Do a spring clean to get fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion into bet­ter shape

Sea­son time to re­sist spend­ing temp­ta­tion

Sunday World - - Jobs - FI­NAN­CIAL PLAN­NING Syd­ney Sekese Sekese, the 2016 Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning In­sti­tute (FPI) me­dia award win­ner, is a reg­is­tered fi­nan­cial plan­ner pro­fes­sional and a mem­ber of the FPI

As I write this ar­ti­cle, South Africa is faced with many chal­lenges; the lat­est draw­back be­ing the an­nounce­ment that the econ­o­myen­tered into a tech­ni­cal re­ces­sion.

This is where an econ­omy suf­fers two con­sec­u­tive quar­ters of neg­a­tive eco­nomic per­for­mance, which im­plies that the eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity of a coun­try is de­clin­ing.

A shrink­ing econ­omy puts all cit­i­zens un­der­pres­sure on­many fronts, es­pe­cially fi­nan­cially.

In SA’s case it’s par­tic­u­larly se­ri­ous be­cause the coun­try needs strong eco­nomic growth to fight un­em­ploy­ment, which cur­rently stands at around 27%.

The month of Septem­ber brings an op­por­tu­nity for most of us to “spring clean” and put our fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion into bet­ter shape. Nor­mally, when spring hits, we­mo­men­tar­ily lose our money man­age­ment mind and our fo­cus is on spend­ing.

At this time of the year, your an­nual re­view should fo­cus on achiev­ing fi­nan­cial goals. This is thetime to sit down­with your fi­nan­cial plan­ner for a holis­tic dis­cus­sion on your fi­nan­cial ac­tion plan. Ques­tions to ask your plan­ner may in­clude:

Am I on track to reach my goals?

Are any changes nec­es­sary? Why, or why not?

■■Do we have ex­pec­ta­tions?

Is there any­thing I need to know about in­vest­ment to as­sist me in­mak­ing changes to my fi­nan­cial plan?

How of­ten should we meet and who will set up meet­ings?

Hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with your plan­ner helps to ce­ment the trust needed for a healthy work­ing re­la­tion­ship.

How­ever, you need to be proac­tive and be ac­count­able for your own fi­nan­cial suc­cess. A fi­nan­cial in­tro­spec­tio­nis nec­es­sary in Septem­ber, to keep you on­track an­davoid­po­ten­tial fi­nan­cial traps as we ap­proach the “silly” fes­tive sea­son.

Be­low are self-help tips:

– know­ing your debt is the first step at chip­ping away at it.

■■■this will make you aware of any po­ten­tial risks and op­por­tu­ni­ties that you need to be aware of.

– ask your­self if you need to have more than one credit card.

the safer­ule for sav­ings is to have at least three months’ worth of cash for emer­gen­cies.

– re­vise your bud­get, recog­nise in­creases in petrol and food prices.

– re­view and up­date your will.

Spring is a time of re­newal, and the per­fect chance to ditch bad habits fornew ones.

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