valentineIt is Valentine’s Day this Sunday and for those people that celebrate the day it is meant to be a very special occasion filled with gifts, romance and candle lit dinners.

Despite January being a tough month financially for most, a lot of people will splurge on their loved ones in an effort to woo and impress. After some careful consideration you may realise that it is not financially wise to spend large amounts of money in a time of such economic uncertainty. Especially if you are borrowing money from a credit provider.

If you do want to celebrate Valentine’s Day but you have limited funds, there is hope for you. Here are a few things to consider to allow yourself a great Valentine’s Day and also to come out financially well:

Budget and plan Valentines together: Get together as a couple and set limits as to the do’s and don’ts financially for this Valentines.

Be financially honest: Honesty has always been the best policy. One can only keep up the façade of being ‘rich’ for so long. Your dishonesty may cost you more than your credit. This is especially important for the newer relationships

A good gift doesn’t have to be expensive it doesn’t even have to cost money: Whether shopping for Valentine’s, birthday or whatever the case may be. The actual price shouldn’t determine the value of the item. A special home cooked meal by candle light or a home spa could be very special and best of all FREE

Start to save for future holidays and special occasions: Valentine’s, Easter, Birthdays and special holidays all happen once a year. It should be no surprise, start to save and plan for these occasions. You know they are coming so be prepared

Finances need to be discussed on a continual basis. Whether you are dating, newlyweds or have been married for years. The underlying factor is Communication. However difficult it is be financially honest with your partner it needs to be done. Special occasions like Valentine’s Day where the expectation is that money should be spent can often can create tension. So over and above having a special Valentine’s Day take it upon yourself to love yourself and your partner/spouse enough to plan your finances together and to be financially well.

Lesetja Madiba
Financial Wellness Consultant at Consolidated Financial Wellness

*** Consolidated is a national financial planning and financial wellness practice with offices in Western Cape, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. For more information visit www.consolidated.co.za

Financial GoalsIn line with starting the year off right, your plans should have been made and goals set. Whether it is paying off debt, going on holiday or saving for your child’s tertiary education we all have things we want to do with our lives which then means those things require money.

While many people have goals, not enough people achieve them. What holds people back and how can you avoid the traps and actually achieve your goals?

  • Assess your finances and write the goals down: Be clear on your goals and write them down. Written goals are more likely to be achieved than ones kept in your thoughts
  • Be realistic: There’s no point in wishful thinking because you will be demotivated very fast when those ‘goals’ don’t become a reality. Know yourself well enough to be true to yourself in setting those goals
  • Have a written plan: Unfortunately having goals is not enough. Having a plan/budget will help to insure you achieve those goals
  • Diligence and discipline: Without these two D’s the best plan means nothing.
  • Avoid insanity: Einstein defines insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Nothing good will come from repeating the same actions that got you into your current financial situation. You will in fact only make your situation worse

Achieving your goals shouldn’t be about impressing people it should be about you. Bettering your financial situation should be part of your goals and it will benefit you and those you care for financially. Now wouldn’t that be a great thing. Remember that every step taken to achieve your goals is a step closer to success and living in the reality of that achievement.

Lesetja Madiba
Financial Wellness Consultant at Consolidated Financial Wellness

*** Consolidated is a national financial planning and financial wellness practice with offices in Western Cape, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. For more information visit www.consolidated.co.za

new year 640x411We are now two weeks into 2016. Another year has come and gone and the New Year is in full swing. We as people often feel the need to start the New Year in a certain way.

Whether it is starting the year with a braai, a jog or hoping to live up to your resolutions we all have some or other way of starting the year. We often forget to start the year right in terms of our finances.

Depending on the state of your finances in the previous year, some of us may have more work than others but we all have to work at our finances.

What do we have to consider and do to make sure we start the year of right:

  • Review your budget and expense: As we get older our needs change and so the things we spent on last year may not be relevant for this year. Assess your needs and wants
  • Gather and store your important documents in one place: Things like policy documents, tax records and all important documents need to be put in one secure place so that if they are needed they are easily accessible to you but SAFE!!
  • Update and review your policies: Update the beneficiaries on your investment policies and check whether they are still on track. For insurance review the policies to make sure you are paying the correct amounts for the cover you require
  • Establish financial short/medium/long term goals and plan as to how they will be achieved: We all want to do things with our money, find the things you want to do and make sure you put a plan in place to achieve them

Remember that managing finances isn’t only for those who have large sums of money but it is for everyone. No one can afford not to take care of their money, in the economic climate of today the money you take care of today will take care of you tomorrow. Find out what financial mistake you made and make sure you don’t repeat them again in this year. Start 2016 with a renewed hope and make sure that when December comes around again you are better off financially than you were the previous year.

Lesetja Madiba
Financial Wellness Consultant at Consolidated Financial Wellness

*** Consolidated is a national financial planning and financial wellness practice with offices in Western Cape, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. For more information visit www.consolidated.co.za

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