As the saying goes, ‘old habits die hard’, and the same goes for your money. Good financial habits will set you up for the future, while bad ones will hold you back financially.
We take a look at common money habits and help you decide which ones to take into the new year. Try these tips to get started.
Habits to ditch
- Shopping when you’re bored
A little window shopping never hurts, but if you find yourself checking out your carts often, that’s a problem. Thanks to online shopping, it’s even easier to buy things you don’t need and, in turn, rack up debt and go over budget. Most of all, paying with your bank card instead of cash, makes you blind to your spending habits.
- Impulse purchases
Going slightly over budget now and then is fine, but regularly making impulse purchases can add up quickly. For example, if you don’t pack lunch for work, you could spend an extra R100 per day, which could easily take you R500 over budget – per week! Treats while you’re in a queue, unplanned coffee runs and takeaways are other culprits.
- Keeping up with others
Do you always say yes to pricey outings even if you can’t afford them? While it’s important to maintain friendships and spend time with loved ones, it shouldn’t come with a price tag. This not only involves expenses for meals, but also new outfits, membership subscriptions and transport costs.
Habits to build
- Living below your means
For most people, the more you earn, the more you spend. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and it’s in your best interests to live an economical lifestyle. By doing so, you could save more and reach your financial goals earlier. Some ways to do this are:
- sticking to a budget
- using promotions or coupons for groceries
- avoiding signing up for unnecessary subscriptions
- buying pre-owned items instead of new ones
- Building an emergency fund
If you don’t have any savings for unexpected tough times, you could chalk up debt or have no funds for an emergency. This is why having an emergency savings account is important. These are some ways to bulk up your savings account:
- Every month, transfer money to your savings account as soon as you get paid.
- Try to increase your savings with extra cash, even as little as R100 per month.
- Use a separate account for savings to avoid being tempted to spend them.
- Start investing
Investing your money helps to grow your savings. Best of all, you don’t need a lot of money to get started. Some tools that could help you to start investing are:
The information in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.