How to clean-up your finances in five steps

This week is National Clean-Up Week, and because September is also the start to spring it is nearly impossible to ignore “spring-cleaning” fever. So, why not clean up your finances too?

With three months until the December holidays, now is the best time to give your finances a proper relook, and here’s how:

Step 1: Audit your current financial status.
Now is a great time to audit your finances. Are you paying off enough of your debt every month? How much is in your saving and emergency funds? Is your retirement savings where it should be? Do you have enough saved for the December holidays? Did you manage to achieve the financial goals you set for yourself this year?

Tip: If you are extremely happy with the outcome of this audit aim to put even more money away.

Step 2: Sell the things you aren’t using anymore.
The physical spring-cleaning of your home might reveal several valuable items that you haven’t used in years. Why not sell them? Place the money you get for these items in your savings or use it to pay off debt

Step 3: Clean-up your spending.
Have a look at the past eight months’ bank statements. How much did you spend on nice-to-haves? Where can you cut back? Look at each and every monthly debit order and ask yourself if the price you are paying for it justifies the worth.

Tip: Sometimes cutting back on frequent small purchases such as take-away coffees and lunches could make all the difference. You could save hundreds of rands every month by packing your own lunch and drinking the complimentary coffee at work.

Step 4: Relook your budget.
Relook your budget and bring it in line with your financial audit. Take the money you are able to save on other areas and divide it appropriately into the lacking funds.

Step 5: Create/organise your finance folder.
If you don’t have a folder for your finance documents, create one now. It doesn’t matter if it is a digital or physical folder. If you already have one, make sure it is updated and organised. An organised folder makes it easy to get a quick overview of your finances whenever you need it.

Remember: It is tax season. If you are eligible for a tax refund, this extra money can help pay of debts or boost your savings account.

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