This year has taken its toll on many of us BUT WageWise is still right here to help us get back on our feet and properly manage our money. We’ve put together a 7-item financial checklist for you – see which ones you can tick off the list and which ones you still need to work on.

Make sure to budget

Always start with a plan. If you receive any type of income, then you should have a plan for how to spend it. A budget includes all of your income and all of your expenses. It’s important to budget for needs (e.g. rent) over wants (e.g. takeaways) and to make sure that you are saving for emergencies, savings goals, and retirement.

Example: Rea needs a new fridge so she budgets to save R1000 every month until she can afford one.

Know your payslips and bank statements

Payslip and bank statement documents can be tricky to understand. With your payslip, know the difference between gross salary (before deductions) and nett salary (after deductions), and be aware of what deductions are going off (e.g. PAYE tax, UIF, and union subscriptions). Make it a habit to check your bank statement regularly. This will help you to budget better and can also help you pick up on any fraudulent activity.

Example: Sipho checks his bank statement every month and so is able to notice when an unauthorised debit order goes off.

Manage your credit

Credit is all about buying something now and paying for it later. Credit can be grouped as good (gains value) or bad (loses value). Remember, when you borrow money you have to pay back the money you borrowed PLUS the interest amount.

Example: Anne wants to buy a new dress but she doesn’t have enough cash. The store says she can buy it on credit but she declines the offer as she knows that she will end up paying way more for it.

Understand debt counselling and credit profiles

If you are struggling to pay all of your debts then you may be over-indebted. Don’t panic, there are people who can help you through debt counselling. Managing this debt is also important for your credit profile.

Example: Marvin receives his monthly salary but after all of his debit orders have gone off there is nothing left for himself and his family. He speaks to a debt counsellor who helps him restructure things so that he can pay off his debt and have money for basic needs.

Always save

Saving money is so important for your future. Start with a savings goal and then commit to saving regularly in a separate account. Remember that every Rand helps so save whatever amount you can.

Example: Edward is saving for his daughter’s education. Every single month, as soon as he gets paid, he puts money away into a separate account.