South Africans only prioritise financial planning during difficult times, a study by Momentum and Unisa shows.

The latest Momentum Unisa Household Financial Wellness study shows that more often than not, it takes a tragedy or sudden uncertainty for us to realise we may not be adequately prepared to cope financially.

“The hard lockdown was a splash of cold water for many South Africans,” said Janine Horn, a financial planner at Momentum. Horn’s views were shared by deputy CEO of Momentum Metropolitan, Jeanette Marais, who said one should not wait for rainy days to start prioritising financial planning.

“People expected lockdown to continue for about three weeks. When the realisation set in that this will become a long-term reality, households’ interest in budgeting and financial planning increased,” said Marais.

Horn shared her advice for success and how to get moneywise:

1. Map out your journey with measurable goals and a plan to achieve them. Be specific and realistic about short-and longterm aims.

2. Maintain your momentum by knowing where every cent goes. Sticking to a monthly household budget is the best way to guarantee that all bills are paid and that your savings are on track. By tracking each cent, you reinforce your financial goals and limit the temptation to splurge on wants instead of saving for your needs.

3. Cover yourself for rainy days. Empower yourself by saving a predetermined amount each month for those unexpected financial emergencies. The general rule of thumb is to have enough emergency funds to support you for three to six months should something unexpected happen, such as retrenchment, illness, or a lockdown. It’s never too late to start saving. No matter how small, start with something.

4. Make the bold choice to invest. While investing may be risky, in many ways, choosing not to invest is even riskier.

5. Don’t let speed bumps deter you. Whether it’s getting out of debt one small repayment at a time, or learning to right previous financial mistakes, each step forward in your journey is a success in its own right.

6. Learn to be financially smart and streetwise. Knowledge is the best defence against those who prey on uninformed individuals to sell get-richquick schemes. Keep up with financial news Review all applicable tax legislation changes each year to ensure that you can take advantage of any adjustments and deductions.

7. Diversify your income sources. When you have multiple income streams, losing one is not the end of the world.

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How to be prepared for financial bumps