Many of us make unrealistic resolutions every year that just end up overwhelming us and set us up for failure. When it comes to your wealth, keeping your financial goals simple and knowing where to spend, save and make the most of other benefits will help you get that head start on organizing your finances.
Five financial goals for this year

By now, most of our New Year’s resolutions have started to lag – especially those involving diet, exercise and budgeting.

Here are five simple money goals that are easy to implement, can be tackled throughout the year and which will help you get your finances in order.
  1. Start an emergency fund. This is the foundation of financial stability. Often, we focus on paying off debt without building up a buffer to prevent ourselves from falling right back into it. The long-term goal is to have at least enough put aside to cover three months’ of expenses, but for now aim to have at least R10 000 set aside in a savings account for real emergencies.
  2. Pay off a single debt. If being debt-free is a goal this year, start with a single step. Select just one, relatively small debt and pay it off. This will be easier to achieve than tackling several debts at once and will provide you with the motivation – and cashflow – to target the next debt.
  3. Update your will. If you don’t have a will, write one up immediately. If you haven’t updated or even looked at your will in a few years, you need to read through it to see if anything needs to be updated. You can find wills online, which meet requirements for a small, uncomplicated estate, but if you have children or several assets, it’s worth seeing an expert to do it properly.
  4. Write up a list. It’s time to get your admin in order. This will require work, so you need to put time aside. Go through all your paperwork and bank statements and wrack your brain so that you can write a comprehensive list of all of your investments and policies. Include the full name of the product, as well as the reference number. Firstly, this will help you consolidate what you have, and secondly it makes it easier for your family to handle your finances should something happen to you. Who knows, you may discover a savings account you’ve forgotten about.
  5. Review your cover. While you’re creating this list, check that your cover is still sufficient. If you have got married, had children, changed jobs or bought a house, you need to ensure that your risk cover meets your changed needs.

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Cooke Fuller Garrun · 3 Park Lane, Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa · Kloof, KZN 3610 · South Africa