Time for a financial health check

2018-06-13 06:02

NOW may be a good time for a financial health check.

It’s that time of year, when you think about putting a thicker duvet on the bed, dusting off the heater and consider getting a flu shot.

When looking at your financial health, here are three important things to consider.

• ASSESS YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS: When considering your goals, be practical and realistic. Setting too many goals can be as bad as setting one big, unrealistic goal. Rather set two or three smaller, more achievable goals. This makes it easier to stay focused and track progress.

• CHECK YOUR CREDIT SCORE: Everybody, from banks to retailers, landlords to car dealers, decide about your financial dependability based on the three figures that comprise your credit score. By law, you’re entitled to one free credit report a year from any of the credit bureaus. There are also alternatives. Some online financial tools, such as Pulse, enable you to get a free credit rating as often as you like (visit them at www.directaxis.co.za/pulse). What’s more, they can also provide information about how the rating is made up, how you can improve a poor rating and also makes it possible for you to track your progress over time.

• REVIEW YOUR BUDGET: It’s something even the finance minister does — he calls it the mid-term budget review. The reason for reviewing your budget is that some of the assumptions you made at the beginning of the year may no longer be true. For example, VAT has gone up and the cost of fuel has increased. This may mean you’re spending more than you anticipated and you might need to try and cut back further in order to reach your other financial goals.

Think again of the triathlon analogy. You might look to see where else you can save on monthly expenditure to make up the shortfall, or speak to a financial advisor.

— Supplied by Direct Axis

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