• Inside Labour

    There are silver linings to dark global clouds, says Terry Bell.

  • Labour Wrap

    Terry Bell looks back over perhaps the most turbulent and taxing year in the past 20.

  • Putin and the rouble rout

    Russia is not the West and Putin may well survive unscathed, says Leopold Scholtz.

See More

Ten tips to manage your money

Nov 13 2012 09:51

Related Articles

Tips to find a medical insurance broker

Up to my neck in debt

Buyer's remorse over balloon payment

How to grow your savings

Investing: a reader's advice

Am I on the right investment track?

A GOOD dose of financial discipline over the holiday season will spare the family future headaches and lay the foundation for good spending habits and sound financial principles.

Old Mutual’s Crispin Sonn lists 10 steps to manage your money better, adapted from Old Mutual’s On the Money financial education programme. 

Where am I?

• Make a list of what you spend. Nowadays, money can seem unreal, just a swipe here and there and a number on an LCD screen. Many of us know that we’re not doing well financially, but hide from the uncomfortable reality until we are forced to face it.

• Write down your fixed expenses: for example, rent or bond instalments, union membership fees and insurance premiums.

• Now list your variable expenses: for example, food, transport, rates, cellphone, entertainment and clothing. Don’t sabotage your efforts by underestimating costs.

• List your irregular expenses: for example, car maintenance, home repairs and so on. Try to work out an average monthly cost. Again, when in doubt, it’s better to slightly overestimate than get caught short.

• Lastly, add together all your cost estimates. If the total is more than your earnings, you need to act. But pat yourself on the back first: now that you know exactly where you are with your spending habits, you’re already in a stronger position financially than many of your friends.

Back in the black

• List your expenses in order of importance. You need accommodation, transport and food, but consider whether you can reduce or even eliminate some of your other expenses, such as entertainment and clothing.

• Now use the money that you’ve cut out of your budget to immediately start servicing your debt, especially credit and store card debts.

You’ve got the power

• Establish a basic emergency fund for unexpected expenses, once you’re debt free. A month’s salary is a good start and while it may take a while to build up, it’ll give you a real sense of security once you have it.

•    Invest some money each month for your financial goals, like saving for your retirement and your children’s education. This excludes your employer’s pension scheme or your own retirement investments. Also remember that an accredited financial adviser can help you to establish your financial needs.

• Empower yourself with knowledge.
money clinic


Lastest Articles

Here is how to check your credit score and manage it Read More...
Top tips to save money over the festive period Read More...
These are the top 5 most fuel efficient cars in SA Read More...
What to consider when switching medical aid schemes

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Small Business

Retailers of any shape and size can now unlock the power of mobile transacting.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...