Ways to save when times are tough

Most of us are chronic under-savers even in the best of times. Yet with the current economic environment, lots of previously hypothetical concepts like ‘what if I’m retrenched or have my salary cut?’ are far more concrete – and, unfortunately, more likely to happen. There’s never been a time when saving is more important, but there’s also likely never been a time when it’s more difficult. Do you want to put something away for a rainy day (or retirement) but don’t know how to stretch your money far enough to do so? Here are some ideas. Change it up Most […]

Cold hard cash

Debt statistics are growing – this is very likely in part to the fact that a vast majority of us today prefer credit cards over cash. The benefits of credit cards are obvious. They are more convenient and offer more security. Cold, hard cash, however, can be the best way to organize your spending. Here are three reasons why you should opt for using cash instead of credit cards for managing your daily budget. 1. Less likely to overspend Healthier spending habits develop when you use cash. You become more mindful of how much each item costs that you’re putting […]

Three ways to thrash your debt

Effectively managing your debt is one of the best and most proactive ways of ensuring a sustainable financial future. It is deeply gratifying knowing that you’re doing something right when you see your debt shrinking! The journey of exploring the best ways to manage your debt can improve your attitude and enthusiasm towards settling it. Instead of seeing it as a burden to your financial goals, you’ll recognise that it’s an inspiring investment towards your financial freedom. Here are three often-cited ways to repay your debt. Snowball method The snowball method is frequently thought of as the best debt-relief option […]

Are you a savings statistic?

Most Sub-Saharan African countries are chronic ‘dis-savers’. But, you don’t have to be. Before we look at the options, let’s take a snapshot of recent events. Last July, the South African Savings Institute gave the country a wakeup call when it said that the average household rate had fallen from 0.5% per month in 2018 to 0.4% in 2019.  While 2020 figures are not out yet (at the time of this blog) anywhere in the continent, there’s a likelihood of more challenging times – unemployment is rife, little to no growth pervades most asset classes and economies around the world […]

The long haul

Saving is not just about a plan – it’s a behaviour. Part of this behaviour is rooted in our mental ability to overcome our own fears. We reduce these fears by mentally preparing for life goals and recognising that we have what it takes to achieve them. Mentally preparing for long term savings is like preparing for a long-distance race or a trip. You start exercising today so you can cope with the physical demands of next year’s marathon. You sort out your travel necessities now so you don’t struggle with them when you have to go on your trip. […]

Soup’s on ain’t a soupçon!

As the days draw shorter, the sun stays hidden for longer and the colder weather encourages us to hibernate away, coupled with constrained financial conditions, we can be forgiven for falling into the trap of thinking smaller, trying to save both money and energy. When it comes to cooking for the family – here’s a great idea to stretch out a little, as if the sun is shining warmly again. Soups! They are jam-packed with vitamins to help you fight against the flu, the ingredients are basic, it’s affordable, you can keep it for ages if frozen and… it’s a […]

When Rona hits your wallet

Whilst we may try our best to keep our bodies safe from the flu – we may overlook the sluggish money myalgia that can hit us around this time too! You might have financial flu… Every winter our communities are hit by different strains of coronavirus (root of the common cold and flu). COVID-19 is the latest strain that initially impacted our health systems, and then quickly affected our financial systems and virtually every other area of society, politics and the economy. As with our bodies where some of us are more resistant than others and show very little symptoms, […]

How to emotionally distance when investing in tough times

Current investors have seen more ‘interesting times’, more black swans and market freefalls, than any other generation gone before. From the 2008 global financial crisis, followed by the longest bull run in history, to Brexit, several downgrades for South Africa and then the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s investors have run the gamut. Their emotions have run the gamut too, whether they realise it or not. Our brains on investing Like being chased by a lion or falling in love, our management of money produces very specific chemical reactions in the brain that are as primal as they are underappreciated. Take a […]

Tips for when markets recover

The last few years have seen more market volatility than anyone could have predicted, with the icing on the cake being the COVID-19 pandemic. But the best and worst thing about markets is their cyclical nature. All markets recover, eventually. We know what to do when there’s a downturn and experience has taught many investors some hard lessons with recent stock market crashes. But what about an upswing? What do you do when the markets recover – and what should you avoid? Don’t.. let it get to your head Sometimes, it’s helpful to think of the stock market as a […]

Mid-Year Money Check

Many of us only look at our financial plan when we receive a windfall (this is not often…) or when things go terribly wrong. It could be the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one or another crisis (like a global lockdown…). These aren’t necessarily the best times to make investment decisions or changes to our financial plans as emotions are often running extremely high during times of transitions and our stress levels will be elevated. That’s why taking the time to do regular (quarterly or biannual) reviews gives you a better baseline from which to assess […]