A5 Quote2Don't get Caught this Christmas!

Christmas decorations have started coming up, summer is in full swing and most of us can almost taste our holiday.

It’s that time of year where most of us are looking forward to the well-deserved Christmas break.

Some people will get a bonus at work and most employed people will get their salaries for December much earlier than usual, somewhere about halfway through the month. Most individuals' bank accounts will contain more than usual amounts of money, and the illusion of a never-drying well is created.

Christmas Savings 149x225There are a few things one has to consider and watch out this festive season and avoid the money traps:

  • Don’t spend money just because you have it, one doesn’t have to spend money to be joyful and happy this Christmas
  • Should you have to spend make sure your purchases are thought through and planned. Always consider tomorrow when spending
  • Avoid last minute shopping. Buying an item under pressure means you’ll pay more than you’re supposed to
  • The reality of bad financial decisions is that January will become debt month.
  • Pay cash for your Christmas turkey, avoid using the credit card at all cost. You don’t want to be paying for last Christmas’ lunch 6 months into the new year
  • If you have existing loans avoid “Payment Holidays”. Payment holiday only means more interest charges and longer payment terms

The biggest gift you can give yourself this festive season would be to have enough money left over in January to meet all your financial obligations. Carry December’s financial joy and happiness in general into January and avoid having to use credit. Spend wisely and prudently in order to enjoy your festive season but also to make sure that you are financially well in January.

Lesetja Madiba
Financial Wellness Consultant at Consolidated Financial Wellness

Financial Intelligence - Are You fully aware of the scope of your Financial Affairs?

What is Financial IntelligenceIn the not so distant past there were no ATMs, no internet banking and no 24 hour online shopping. The older generation grew up in a time where circumstances forced them to use money wisely and budget often through trial and error. While times have changed, people today have information about any and everything at their fingertips. Knowledge is at our finger tips and for me knowledge is and power and that translates to money in my pocket. In September of 2003 the Association for Savings & Investment of South Africa reported that there were 1025 rand-dominated unit trust funds in South Africa. That was 12 years ago imagine the number now. What do you invest in?? Where do you start?? That is where financial intelligence comes in.
Financial intelligence is defined as “the gathering of information about the financial affairs in order to understand their nature and capabilities”. The definition suggests that one has to research and understand. This means a few things practically:

  • Am I making the best use of my money?
  • Does my lifestyle match my budget?
  • Is my debt under control?
  • What are my financial goals?
  • Who and what products can help me to get there?
  • When I am no longer alive will there be provisions for the family I leave behind?
  • Do I keep informed about current finances? I.e. Inflation and its effects

The more financially intelligent you are the wiser your choices will be in terms of managing your money and also how it is that you put away money for the future. Financial intelligence is not only required for our personal lives but at our places of employment. Yet for many people their financial intelligence stops when they leave the office. “Invest” in yourself and educate yourself on financial issues. That may just be your missing link to being financially well. After all if you know better you do better.

Lesetja Madiba
Financial Wellness Consultant at Consolidated Financial Wellness

Myths that cause Budgets to Fail

Budgeting Pig“Budgeting” a concept both highly revered and at the same time despised by so many. Yet despite how one feels it is an integral part of financial wellness and success. The importance of budgeting cannot be stressed enough. A budget helps us to control our finances, makes sure our expenses are taken care of and also helps to make sure that we are not wasting our money.
Such a simple yet effective tool which brings one question to mind: “Why aren’t people budgeting?”
There are quite a few common answers to that, let us debunk a few of these myths:

  • I earn too little: It should be all the more important to budget and watch where you spend your money. If you think you earn to little then you really can’t afford to waste your money
  • I can’t budget: No one is born an expert budgeter. Download a template and tweak it as you go along. Learning to budget and to do so effectively is a process
  • I have children: Identify the child’s needs and wants. Where there is no money for their wants saying “No” is not wrong
  • Everything is so expensive: Gone are the days when price determines quality. Identify and spend on needs rather than your wants and shop where items are affordable. Be careful not to be living a lifestyle that is higher than is affordable.
  • I tried to budget and my budget didn’t balance: Allow yourself enough time to track your spending and identify where you can cut back. Budgeting is a continuous activity not a once off
  • There are unexpected costs I can’t plan for: Start an emergency saving fund, spending every cent you earn will result in having to acquire debt in order to sort out life’s many emergencies
  • My Spouse doesn’t stick to the budget: If you have a family, finances should be discussed as a family. Each spouse needs to their responsibilities

A budget is not a restriction but rather a plan that allows you problem free spending within guidelines set by you. Financial Ill-discipline will prove to be one of the biggest threats to financial wellness. Develop your discipline and take active control of your finances today.

Lesetja Madiba
Financial Wellness Consultant at Consolidated Financial Wellness

Consolidated is a national financial planning and financial wellness practice with offices in Western Cape, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. For more information visit www.consolidated.co.za

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Finance on Friday

Personal Financial Coaching with Lesetja Madiba

IMG 3437Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant and has a B.Comm Statistics.
He discusses Personal Finances live on a Friday during Changing Gear at 17h00.
Podcasts of these talks are also available.
Click HERE  for Lesetja's Profile and contact details.
Click HERE to read Lesetja's latest Financial Advice Blog.

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