DEFINITION OF FINANCE
The science that describes the management, creation and study of –
Finance consists of financial systems, which include the public, private and government spaces, and the study of finance and financial instruments, which can relate to countless assets and liabilities.
Some prefer to divide finance into three distinct categories –
- public finance
- corporate finance
- personal finance
all three of which would contain many sub-categories.
Each and every one of us, whether in business or not, has to take responsibility for our own personal finance. We have to do this as an individual, as a couple or as a family unit. Our resources and our mindset will govern how we budget, spend our money and save for our future. Probably the most neglected aspect of personal finance today is the issue of saving money and worldwide reports confirm that not enough people have funds to dip into if something goes wrong.
It would seem prudent then to take a look at the most common mistakes we make when it comes to providing a financial safety net.
Saving money – the mistakes we make
Do the sums . . . income vs expenditure + savings . . . one of the worst money mistakes to make if you want to grow your savings fund is not to budget.
Saving Too Little
Generally we don’t save enough money to carry ourselves through an unexpected financial crisis. A general recommendation in terms of a nest egg is three months’ salary or six months worth of expenses.
Omitting to Set Specific Goals
Give a name to what you are saving for eg. new car, holiday/retirement cottage, etc. Setting a goal of how much you need to save by a certain date is a helpful motivator.
Failing to Track Spending
Know where you money is going. Save your receipts and keep a simple spreadsheet to track your spending.
Living from paycheque to paycheque
Stop stretching your money to the last rand and learn to build in a couple of hundred rand as a buffer for that rainy day.
Overdrawing an Account
Living on credit is a financial disaster. Overdraft fees are enormously expensive and a colossal waste of money. Develop the mindset . . . “if I have to go into debt to purchase it, I can’t afford it”.
Not paying on time
The worst thing you can do is make late payments on your credit card. If you let the deadline pass, you’ll pay additional interest.
Buying Name Brands
When money is tight pass up the big brand names for a similar generic version – it won’t change who you are and it will save you a packet.
As the old adage goes, ‘there’s no time like the present’. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to getting a budget and savings plan going.
Live debt-free and save
Common sense and some willpower will go a long way to empowering you to maintain a budget, control your spending habits and get a saving plan up and running.
Paying cash and only using you credit card for emergencies is an excellent way to begin. Not only will this help you better appreciate the value of your hard earned rand it will also help you curb those impulse purchases that are so easy to make you’re paying with card and not with cash.