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By Hlulani Masingi

New Year’s resolutions come and go, but one area of your life where you should change resolutions into habits, is your finances. This is the ideal time to reinvent the way you bank and think about your money. Take a look at these five tips from FNB financial experts to help you remember and ensure that 2015 is your top financial year.

Turn On The Tech – Sahil Mungar, FNB Digital Banking
• Don’t inconvenience yourself unnecessarily by wasting time and make the most of your bank’s digital banking. This is cheaper than traditional banking and in most cases, is free. Banks have sophisticated security measures in place to ensure that your money is safe, irrespective of whether you bank using a banking app, cellphone banking and online banking.Credit Cards

Buying Your Own Home – Tommy Nel, Head of Credit FNB Home Loans
Planning on buying a new home? Ensure you secure the best possible interest rates through these easy steps:
• Manage your credit affairs prudently – always make your required payments on time without exceeding the limit in terms of credit facilities made available to you.
• Don’t use more than 80 to 90 percent of your credit limits as credit providers may conclude that you are unable to manage your financial affairs that prudently.
• Be prepared to put down the bigger deposit and ask your bank what deposit size will get you the best rate.
• Compare the 20, 25 and 30-year home loans interest rates finance from your own and a competing bans, 20-year home loans are typically offered at lower interest rates than 25 & 30 year finance.

Make Sure Your Interest Rates Are Personalised – Chris Labuschagne, CEO FNB Credit Card
• All credit users have a credit score based on their individual risk level mainly assessed on past credit usage and adherence to the repayment terms.
• Paying accounts on time, you are indicating a ‘low risk level’, which will assist you in building a good credit score.
• Make sure that your service provider prices your credit based on individual risk levels, and not ‘one size fits all approach’ when applying for credit.

Build Your Emergency Savings Fund – Aneesa Razack, Head of Strategic Growth, FNB Savings and Investments
• Saving for emergencies is important regardless of how much you earn, because when emergencies arise, they are usually unexpected.
• Remember the following two essentials when taking out a savings product for your emergency fund:
1. Immediate access – you must have to access your funds when the need arises at
no cost.
2. Low risk product – always be certain about the value of your emergency fund.

When Tying The Knot – Eunice Sibiya, Head of FNB Consumer education
It is crucial to read the fine print from all the suppliers involved in your wedding to avoid additional costs that could result in overspending on your budget.

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