January may feel like the longest month of the year due to the pressure on your purse strings after the festive season, but it doesn’t have to be about eating noodles and drinking tap water with lemon as you anxiously await payday.
Financial planners Michael Kirkpatrick and Mladen Colic from Alexander Forbes Financial Planning Consultants have put together a holistic strategy for your finances, providing a few rules of thumbs to ensure that next ‘Janu-worry’ is actually ‘Janu-happy’.
The only way to know where you’re overspending is by drawing up a budget. Use an ordinary Excel spreadsheet or an app where you can set up your budget to keep track of your daily spending – these automatically update your spending from your bank accounts.
- Car insurance
Think before you buy – Lower-powered, lower-value and low-risk vehicles often get charged cheaper insurance premiums.
Limit your mileage – Use lift clubs or public transport where possible. Let your insurance company know that you use public transport during the week and your premium could be reduced.
Keep your car secure – It’s important to know that where you keep your car during the day/night impacts your premium.
Stay on the radar – Have a tracker installed in your car to reduce your premium.
Get rewarded for driving well – Some insurance companies use telematics technology to measure how you drive. The better you drive, the lower your premium can be.
Review your policy – Cars lose value over time, so make sure you reassess your premium every year with your insurance company.
- House insurance
Do an inventory – It’s important to be covered for the right amount and for the items you actually have. Do a spring clean once a year to establish what you actually have.
Take extra security measures – Although the outlay of capital may be an issue initially, the extra safety could result in lower premiums, thereby saving you more in the long term.
Consider communal living – Living in a secure estate, or a boomed area may result in your premiums being reduced.
- Investment tips
Stick to your plan – It’s important to stick to your goal when going through periods of tough economic periods. Always have a clear objective as to what that investment must do for you. Know what you want to achieve to match you to the most appropriate investment strategy and allow yourself to determine whether or not you are on the right track. Try not to compare yourself to others, as you don’t know what their objective is; it could be completely different to yours.
Look out for the fees – It’s important to take note of the fees that you pay for your investment. Companies should show you the fees you’ll pay per year if you keep the investment for a period of one year, three year and five years. If your provider is not showing this, you must query it. This helps you compare different investment products.
Source: Alexander Forbes. Image: Pixabay