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How to get your 2018 budget in order

January 16, 2018

Making sure you have all financial responsibilities covered can be overwhelming especially at the beginning of a new year, says Mellony Ramalho, African Bank’s group executive: sales, branch network.

The only way to get on top of your finances is to make a budget at the start of the year and stick to it.

“Learning how to budget properly and sticking to a budget is a discipline that everyone should learn. A budget should make provision for the here and now, but also include room for future goals like retirement or education. How well you manage your money and payments now will determine your future financial wellbeing,” she says.

Where to start?

“To draw up a budget, you need to make a list of your monthly expenses. Remember to include quarterly and annual expenses as well as daily cash spending. Include any policies such as retirement annuities, disability funds, medical aids and so on. Lastly make a list of all your debt repayments.”

Once a list of expenses has been drawn up start working on an income list.

“Use current figures from latest payslips, bills and bank statements. Remember to include any additional income that you will be receiving for example, grants, incentives, bonuses or part time income, etc. Only add the additional income into your budget when you are sure of the exact amount that you will be receiving,” she adds.

“Now take your expenses and debt repayments and deduct these from your income to get an idea of what you have left over at the end of the month or if there is a shortfall. If you have a shortfall on your budget, in other words, you don't have money left at month end, it may be time to cut back on luxury items that you don't need. If you have additional income use it to try and pay off debt. Start with the credit with highest interest rate.”

Financial goal setting is the next step.

“Make a list of your short- and long-term goals, and know what they are. Think about things like growing your family, education, planning for holidays, savings needs, upgrading your assets and standard of living, and retirement and funeral cover needs. Determine when you want to reach your goals and how long you will need to save for those goals,” Ramahlo says.

She highly recommends including your family in your goal setting plan so that you can work together to reach those goals.

“Remember goals will only be reached if you make them part of your budget and saving plans. Every family member needs to be committed and realise that they too will benefit from achieving the goals.”  

Make sure your goals are realistic, achievable and measurable.

“If you aim too high, you may get demotivated and you will not be able to exercise the monthly discipline you need to get there. When setting your goals, also take into consideration your family's needs and think carefully about these. For example, you should not buy a new car if school fees are not being paid. Goal setting can only be successful if you understand how to set your goals and then how to achieve them,” she says.

“Remember to reward yourself when you see improvements and good financial behaviours. Celebrate when goals are achieved. So don’t wait, get a budget going and make 2018 a financially positive one,” she concludes.


Carl ‘of the dead and debt’ cooks up scheme to avoid R4m bill ​

December 13, 2017
Carl Niehaus, who is a vocal campaigner for ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has a history of lies and bad debt. 

Political spin doctor Carl Niehaus  has been caught in yet another lie — concocting an elaborate scam to convince a businessman he owed money to that his mother had died and he was about to inherit millions.

Niehaus owes R4.3-million for rental of two luxury apartments in Sandton —   as well as damage to expensive furnishings and artwork —  unpaid concierge cha...

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Shaun Abrahams and NPA appeal court decision to set aside his appointment

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The National Prosecuting Authority and national director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams will appeal the judgment of the full bench of the Pretoria High Court in which Abrahams’ appointment was reviewed and set aside.

The judgment was delivered on Friday by Gauteng judge president Dunstan Mlambo, in which the court ordered that Zuma is too conflicted to appoint the NDPP, and that it must be done by the deputy president.

The judgment followed a review application to set aside the settlem...

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Steinhoff drops 45% as Moody’s slashes credit rating to junk

December 8, 2017

Steinhoff International Holdings’s shares slumped 45% in Johannesburg on Friday after Moody’s Investors Service slashed the global furniture and clothing retailer’s credit rating by four notches to junk.

The drop extends losses from a seven-day rout in the stock to 90%, wiping R213 billion ($15.5 billion) off its market value. The yield on its 800 million euro ($914 million) bonds due January 2025 rose 17 basis points to yield 9.93%.

Moody’s cut the debt from one step above investment g...

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The Billion Rand President: Jus tHow much is Jacob Zuma costing you

December 7, 2017

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January 9, 2016

Cape Town - The year 2016 holds a dire outlook for consumers, debt experts warned on Monday.

Referring to building cost pressures on severely strained consumers, DebtSafe MD Wikus Olivier told Fin24 their only means of survival will be to adopt and cultivate a simpler lifestyle.

Over and above the usual factors that impact consumers’ pockets, such as the fuel and electricity price hikes, South Africa is experiencing a severe drought which is adding to food price pressures, said Debt Rescue CE...

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