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20 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR FINANCES IN 2020

1. Start the year with the end in mind.
Decide what you want to achieve personally, physically and
financially in 2020 and set daily, weekly and monthly goals
aimed at your end goals.
2. Make a smart investment
A book can be the most entertaining investment you make.
Pick up one of the several great books available from local
authors packed with great financial advice, tips, and tricks
for South Africans and enjoy some holiday reading with a
purpose.
3. Have “the talk”
Financial problems can cause stress for you and your loved
ones. Make time to discuss your financial situation, fears,
and hopes and get everyone in your family with you on the
journey to financial freedom.
4. A goal without a plan is just a wish
Set up a budget to serve as the plan on how you are going
to spend and save your money. A budget is a great way to
keep track of your expenses and determine how much you
have for expenses, savings and discretionary spending.
5. Check your credit score
Once a year you can check your credit score online for free.
See how creditworthy you are and look for ways to improve
your credit score. A better credit score helps you get lower
interest rates on loans.
6. Inspect your insurance
With another year gone, you and your assets are a little
older. Review your short term insurance to make sure you
are not overpaying based on last year’s asset values and
adjust your risk cover policies to make sure you are
sufficiently covered against life’s surprises.
7. Reward yourself
Reward programmes are an easy way to get “free money”
from savings on purchases and free goodies for positive
behavior. Just double-check that the price you pay for the
reward programme does not exceed the benefits you
receive.
8. Compare your fees
Request, confirm and review your banking and investment
fees to make sure you are getting the most value for money.
9. Schedule a meeting with your financial planner
Meet with your financial planner to go over your
investments, update him or her on what has changed in your
life – marriages, birth of a child or death of a spouse – and
ensure your current investment plans are still in line with
your financial goals.
10. Don’t forget about your tax-free savings account
You have until February 29 to invest up to R33 000 into your
tax-free savings account for the current tax year. Don’t miss
out on this opportunity as once it has passed, the
opportunity to use this investment vehicle in the tax year is
gone.
11. Save
If saving is not already a habit make 2020 the year you go
from being a spender to a saver. Just start by spending less
and saving more – it is always good to put money away at
the beginning of the month rather than at the end when
you’ve spent it.
12. Go shopping
Get the most bang for your buck by using the internet to
shop around for the lowest prices, saving you time and
money.
13. Review your investments
Review and rebalance your investments according to
personal and economic changes and make sure your
investments are still suitable for your investor risk profile
and investment goals.
14. Make 2020 the year you become debt-free.
Calculate your total debt and decide how and by when you
are going to pay it off. Start working towards eliminating
your debt by paying as much as you can on the debt with the
highest interest rate.
15. Update your will
If you don’t have a will you need to create one as soon as
possible. If you have a will you should review it to make
sure it contains your current wishes. Don’t forget to update
your beneficiaries on retirement funds and life policies as
these are not covered by your will.
16. Increase your value
An easy way to increase your value and save some money is
to learn a new skill. Learn to cut hair, build a website or
become a public speaker. All these skills can increase your
value and your potential earning power and help you save
some money.
17. Use the six month rule
We all have electronics and furniture or even clothes we no
longer use. If you have not used the items in the last 6
months, go online and sell it. You will be surprised by what
people will pay for your preloved stuff.
18. Spend less and save more
Audit your bank statement to eliminate all those
unnecessary expenses for stuff you don’t use or need, like
the good-intentioned gym membership or the book
subscription from a previous hobby.
19. Be your boss
Find a second or even third income stream. Like to bake?
Sell muffins to your colleagues. Good at playing golf?
Become a golf coach. A side hustle is a great way to
increase your income and meet new people.
20. Fill up your piggy bank
Collect all the loose change you receive through the year in
a piggy bank. At the end of the year use the savings to
reward yourself – or even better do something good for
someone else.

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