It is no secret that South Africans don’t save enough due to the rising cost of living and continual increases in the costs of basic requirements. But saving is a habit that, once learned, is easily sustained and can bring major benefits.
Moving from battling to make ends meet every month to becoming an effective saver can be simple if you keep these guidelines in mind:
Draft a budget. Before you can save, you have to know how much you spend.
Identify where you can cut back. A budget usually shows how much money is spent on things that aren’t necessary, helping you save hundreds each month.
Look at your short- and long-term objectives. Having a concrete goal to work towards makes saving easier.
Plan your spending, so that if you receive a 13th cheque, it’s used to boost your savings rather than paying debt. To achieve this, put aside money every month for holidays and normal expenses.
Once debt is reduced and more is avoided, you should start seeing a positive cash flow and so you can then start thinking about where to put your savings. Banks provide a number of options for a wide range of requirements. Some accounts give you immediate access to your savings, while others limit access to your funds to help build discipline. One of the most recent offerings is a tax-free savings account, which allows you to accumulate up to R30 000 a year, without being taxed on it.
As with all things financial, an advisor can help you develop plans matched to your life stages. For example, in your 20s, consider building a savings base by looking at short- and long-term objectives; your 30s and 40s should focus on retirement, children’s education and ensuring you have a good investment and life insurance plan; in your 50s, estate planning and reviewing requirements for retirement should take precedence.
The earlier you start with a savings plan, the better the benefits, and with July being National Savings Month, there is no better time to get going!