The pandemic has admittedly done a number on some of us and our money. It came unexpected and nobody knows how long until a vaccine is found. Though some of the countries are slowly moving towards opening their economies, our pockets have undoubtedly felt the pinch.
If you’re an avid spender on things you ‘absolutely must have’ or enjoy going rampant on sales or specials, well, then grab a cuppa and notebook. We’re about to get real about some of our nasty (or savvy) money habits and look at some hacks to help us navigate towards a money relationship that is as healthy as our laid edges.
What does smart budgeting look like?
It is up to you to decide how you’re going to split your funds, take time out to make a tally of the activities you have planned with your girlfriends, the commitments you have agreed on with bae and the spoils you’ve got up your sleeve for the tiny humans- or just some funds for the everyday needs. Let’s not forget that we’re intentional queens. So this includes that stash you’ve set aside for intentional self-care Saturday or Sunday.
If we’re to piece this puzzle together, we need to unbox it first. Let’s see what this looks like:
From a horizon perspective, have a 3-month or 6-month projection in terms of what it is that you would like to do. Think about how much accessibility you’d like in terms of the cash component of your budget.
Tracking your monthly spend
Take stock of the accounts you have, transactional, savings or any investment accounts you have in your arsenal (retirement annuity or shares). Pay yourself, honey! Set aside some money for your savings/investments, your future self will thank you. Shed some of that debt weight, sis. If you can inject a little extra towards your credit agreements, go for it, this will help ease the strain of the interest rate and you can pay the debt off faster.
Then look at how much you spend on average per month, and if you can make changes and reduce the spend list. If you can do this? Kudos to you! This means you’ll have more cash flow available.
Checking (and improving) on your credit status
A considerable part of being savvy is knowing exactly where you stand financially. How you can gear yourself up for the power shift, is to know what you have and what offers are available to you. This is not only so that you improve your credit score for creditors, it is so that you can make an informed decision about your money moves.
Here are 2 sites in South Africa that offer a free credit status for you, check them out:
If you’re outside South Africa, you can find similar sites in your country.
Is there value in having a Money Coach or a Financial Advisor?
Whether you’re mulling over the idea of purchasing property, getting a car or investing, you should always be thinking about how you can get more bang for your buck.Do not be afraid to ask questions- there can never be a silly question when it comes to how to manage your funds better. Click To Tweet
You can keep yourself on track and accountable by having someone to help you make the right decisions based on your current reality. Having someone in the know helps to eliminate the pain points of navigating the terrain. Your coach or advisor will assist with your financial ABC’s.
Before you look for an advisor, you need to know what you want out of the relationship. Have an idea of what your state of monetary affairs looks like. Doing this groundwork means you will be able to get the most out of your initial session.
Start documenting what it is you’re looking for. Do not be afraid to ask questions- there can never be a silly question when it comes to how to manage your funds better.
Being smart about your expenditure is especially important in the current context and it shouldn’t take a pandemic for us to get this right. Either way, we’re thankful for the grace of learning through lived experience. The benefit of having a coach or advisor is that the pressure is removed from you and you get to have a professional as your sounding board. They’ll offer guidance and help unlock your financial prowess or potential.
Stay pushing to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to plan for your future. Continue to share your money experiences with your girlfriends. Eventually, we can shift the conversation from being inactive participants in our financial lives to owning the narrative.We can shift the conversation from being inactive participants in our financial lives to owning the narrative. Click To Tweet
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and geared towards motivating a more hands-on approach to your money habits. This is derived from my experience personally and as someone who works in the Financial sector. For a tailored financial or a specific needs analysis, you should contact a financial advisor or money coach.