Spring is the perfect time to re-evaluate not only your life, wardrobe and kitchen, but your finances too.
One important consideration is to analyse your relationship could be contributing to your financial downfall or if it’s helping you achieve your monetary goals.
John Manyike, Head of Financial Education at Old Mutual, said spring is the ideal time to sweep out poor financial habits and counter-productive relationships.
“The silly season and all that comes with it is just around the corner, and we all know how expensive that time of the year can be. That’s why it’s important to look closely at all your current expenses and see where you can cut costs and save in preparation for this festive period and as part of your overall financial planning.”
Manyike suggests that those who live with their spouses or partners make a list of their household expenses that they are each responsible for, before re-evalutating the list against their salaries.
“The financial situation of one or both people in the relationship may have changed, there could have been a promotion, or someone may now earn less than before. Whether you agree that household expenses should be split fairly and in proportion to your income, or one person is comfortable taking on more of the financial responsibility, the important part is that you be on the same page.”
He suggested that people also take stock of their relationships with their friends and relatives and consider if these relationships may be negatively influencing their spending habits.
“We all have certain friends that, when we get together, we just know we’re going to end up regretting how much we’ve spent or footing the bill in its entirety. As fun as these friends may be, it’s important to be honest with them about your goals and put firm boundaries in place. Many people experience peer pressure and find themselves having to conform to certain social standards even when they cannot afford that lifestyle.”
He said that unbudgeted spending tended to eat into people’s savings and investment pools.
“Learn to say no to friends who always want you to join them on expensive nights out for dinner or drinks at trendy bars. It’s easy to get tricked into impulse spending such as unplanned shopping sprees, which often start out as an innocent coffee date with an impulsive or bored friend.”
While it is difficult and often awkward to have these conversations, Manyike urges all South African to consider making those tough decisions that could mean forgoing certain relationships.
“The more control you have over your finances, the better off you will be – you’ll be able to save and invest more, and will reach your life goals sooner.”