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4 ways to get your finances in order

The end of another year is in sight – but before you get caught up with social engagements and family commitments, set aside some time to review your finances. These steps are a great place to start.

  1. Examine your budget: Millions of South African households have taken a knock this year as a result of rising inflation and interest rate hikes. If your budget is taking strain, look at where you can cut back on your 'wants' so that you're still able to cover your 'needs'. And if you don't have a budget, start putting one together – it's a great tool to help you track your income and expenditure. Be sure to include debt repayments into your budget and prioritise paying back the debt with the highest interest rates first.

  2. Review your insurance needs: Have you reviewed your insurance policies recently? If not, get onto it as soon as possible – especially if you've tied the knot, welcomed a baby into your family or experienced another life-changing event. You may find that you need to update your beneficiaries or that your cover is no longer sufficient for your changing needs.

  3. Check your credit report: Do you know your credit score? This three-digit number can have a serious impact on your financial world, especially if you're planning to apply for a loan – it can affect whether you qualify for one and what type of interest rate you're likely to get. By requesting a credit report from any one of the credit bureaus, you'll know exactly how creditworthy you are, and you'll be able to take steps to improve your score if it's lower than it should be.

  4. Plan for the future: If you already have a will, take some time to read through it and ensure that it's up to date. And if you don't have one, make it a priority to draw one up as soon as possible – your loved ones with thank you for it. With a valid will in place, you can have peace of mind that your assets will be divided as per your wishes. Without one, your estate will be distributed according to the law of intestate succession.



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