent major shortfall expenses.
Check your credit score: Your credit score is used by lenders use to assess your risk profile, and determine the interest rate you should be charged. It’s important to know your score and work to improve it if necessary.
Take a debt inventory: Get a clear picture of what you owe, and the interest rates charged for each amount. Work towards paying off the debt that charges the highest interest rate, such as credit cards. If you are struggling to pay off debt, contact a reputable debt counselling company to assess your situation.
Update your will: Your circumstances may have changed sinceyou last drew up your will. Ensure it’s up to date and reflects your wishes. If you don’t have a will, draw one up as soon as possible.
“Spring is when many people tend to take action, clear clutter and create change,” says JustMoney Marketing Manager Shafeeka Anthony.
“Addressing niggling money matters and getting your affairs in order may take time initially, but it will give you peace of mind and pay off in the long run. Check your progress monthly, and adapt your goals as needed.”
JustMoney.co.za is a trusted voice in the South African personal finance sector. The website offers articles, money management tools such as a free credit report, and a wide range of financial products and services. Over 200,000 South Africans subscribe to the newsletter to stay informed and learn how to become financially savvy. Find the websitehere.