Updated: Jul 16
There is almost always a good, better or best decision when it comes to money. However, a good decision is better than making none at all. So let’s start there and work towards the best.
GOOD MONEY TIPS
1. Explore what money is and what it means to you. You will be more invested in growing your money if you do.
2. Figure out what makes you happy. E.g. if becoming an entrepreneur would make you happy, focus on business creating investment options.
3. Track your net-worth through a Personal Capital App. Your net worth can measure your financial progress, whether you are climbing out of debt or building an investment portfolio.
4. Read a few recommended personal finance books. While some advice may be a little out of your league, there will be advice that you might not have considered before.
5. Calculate your financial independence number – 25 times annual expenses. This is the number that will allow you to retire early – not from work necessarily, but from money worries.
6. If you have student loans, refinance your student loans to a lower interest rate.
7. Pay down any high-interest credit card debt. Did you know that if you pay the minimum installment on R20,000 @18% it will take 60 months to pay the credit card off.
8. Start saving at least 5% of your Nett income and then increase your savings rate by 1% per year.
9. Automate your savings by setting up a debit order on your pay date. By doing this you will have no choice but to adjust your budget and with discipline will no longer focus on that “missing” money.
10. Start investing as much as you can. Analyse your lifestyle and get serious with yourself about cutting costs.
11. If your employer matches your pension fund contribution as a perk, consider contributing enough to get the maximum benefit from your employer pension fund contribution.
12. Research ways to save money on commuting, or consider moving closer to work.
13. Always buy a good used car. If you choose to buy a new car make sure you have a suitable deposit and buy one that you can afford to pay off in 48-60 months.
14. Save money eating out. We don’t mean that "once every so often treat". We mean daily lunch purchases and unnecessary weekly takeouts.
15. Research some of the best online savings tools, choose one and use it daily.
After making some of the good money decisions above, start implementing better money decisions. These decisions optimise your money and make money work harder for you.
BETTER MONEY TIPS
1. Start saving at least 20% of your nett income.
2. Increase your savings by 5% every year. With a few simple budget and lifestyle adjustments, it is possible to save more than you think.
3. Before you buy, calculate the true cost of anything. E.g. You buy coffee for R20 (R20 x 30 days=R600). You can make coffee for R4.00 (R4 x 30 days=R120). i.e. R480 to put towards savings.
4. Discuss a raise with your boss. Don’t make it about the cost of living. Make it about your value to the company or an additional role that you can see yourself taking on.
5. Start building better money habits. Look at your lifestyle as a whole and place value on reducing expenses so that you can amp up savings.
6. Explore real estate investing.
7. Are you an entrepreneur? Figure it out and then pursue it in every spare moment you have.
8. Think about bringing in a second income doing something you love or learn a new skill. Use the second income to improve your savings and investments.
9. Explore tax saving opportunities when running your own business.
10. Expand your investment portfolio to include domestic and international funds.
Take your money and your life to the next level. To really master money you need to optimise all areas of your life to magnify the impact of your decisions. This is high-performance living! See bigger gains in net-worth and financial happiness.
BEST MONEY TIPS
1. Build a life strategy and map all of your decisions against your life strategy. Now execute them.
2. Optimise your saving/investing rate – find the maximum you can save each month.
3. Learn to say NO. Spending money, when you don’t really want to, can sabotage all the hard work you have put in to achieve your ultimate financial goals.
4. Maximise your value and consider ways of charging for it.
5. Hire real money experts. It is worth paying for expert advice, especially if your goal is to learn quickly from their experience.
6. Protect your growing net worth by making sure that you have umbrella insurance in place to cover unforeseen circumstances.
7. Talk to a Tax Expert to explore your specific tax efficiency opportunities.
8. Take real time out to consider your life’s worth and strategy. This will allow you to make better money decisions which will affect all aspects of your life positively.
9. Food has a huge impact on your productivity, decision making, happiness and well-being. Discover what foods work best for your health to assist in living your optimal life.
10. Give back. The world is made up of energy. Therefore, the more energy you put in to something, the more you will get back. The same will apply in all aspects of your life including money, family and happiness.
11. Stop working and get outside. You should live a balanced life. Make time for work, family and well-being and start reaping the benefits of this.
What are some of your good, better, best money tips?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Lauren Heekes
Lauren is currently a registered member of the National Credit Regulator. Prior to that, she worked as a Financial and Technical consultant for McGregor-BFA (Now INET-BFA). McGregor-BFA provided Financial Advice, Trading and Market related data as well as Investment management software to various Asset Managers, University Business Schools and Investment entities. Thereafter experience was advanced to the Property Market working as a Project Manager for Propertyi. But it was actually her career at the IEB in Adult Education that inspired a passion of hers to educate consumers about responsible ways of managing their financial lives and the long term advantages of doing so. It is her belief that financial education should be taught from an early age. By doing so we can create a country that is truly economically stable with consumers that are driven not only by work ethics, but by becoming Financially Independent.
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