The Star Early Edition - - LIFESTYLE VERVE - Start sav­ings as soon as you can Don’t be afraid to start small – but start! Bud­get Emer­gency sav­ings first Be re­al­is­tic Be­come fa­mil­iar with in­vest­ment as­sets Don’t break into the bank. Stick to your plan

WITH mod­ern life­styles, there is so much to do, achieve and to pay for. With a bit of plan­ning, an­tic­i­pa­tion and pa­tience, the fu­ture can be ev­ery­thing imag­ined and more – with­out pay­ing in­ter­est, says Mark Hawes, Cer­ti­fied Fi­nan­cial Plan­ner at Alexan­der Forbes Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning Con­sul­tants. He has some ad­vice on when and how to start sav­ing.

Here are some tips to get you where you want to be:

To­day’s sav­ings mean ex­tra money to spend to­mor­row. Sav­ings gives you ex­tra in­come in the fu­ture to be able to do and have more. If done ef­fec­tively you would be able to pay for the things you want in cash with­out hav­ing to use your salary. Ev­ery bit counts.

Ev­ery cent counts. Get started and use the money and in­come that you have. While R100 may not seem like much now, as you keep adding so your wealth grows. It should go with­out say­ing that the more you save the quicker you will be able to buy what you want. Be­fore you know it, you can pay for that hol­i­day you have been dream­ing of, with cash.

Bud­get­ing is not new but it works. The ob­jec­tive is first to know where your money is go­ing and what you are spend­ing it on ev­ery month. Add up how much money is com­ing in and how much you are spend­ing ev­ery month. What is left over is what you should be sav­ing to­wards your goals – even if it is not much.

Life hap­pens. If you have the money it’s not the end of the world, but if you don’t it can leave you feel­ing des­per­ate. It is al­ways a good idea to put money aside for un­planned events – both good and bad. Your emer­gency sav­ings is the se­cret to get­ting ev­ery­thing else you want. With sav­ings you don’t have to dip into debt or your sav­ings that you were look­ing to spend on up­grad­ing your car as an ex­am­ple.

When buy­ing car, if you are just start­ing out in your ca­reer it is best to be prac­ti­cal and look for a re­li­able car that is eco­nom­i­cal and doesn’t cost to main­tain. It would be great for your first car may to be a lux­ury Ger­man ve­hi­cle. How­ever, if you can’t af­ford it, it would be more trou­ble than it is worth. In time with sav­ings you would be able to pur­chase your car cash if you were dili­gent, or at least put down a large de­posit to re­duce your monthly pay­ments and pay it off faster. The same logic goes for al­most ev­ery big item such as pur­chas­ing the lat­est smart­phone or your first prop­erty.

If a money-mak­ing op­por­tu­nity sounds too good to be true, it prob­a­bly is. There are many op­tions out there to choose from and many dif­fer­ent in­sti­tu­tions that of­fer sav­ings and in­vest­ments in all dif­fer­ent wrap­pers. The trick is to use the best and most ap­pro­pri­ate prod­uct for your ob­jec­tives. It is there­fore al­ways a good idea to speak to a good fi­nan­cial ad­viser to as­sist you with life stage ap­pro­pri­ate ad­vice.

It is said that luck is where op­por­tu­nity and prepa­ra­tion meet. It may hap­pen that you get that job you were hop­ing for but were not able to go on the hol­i­day you were sav­ing to­wards. Keep the funds safe for your fu­ture planned hol­i­day. The op­por­tu­nity will come around again. Your emer­gency sav­ings are the key­stone to the rest of your plans.

In con­clu­sion, sav­ings is hard if you don’t have a good enough rea­son to save. It means de­lay­ing spend­ing your money. But it also means you will have more money to spend in the fu­ture. It means you will be able to pay for your am­bi­tions in cash.

Sav­ings will pro­vide eco­nomic free­dom. With a bit of pa­tience, plan­ning and fo­cus sav­ings can be the means to get­ting what you want.

Pro­vi­sion: Fi­nan­cial pru­dence will come in handy for any fu­ture plans you may have.

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