Ricochet News

Make smart decisions with money in 2018

By Jesica Slabbert - Feb 1, 2018
Make smart decisions with money in 2018

When a New Year comes, there are those that make resolutions to either improve their health, or be smarter with their money. When it comes to being smarter with finances there are many factors to consider.

People want to be better at saving, or get their insurance up-to-date, to stop spending frivolously and get more responsible with their spending.

To help you get a kick start on handling your finances this year, you’ll need to organise your goals and have set ways of achieving them. Here are a few tips to help you get a better handle on your finances:

Track your spending

You have to know where your money goes to figure out where you can start cutting back, where to save and where you can spoil yourself. Try keeping a record of where your money is going for about a month minimum. Try to make it as accurate as possible.

This includes expenses such as fuel, household purchases, those random snacks you secretly buy at the end of the day, mobile data and airtime, and any other expense you may have in-between.

You can also download a few helpful apps like GoodBudget or Money Manager. Or if you’re more old school you can keep track using a pen and paper as well.

Create a proper budget

When the month is out and you can see where your money goes at the end of the month, you can finally start creating a budget for yourself. Most people simply guess their budget, but if you are dead set on saving money you need to make sure yours is accurate.

Make sure to detail your commitments like your cell phone payments, insurance, rent, loan repayments and such expenses down to the cent. Then list what your most important expense is in descending order. Then calculate the amount you have left after paying your commitments to see how much you can allocate to your list of priorities. Once that’s done make sure to put your savings aside and that it is done automatically.

How to save responsibly

Once you have your budget all sorted out, you’ll probably have noticed that there are places that you can probably cut out altogether from your expenses. Let’s say you spend a chunk of your income on a gym membership but rarely ever go, it might be best if you quit and take part in an exercise you don’t have to pay for, like a local park run.

Take a look at finding other things you pay for that have cheaper alternatives.

With January over and done with, you’re still in the nick of time to start saving. You can always make better decisions, simply put these into practice and end your year stronger than you started.