5 savvy financial moves to make in 2017

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Fresh from the festive season spending spree,nowyou have to make financial decisions that will shape your year and long-term financial goals.

“Those who went on an all-out spending spree in December may be suffering from a financial hangover but consumers who spent wisely will be in better position to make the most of what 2017 has to offer,” says Ester Ochse, Channel Head at FNB Financial Advisory.

“The financial moves you make now will determine whether you thrive financially or merely survive during the course of this year,” she adds.

Ochse recommends the following five essential financial moves that you need to make this year:

Take stock of your financial commitments

While some consumers may have financial resolutions, many tend to look at what they want to achieve without first taking stock of their commitments. The best approach is to first review your financial commitments before planning the next steps.

Minimise reliance on debt

While not all debt is bad, you should not depend on debt to finance your lifestyle. A home loan is regarded as progressive debt, however relying on loans to cover day-to-day expenses such as groceries and transport is a sign you may be in financial trouble or simply unable to manage your finances.

Curb your spending

Spend when it’s necessary and not when you feel like it. This will allow you to manage your finances well and be in a position to invest for long-term goals. Good cash reserves are very important as a growing economy cannot be guaranteed.

Invest or save

Investing or saving is hardly fashionable but it’s hugely important to your financial independence. Investing is considered long-term and saving short-term. Consumers should take advantage of the savings accounts or investing platforms that are specific to their financial goals. There are plenty of solutions in the market offered by banks and other independent financial institutions.

Speak to a financial adviser

Professional financial advice is of huge importance to people who are serious about their financial future. While many people tend to think they do not need expert guidance, approaching an adviser who adopts a goal-based financial planning approach and does not focus on selling products can help you shape a more defined financial future.

“The South African economy experienced a great degree of volatility in 2016 which had direct impact on consumers. As the start of the year brings hope, it is important to make the right financial moves now so you are in a better position ahead of a relatively uncertain year,” concludes Ochse.

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