Was 2017 a financially stressful year for you? If so, you’re not alone. According to Moneyweb, over 70% of middle-class South Africans are experiencing financial stress. Many households have struggled to meet their financial commitments due to not budgeting sufficiently or simply just not having enough money.
Most financial stress is related to short-term debt obligations, such as credit card payments and personal loans, which are so easily obtained. This has caused many people to neglect saving for the future or not have enough money to cover unanticipated expenses.
Debt Rescue wants to make sure that you’re financially ready for the new year. Make sure you revisit your financial plan for the year to ensure you don’t end up making more debt. Here are our 2018 essential budgeting tips for the year.
Review your 2017 budget
The only way you’re going to improve your financial situation is if you’re aware of all your previous shortfalls. Revise your 2017 credit card statements and bank accounts to find out what you’ve been spending money on and, perhaps, how you can cut unnecessary costs in 2018. If you need a little help, here are 4 apps that track spending.
List all your expenses
Make sure you list all your expenses for the new year. Your expenses should include everything, even the “extras”, such as upcoming birthdays, holidays, events, irregular bills, etc. Make sure your salary can cover all of your expenses. If it can’t, you’ll have to look into cutting down some of your expenses, starting with all the unnecessary ones.
Create new goals
Save, save, save! You need to think about your financial future, which means you need to create shortterm and longterm goals. This may include anything from saving for an end-of-the-year vacation to putting money aside for retirement. List your goals and then plan how you’re going to achieve them. The best way to ensure you save money every month is to automate your savings. This way, you won’t spend the money that you should be saving.
Automate your monthly bills
Like savings, you need to automate your monthly bills. You can’t spend money that isn’t there. You should set up your bills to be paid automatically as soon as you get your salary. This will save you time and stress as well as ensure all your bills are paid on time.
Start reducing unnecessary expenses
Once your basic budget is in place, start looking for ways to reduce unnecessary spending. This means you are going to have to make some lifestyle changes; however, this will free up money so that you can save more money or spend money on purposeful things. Here are 2 ways to do so:
- Start by looking at your monthly bills and finding ways to reduce them. You can start by saving electricity and water to reduce your monthly payments.
- Change daily spending habits. You can do this by taking a packed lunch to work instead of buying takeaways and cutting down on unnecessary shopping.
Pay off all your debt
If you are living in debt, now is the best time to start taking control of your finances. Speak to Debt Rescue today and become debt free in 2018!
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