They say that 63% of Americans are literally one pay check away from being out on the street, by lacking an emergency fund for unexpected expenses such as a car breakdown. In South Africa, that number is probably much higher – especially if you’re one of those people who never have any money left at the end of the month to squirrel away for a rainy day. The good news is that we are here to help you with a plan of attack to gain back control of your money.
The notion of building an investment portfolio can feel like a pipe dream for many. You may think: “how the heck am I supposed to save for a retirement when I’m literally trying to make ends meet? I don’t earn enough. My wife doesn’t work. I’m in way too much debt. I can’t find the job of my dreams”. And so on and so forth. We know, it’s hard. Because hey, you can’t save if you have no money to save, right? But we believe there are always ways to unearth money in your budget through the choices you make.
Life deals us many blows and a financial misfortune can be one of the hardest to face. But with the help of a seasoned financial advisor, you can create your very own personal financial fitness plan. One that is tailor-made to your income and family circumstances.
Like we said in our last investment boot camp article, success depends on your attitude. With a structured plan in place, you can make significant changes. Let’s get started with these 4 steps:
Firstly, we’ll take a long hard look at your finances and decide together what your goals are, whether it’s paying off credit and store cards, consolidating your debt or making clever cutbacks to find more disposable income to invest in your future.
To make changes to your spending, it’s the easiest to reverse engineer a plan of attack, in other words to work backwards from your goal. Together we will decide what is achievable, what exactly is required to free you from debt, which unnecessary expenses can be annihilated and so on. Yes, you guessed it, you’ll need to create a detailed budget, or relook your existing budget. You might have to make some tough choices here but just think of the rewards! Just like you can’t do one jog a week and expect a six-pack, or continue to eat a slab of chocolate every night for a Kate Moss physique, you can’t keep spending in the same manner and expect things to change.
As with any fitness regime, it’s a good idea to check in on your progress and see how you’re doing. Where can you flex your savings muscles some more? What are your weak spots?
Finally, decide where you can improve. Maybe you can tighten the belt even further on food or entertainment? Maybe you need to review your kids’ extra-murals? Or now that you have your credit card spending under control, what’s your next savings goal?