Spring-clean your finances this Spring

Spring-clean your finances

Posted  September 18, 2013

September marks the beginning of spring in South Africa, a time of renewal and new beginnings. As Russian writer Leo Tolstoy once said, ‘spring is a time of plans projects’. This spring make your personal finances one of your projects and give them the spring-cleaning they need.

Short-term insurance

  • Do you need to update any of your short-term insurance policies, for example have you recently bought a new television or improved the security on your property?
  • Are you still getting the best possible deal from your insurer? Consider shopping around for quotes from other insurers

Savings and retirement

  • Work with your financial planner to ensure that your retirement savings are on track and that you are getting the best possible return on your investments
  • Plan to top up your emergency fund if necessary – remember your should have three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved in a rainy-day fund
  • Set new short-term savings goals - an overseas holiday in April or a new sound system for your car

Budget

  • Revise your budget. Be sure to free up funds to cover increases in petrol and food prices
  • Scrutinise your bank statement for any unexplained debits or bank charges

Debt

  • Put an action plan in place to pay off your debt as quickly as possible. If you are struggling under a mountain of debt consider working with a debt counsellor
  • Check your credit report. Get your report free from TransUnion

Estate Planning

  • Review and update your will and financial power of attorney documentation if necessary
  • Consider drawing up a living will

Long-term insurance

  • Review your life insurance, dread disease cover and disability insurance policies. Changes like marriage, the birth of a child or an increase in the amount of debt you have could mean that you need more cover
  • Review your life insurance policy beneficiaries  
  • Remember that you also need to inform your insurer if your risk profile changes in any way, for example if you start smoking or change jobs. Check your policy documentation for details
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