Managing our finances and sticking to a budget can be one of the most stressful tasks we ever take on – especially if life throws us a curveball or we face an unforeseen expense.
Thankfully, help is never far away – and to help you manage your financial matters and put steps into place to reduce your stress, we’ve got some practical tips that you can follow to keep your finances in tip-top shape, and put you back on track if something unexpected happens.
Create an emergency fund
One of the most scary and stressful things we can face in our daily lives is an emergency or unforeseen expense that can blow our budget, or place us in unexpected debt.
While it can be difficult to prepare for any emergency, a practical step you can take to reduce your stress in the event of one is to create an emergency fund. An emergency fund, simply put, is an amount of money that you put aside and keep solely for unforeseen expenses – such as an accident, injury, or maybe even damage to your possessions or home.
By deciding how much assistance you would need from your emergency fund – that is, whether you’d prefer to have a smaller amount such as R2 000 on standby, or a larger sum such as R10 000 – you can create a practical saving goal and contribute smaller payments to a savings fund each month.
Below we provide you with info to help you work out how much you can save.
Use a budget
If you find yourself worried about reaching month-end or your next payday, you might find it helpful to draw up a budget which you can use to not only track your spending, but also where you can see how much money you allocate to an emergency fund, your daily expenses, or even for fun.
A budget doesn’t need to track items down to the last cent, and it also doesn’t need to be a boring task – by taking half an hour to review your finances each month, you can reduce your stress by setting money aside for certain expenses and even keeping amounts ready for fun outings with friends or family.
Having knowledge of your spending habits and commitments can also help you understand where you could save more cash each month. If you are ready to get started, why not try our handy monthly planner?
Review your recurring expenses
Most of us have a recurring expense such as a debit order, where we might contribute to something on a regular basis. A practical thing you can do to manage your finances is to review your recurring expenses each month or year, and make sure that you are paying either for things you need, or that your payment provides you with benefits that you actually use.
If you find that you are paying too much, you can always seek to negotiate a fee or service, review your coverage, or cancel entirely if you do not need that service at all. Doing this regularly can help you save money and plan for future expenses.
Approach a licensed financial advisor
If you find that you need help in managing your budgets or you need clarity on investments or saving plans to meet your goals, contacting a licensed financial advisor can be a great way to help you reduce your stress.
A licensed financial advisor will not only help you review your needs and future goals, but will also provide practical suggestions to help you manage your cash flow.
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