When was the last time you were honest with yourself about the health of your finances? Have you had a check-in with your financial adviser to look at your financial portfolio? September isn’t only the perfect time to declutter your home and make space in your wardrobe, it’s also a great time to re-examine your finances.
“This September, take a moment to spring clean your finances, and make this a habit every year. The best time to start is now so that you can plan effectively for the coming year,” says Boitumelo Mothoagae, financial adviser and Head of Retentions at Liberty.
Mothoagae offers some financial tips to get your financial spring clean started:
1. Review statements: Gather all your financial documents; your bank account statements, insurance and investment policies, higher purchase contracts, children’s extra mural schedules and statements, and review all these documents to see if they are still relevant.
2. Look at your gym contracts: That monthly gym or dance class debit order beeps every month. When last did you set foot into the gym? Review this contract and either make a decision to start walking or jogging outdoors – it’s a bit warmer now isn’t it?
3. Check your car insurance: This is a great time to relook your car insurance to ensure that you’re still covered sufficiently. Remember that the value of your car depreciates every year, so your insurance cover should reflect your car’s value.
4. Clean out your wallet: Remove credit cards from your wallet to avoid overspending. Keep them in a safe place, knowing you can access to funds should you need them in an emergency.
5. Make a plan to pay off your debt: You may have accumulated debt throughout the year. There are different strategies for paying off debt. One philosophy says to get rid of the highest interest debt first since that costs you the most money every month. On the other hand, you could choose to focus your paying-off efforts on the smaller amounts of debt first, then use this money to pay off your higher bills.
6. Plan and pay for your year-end holiday: If you’re planning on a year-end holiday and haven’t paid for it already, do it now to benefit from escalating costs at the end of the year.
7. Check your credit report: Every year, you are guaranteed at least one free credit report from a credit bureau. Take advantage of this and check your report to see what you need to fix.
8. Check your medical aid schedule: By this time a lot of medical aid savings have been depleted due to the winter sniffles and so on. Check in on this and understand things such as self-payment gap as it has an impact on your budget.
9. Check in with your financial adviser: Schedule a check-in session with your financial adviser or broker. Remember to take with all the documents you would have reviewed.
ainment spending: With a lot of outdoor events to celebrate the new season, be careful on spending unnecessarily. Make sure to consult your financial adviser, at least once a year to make sure you are on the right path to your financial freedom.
Mothoagae advises that the best way to ‘get in financial shape’ this spring is by getting organised. “It’s not too late; just get started and you will reap the benefits. Don’t neglect your health too – get out and get moving as this too has a correlation to your finances in the long run.”