So the question is then… why don’t we save?
Well there are a number of reasons, ranging from budgetary restraints, to not having a plan or reason to save. Each person will have their own challenges, but in the end it all boils down to priorities, we are all under substantial pressure just to make ends meet. With having to pay our bonds, rent, car payments and with ever more stealth taxes finding their way into our wallets, it’s no wonder that South Africans can’t save. There just isn’t enough money left after everyone else takes their hands out of our pockets!
But it needn’t be all gloom and doom!
Back to the difficulties of anything – losing weight, running faster, stopping smoking, doing the impossible, sometimes all it takes is starting. Take a stand and just get on with it. Saving can be very rewarding. As with most difficult things we do, there is reward and satisfaction in achieving results. These little victories are all the more satisfying when you really start to see progress. Then with the benefit of hindsight realise that you could and should have done this ages ago.
There is a popular belief that if you repeat any action around 7 times, you begin to create a habit. Saving is a healthy habit, and gets easier if you simply make it a regular routine. So back to the take a stand and get on with it. All good and well but it also doesn’t help if you just rush in headlong and foolishly neglect your obligations and commitments. Now this is a whole new story, check out Signing your life away.
So how do you actually start? Well as with anything, you need to make a firm decision. You need to want to start, then you actually need to start. Ok, so you’ve decided to start. Now the questions-who, how, where? As with any important decision it is always advisable to get expert advice as there are so many different types of savings plans, different tax implications and different reasons for saving. The questions you need to ask yourself are, do I need access to my funds in the short term? Or am I looking to invest over a slightly longer period?
The South African stock exchange has had an unbelievable run over the past few years and many people who are investing should have made substantial returns. I personally have clients who have seen returns way in excess of inflation. As we always recommend, please get advice from a certified, qualified advisor.
So in summary, is it possible to save?
Some tips below:
Create a new healthy habit and request advice from an accredited Financial Advisor – they will assist you, along with providing you with a solid plan on how to get the best returns.
If you really want to see results, start with the basics. Register and open your own, personal MONEY101 “My Budget” profile and set up your free Money101 Budget Plan.
– Look at all your expenses
– List all your monthly commitments
– And obtain a proper bird’s eye view of the state of your income and expenses.
– Then assess whether you can cut out the small, unnecessary spend items
– Get a comparison quote for your car and household insurance (Click on the ‘Services’ options to request a comparative quote)
– Force some budget cuts on things you unnecessarily spend money on and re-direct these funds to your savings plan.
Remember! A habit is the repetition of any action or in this case a decision.
Once you start, financial freedom will only be a short decision away…