The new financial year has just started and yet so many of us still have money problems that date back years and years. It is tempting to want to postpone dealing with the various problems we have with money until something forces us to make the changes needed.
In order to gain financial stability, you have to be dedicated to a long-term plan, which often sounds more overwhelming than it has to be. So how about starting small and tackling it one step at a time over six months? By following our six-month plan you will have made a considerable dent in your money problems by the time spring arrives.
March: Create a personal budget
Money problems often occur because we don’t have complete control over what is coming in and what is going out. The first step in rectifying this is by drawing up a personal budget and making sure you live within your means.
Cut back expenses and make sure you have money left over every month that can be allocated to paying off more debt and saving towards short-, medium- and long-term goals.
April: Create a debt repayment plan
If you are only paying your minimum debt instalments your debt will spiral out of control before you know it. Take action by creating a list of all your debt, their totals and the interest on each. Either plan to pay off the smaller debts first, so you have more freedom to go towards the larger debts OR tackle the debts with the highest interest rates first.
If you are unable to tackle your debt alone, contact Debt Rescue for help.
May: Focus on your retirement planning
How are your retirement savings looking like? The sooner you start and the more you pay each month the better. In doing so you’ll take the pressure of yourself later in life and be able to claim back more tax. It’s a win-win.
June: Get all your tax-ducks in a row
The personal tax season for 2016/2017 opens at the beginning of July. Use June to make sure you have everything you need i.e. medical bills, slips, statements, tax certificates from medical aid, retirement funds etc. together and ready to submit.
Remember: Although it may seem like a good idea to use your tax refund to buy that new fridge or TV you want, don’t. The aim is to solve your money problems, so instead use it to pay off debts or boost your savings.
July: Make saving a priority
July is National Savings Month. Make the most of this month by starting or increasing your monthly savings towards:
- Your kids’ education (long-term): School/college/university fees are placing immense pressure on the monthly cash flow of families all over the country. Start saving towards this early on by putting an amount away monthly in an interest accruing account.
- An Emergency Fund (medium-term): If you have no emergency savings, start ASAP. Without emergency money, unforeseen expenses will force you to take on more debt.
- The December holidays (short-term): With the holidays less than five month’s away make saving for it a priority from July onwards (if not sooner).
August: Read up and educate yourself
Now that you have the basics in place, it is time to do more. Read articles, books and publications about saving, financial advice etc. and use this to:
- cut back more;
- save more; and
- earn more.
If your money problems are leaving you consumed by your monthly debt instalments and you are unable to gain financial stability on your own, talk to Debt Rescue. Our uncomplicated debt counselling process explains what you can expect. Don’t postpone. Act today!