Juggling our finances is something that requires daily dedication. Personal finances are something that accounts for 46% of South African's feeling stress and anxiety. The reality is that it's the small things that you do daily that can affect your finances.
Our handy financial self-care checklist comes with handy tips to get you started.
Remove the taboo about discussing finances
Discussing our finances with friends, partners, colleagues or family members is one of the things that makes 70% of people run for the hills. However, not talking about financial issues and pressure can cause people to fall into a debt trap as they try to figure their way out.
The first step to striking a healthy balance with your finances requires you to be honest with yourself. Speaking to a financial advisor to get financial advice can give you a realistic and healthy approach to help repair and build your finances.
Set up a financial safety net
Planning is one of the greatest financial self-care things you can do, but there is only so much planning we can do. Setting up a financial safety net for those unexpected moments that catch us off guard or those emergency expenses protects your financial future. Invest in things such as emergency savings, life insurance, income protection, funeral insurance and investments that help grow your money.
Practice the snowball effect
In order to move forward, it's crucial to acknowledge where things went wrong. Take time to go through 2-3 months’ worth of your bank statements. It will reveal a realistic picture of all the big and small expenses that you make. Doing this is also a great way to set a realistic budget that can be adapted every month to ensure that you don't put a strain on your finances.
The snowball effect is a great way to handle any debt you may have accumulated. Start by paying off small amounts and gradually work your way to the bigger debt to make the task less daunting. It is also a practical way for people to avoid putting off paying off debt which can snowball into larger amounts being owed.
Track your expenses
Budgeting for large expenses is a norm, but have you considered tracking your everyday expenses? Spending R50 or a R100 on small expenses eventually add up. Tracking your expenses doesn't make you a scrooge, but it can help you budget better for these little expenses that pop up and treats to reward yourself.
Checking in with your spending at the end of the day can help you manage your finances and help you keep track with any financial goals you have. Need some help? There are handy expense tracking apps that can help you stay on top of things.
Be honest when it comes to financial commitments
The reality is that many South Africans have dependents that rely on them financially. Not being honest about what you can manage financially can easily turn into accumulating debt that spirals out of control. Having an honest discussion with your loved ones on what you can and cannot do financially is crucial. It can help set realistic financial expectations and also give you enough breathing room to budget for big expenses.