As we approach the middle of the year, we are presented with an opportunity to reflect on our new year financial resolutions and to gauge whether our financial goals are still on track.
Ester Ochse, Product Specialist at FNB Wealth and Investments says, “saving and investing should form an important part of your goals and money management journey. By regularly revisiting your progress, you can see if you are on track to meet your financial goals.”
“However, after assessing your goals and seeing that you are not where you had anticipated to be by this time, you should look at how you can do better. You shouldn’t feel discouraged if your savings goals for this year are not on track, you still have six months to meet them,” says Ochse as she shares tips on how you can still achieve your savings goal.
Record your expenses: Keep track of all your expenses. From that cup of coffee, lunch at work, data and airtime. This initial step will help you see how much you spend and will give you an indication on where you need to reduce. This will help you free up some funds which can be channelled towards your savings.
Review your bank statement: spend time looking at your bank statement to see where you need to cut expenses. This will need to be done with great attention as it will help you identify areas that may be causing the monthly expense leakage. Once you have identified the leakages, you need to act immediately to allow more funds to be channelled towards meeting your financial goal.
Review your budget: once you have the data from recording your expenses and reviewing your bank statement, you need to relook your monthly budget and amend it in a way that will enable you to meet your goals faster.
“It is important to ensure that your budget outlines all your expenses as this will identify gaps where you will need to limit overspending. Your budget should ideally include weekly and monthly expenses. For example, if you work outside town and go home every second month, this should be factored in so that it doesn’t dent your budget when you have to go home,” says Ochse.
Contribute extra: when finances allow, it is advisable to contribute extra towards your saving. This will help you meet your savings goal earlier. For example, when you receive a recognition payment at work, it would be worthwhile to allocate some of the money towards savings.
“Constantly reminding yourself about what you are saving for will encourage you to continue saving. Factor in your savings goal into your monthly budget to ensure that you make the adequate contribution to be able to meet your goal,” concludes Ochse.