Ready to get a handle on your cash? Start with this expert advice from Charne van der Walt, owner of Lemons into Lemonade Financial Planners, an authorised financial services provider and tax practitioner.
It’s easy to overspend when you swipe a card. “Plan what you want to buy, draw the exact amount in cash and leave your card at home” says Charne. “Make a pact with friends about how you shop at the mall. Goodbye, impulse buys.”
Beat bank charges
“Find out what your bank fee covers, including the number of free ATM withdrawals. Plan your spending around this” says Charne. “For example, if you get four free monthly ATM withdrawals, map out your weekly cash expenses in advance and draw the same amount each week. And don’t draw cash from the ATM’s of other banks- you’ll rack up unnecessary costs”.
Deal with debt
Debt and it’s interest are big barriers who wealth, so tackle it today. “Write a list of all your debt” says Charne. “Starting with your largest debt, assess the monthly maximum you can pay to clear it. Once it’s paid iff, move to your next biggest debt and so on”. And follow this rule: “with the exception of property and a car, don’t buy things you can’t afford. Rather save and then make the purchase. It’ll feel rewarding,plus you’ll have time to think about it”
Utilise a job change
“When you switch jobs, don’t cash in your retirement fund if your old job had one” says Charne. “Transfer it to you new employers retirement fund. If they don’t offer one, put it in a preservation fund or retirement annuity. And don’t splurge a leave payout:add it to a rainy-day fund (which should cover three months expenses in an emergency
“Aim to save atlas 10% of your pre-tax income each month, if you’re under 25,” says Charne. Over 25? “Stash 17% a month.” Still need help? “see a financial advisor about the best saving plan for you”.
Choose the right egg nest
“Deciding whether to invest in, say, property or a unit trust depends on your finances and lifestyle” says Charne.
For more financial-planning help, visit lemons.co.za