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Financial planning

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Creating wealth for you

Step 1: Getting your money to work for you

Are you making slow progress towards financial independence? Every payday you pay your bills, and your money is gone. The only way to force yourself off this salary treadmill is to get your money to work for you, not you working for it.

What to do?

Know where your money goes by drawing up a budget for your monthly expenses and monitor your expenses against this budget. For a handy tool on how to budget, see our Budget Calculator .

Now that you know what you earn and what you spend each month, you can analyse it. Obviously the aim is to increase income and decrease expenses.

Questions you should ask yourself are:

  • How can I increase my income?
  • Which of my expenses are essential and which ones can I avoid or reduce?
  • Can I lower my debt repayments, by paying off my credit card or consolidating loans?
  • How much can I realistically put away each month to use for investment purposes?

Once you have performed this analysis you should set aside an amount at the beginning of each month as savings, fulfilling the concept of paying yourself first. This means that before you incur any other expenses; you are saving towards an investment which will ultimately increase your net worth.

Step 2: Goal setting

Everyone, of every age should take control of their financial future. You and you alone are responsible for making wise financial choices so that you can become financially independent. Figure out your personal financial goals.

Personal financial goals are generally dependant on your stage in life, but, it is always a good idea to start saving as soon as possible to make your goals a reality.

Saving requires financial discipline and self-control and usually requires some sacrifice along the way. You need to keep your mindset positive and believe that you are capable of making a plan and sticking to it to ensure your financial freedom in the future.

Step 3: Regular investments

Make sure you place a set amount in your investments on a monthly basis.

An investment of R100 p.a. that achieves compound growth of 10% p.a will amount to R1 593.74 after 10 years. However, if you were to invest R100 a month over the same period, it would achieve a compound growth of R20 484.50 after 10 years. To do this and reap the rewards of the monthly investment, you can simply set up a debit order that moves money into your Share Investing account as soon as your salary is paid into your account.

Make compound interest work for you.

Step 4: Getting rid of debt?

Non-SA residents and emigrants:

  • Learn the difference between good and bad debt.
  • Don't borrow to pay off your debt.
  • Don't borrow to buy shares.
  • Don't borrow if you have savings.

Bad record or quickly heading that way?

Do you know if you've been listed as a bad credit risk? To view your credit record, visit the Information Trust Corporation (ITC) at www.itc.co.za .

If you find yourself in a debt trap, you can get advice. Visit the National Credit Bureau at www.ncr.org.za for more information.

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