The festive season is here and many South Africans are immersed in debt and their financial prospects look bleak. Life does not always turn out the way we plan, and things can change within the blink of an eye.
Just like the Covid-19 pandemic changed the world overnight. Such events can also affect your financial wellbeing. Unemployment, retrenchment, unexpected illness, a death in the family and major life changes can change your life and financial situation.
How can you enter the festive season without the stress and guilt brought about by debt? If you are having trouble paying your bills and settling outstanding debt at the end of the month, debt counselling may be the answer for you.
Debt counselling is the best way to ensure your financial wellbeing if you struggle to repay your monthly debt. Take care of your financial wellbeing this festive season.
What is financial wellness?
Financial wellbeing is the overall health of your finances. This is the interaction between your finances and your physical, spiritual, and social wellbeing. Research shows that when you are concerned about your finances, it affects your productivity, adds strain on your relationships and can lead to depression. It is your relationship with money and your finances and the influence it has on your everyday life.
When is one financially healthy?
- When you can cover your monthly and day-to-day expenses without worrying about it.
- When you can make additional purchases without struggling financially afterwards.
- When you can settle emergency bills or accounts without worrying about it.
- When you can choose where you want to live, whether you want children and whether you can buy what you want within limits.
- When you can set future financial goals and follow a plan to achieve those goals. It may be to buy a house, to save for university fees or to save for your retirement.
Five tips to improve your financial health
- Spend less than you earn. It is going to be difficult to pursue future financial stability when you spend more money than you earn.
- Stick to a budget.
- Pay off your credit card, loans, and accounts.
- Set up a savings plan.
- Invest your money – do sufficient research and be 100% sure before investing any money.
Martin Snyman is a registered debt counsellor.