Financial Wellbeing

Love and Money

Remarks like ‘I want to marry rich’ or ‘I will marry for love and not for money’ are often uttered and as a matter of fact many people end up doing exactly that. In reality it will be difficult to divorce the two concepts of love and money within a relationship. Money does impact on relationships. Sometimes the impact is positive, but sometimes the impact is negative. Money can cause a lot of friction within a relationship. Several marriages end up in divorce as a result of money.

The lack of money can cause serious trouble within any relationship and often love is not enough to carry a couple through the uphill battles of trying to raise children, paying the bills and trying to survive. Another money challenge, potentially causing even more friction than not having money, transpires where couples do have money, but they have totally different views about money.

People’s views about money and how they treat money are to a great extent formed during their childhood. What parents teach children about money and the experience of having money or not having money during childhood years play a big role in how people react towards money when they are grown-up. Beliefs and values, thinking patterns, emotions as well as life experiences also play a role in people’s behaviour towards money.

Partners having different views about money and the value they attach to money will definitely result in friction and often financial stress too. One partner might be selfish or treat money with respect while the other partner might be a big spender. One partner might be conservative by nature when it comes to investments while the other partner is an opportunist and will jump at any money making scheme often ending up losing hard-earned money. While one partner might be comfortable living in an average neighbourhood, driving an average car and going to the beach for holiday; the other partner might consider driving expensive cars, sending the kids to private schools and splashing out on overseas trips and luxuries as a necessity. Different earning brackets can also result in tension. Do you recognise some of these scenarios in your relationship?

Money does impact on relationships and can often supersede love if the problem is not resolved in a mutually agreeable manner. The best solution for couples is to talk about money. Make an effort to understand why your partner is behaving in a certain way and also why you are behaving in a certain way when it comes to money matters. Discuss these different behaving patterns and how it impacts on the relationship and your financial wellbeing. Raise potential concerns when it occurs and don’t wait until it has evolved into a serious issue. Sit together to do financial planning. Involve each other when making financial decisions that will affect the family. Set financial goals that the whole family can relate to and buy into. Finally get everybody on the same bus on your journey towards financial wellness.

Written by Ronel Jooste

CA(SA), Financial Consultant & Coach, Blogger and Speaker

Contact Ronel: ronel@financiallyfitlife.co.za

For more information about my financial wellness programmes visit the website

Treat Someone Special on a Tight Budget

Love is in the air! It is February and Valentine’s Day is probably the one day on the annual calendar with the largest expenditure attached to it. Many people go full out to show their love for that special person on Valentine’s Day irrespective the costs involved. Unfortunately not everybody has unlimited funding to splash out during the month of love. You can still treat that someone special with a tight budget. Here are a few ideas:

  • The majority of people value time and attention more than expensive gifts. Devote your time and attention to that special person in your life.
  • Breakfast in bed is on many people’s wish list. Wake up early and prepare a delicious breakfast and serve it to your loved one in bed.
  • Prepare a candlelight dinner at home with romantic music. Buy the ingredients in advance to avoid inflated prices during this period. Preparing dinner yourself will be more cost-effective than eating out and your loved one will appreciate you for your effort.
  • Due to the commercialised nature of Valentine’s Day buying flowers during this time, is exceptionally expensive. Consider picking flowers from your garden and use your own creativity to make it look unique and special. Alternatively buy a plant or tree for the garden. It will last a long time and will create special memories as you watch it grow.
  • You can have a moonlight picnic in your own garden with delicious food, good wine, candles, playing music in the background and watching the stars.
  • Spoiling somebody with a romantic bath filled with bubble bath and rose petals, surrounded by candles and soft music while enjoying champagne and snacks is always a winning idea.
  • Movie night at home watching a love story enjoying pizza, popcorn and wine.
  • If you partner loves the spa, why not becoming a loving massage therapist for the evening? Aroma oils, creams and candles do not cost a fortune.
  • Fill the bedroom with plenty of balloons; every balloon containing a hand-written, special message.

Enjoy the month of love even if your budget is tight. It is however more important to treat your partner with respect and showing your love and appreciation throughout the year than going over-board on Valentine’s Day.

Remember to book your seat for the ‘Love & Money Finances for Couples’ workshop on 17 February.

Written by Ronel Jooste

CA(SA), Financial Consultant & Coach, Blogger and Speaker

Contact Ronel: ronel@financiallyfitlife.co.za

For more information about my financial wellness programmes visit the website

Financial Tips for Businesses #2

Ronel Jooste FinanciallyFiTLife

 

Goalsetting for Businesses

Businesses should be setting new goals on a regular basis, but at least annually. Goals should be set for the shorter, medium and longer terms. Business goals can include: to grow the client base, to make more profit, to repay outstanding loans or to expand the current products and services. Be specific and realistic when setting goals and attach timelines to every goal. Goalsetting has a direct impact on budgeting, forecasts, cash flow projections, tax planning and financial stability.

Savings Accounts for Businesses

Businesses should set-up a few savings accounts separate from the normal operational bank accounts. These savings accounts can be used to save money for tax payments, VAT payments, staff bonuses, buying new computer equipment, expanding to bigger offices etc. Separate savings accounts do not only offer higher interest rates than operational bank accounts but they can also be used to manage finances more effectively. Access to these accounts should however be tightly controlled and the accounts should be reconciled on a monthly basis.

Liquidity of Investments

Liquidity profiles of businesses’ investments should match their operational and financial goals in other words money should be accessible when needed. Don’t invest operational cash that you might need in the next few months in a six-month or longer fixed deposit. Putting away money to buy new equipment, to expand or to buy new offices in a few years can be invested in investments with longer-term liquidity profiles. The same rule applies for investments with a long-term view in mind. Proper planning will ensure you have access to your money when you need it and also avoid paying penalties when withdrawing money prior to the investments’ maturity date.

Creditor Payments

Businesses can create improved cash flows by paying their creditors as late as possible, but still within the agreed period. However the money due to creditors shouldn’t be used for operational needs in the meanwhile without having a definite plan and income source to replace it before it is due. It is always an option to negotiate preferential payment terms with your creditors when cash flow if tight. Avoid paying creditors late though; unnecessary penalties and interest might be charged and an unfavourable credit record will be the result.

For more information about my financial wellness programmes visit the website.

Written by Ronel Jooste

CA(SA), Financial Consultant and Coach, Blogger and Speaker

Contact Ronel: ronel@financiallyfitlife.co.za

 

Save for a Better Tomorrow

South Africans do not have a savings mind-set. According to the Reserve Bank South Africans save only 15,4% of its GDP and it is getting worse. These statistics are even more shocking considering that countries like China and India save 50% and 30% respectively of their GDP regardless that they earn less than the average South African citizen.

Furthermore National Treasury indicated less than 6% of South Africans will be able to retire comfortably without having to downscale on their lifestyles. Given these statistics National Treasury introduced the Tax-free savings account (TFSA) in 2015 to encourage South Africans to start saving.

Why do you need to save though?

  • To increase your assets and start building a wealth portfolio.
  • To plan and prepare for the future.
  • To have funds available for unforeseen circumstances.
  • To create a better lifestyle for you and your family.
  • To achieve your goals whether it is to retire comfortably, buy a new house or to become financially stable.

Adopting a savings mind-set will make it a lot easier to continuously look out for potential savings. You really don’t need thousands to start saving and investing. Start small but at least start. Every little bit helps. Don’t think of savings as a way to restrict yourself. It is possible to save money and still enjoy life to the fullest.

Download my FREE “12 Powerful Savings Tips” here, it will put you on your way to start saving money and building a better tomorrow.

Written by Ronel Jooste

CA(SA) and Financial Coach

Contact Ronel: ronel@financiallyfitlife.co.za

For more information about my financial wellness programmes visit the website.

Know Your Financial Status

In the previous blogs we have thought about our financial dreams and how to set financial goals in a SMART way in order to make our dreams our reality. To achieve your financial goals, it is equally important to analyse and understand what your current financial status is. Think of it this way: if you want to drive to a certain destination (future goal), the GPS will use your current location (current financial status) to determine the best route (financial plan) for you to take to reach your final destination.

To understand your current financial status, you need to ask yourself these questions at least:

  • What is your net worth (assets less liabilities)?
  • How much is your monthly income?
  • How much is your monthly expenses?
  • How much debt do you have, what are the interest rates and repayment periods?
  • How much do you have available as an emergency fund and how much should you have?
  • How much investments do you have, what are the interest rates and how liquid are they?
  • How much do you currently have in your retirement fund and how much do you need at retirement to retire comfortably?

Write all the numbers down to obtain an overall picture of your current financial status. Spend time getting to know these numbers. To get you from your current financial status to where you want to be, you also need a proper plan. When compiling your plan:

  • Be realistic
  • Do it in detail
  • Set timeframes
  • Include calculations
  • Break it up in smaller milestones

Once you have a plan written down, you are set to go and achieve your financial goals. Like with anything else in life, you need to take action to make something happen. If you don’t take action, your goal will remain a dream. You need to make an effort putting your financial plan into action. It starts with a choice and only you can make that choice. Start small, but make a start. You will not regret it.

To calculate your net worth as well as your income and expenses, download your FREE Financial Goalsetting worksheet here.

Written by Ronel Jooste

CA(SA) and Financial Coach

Contact Ronel: ronel@financiallyfitlife.co.za

For more information about my financial wellness programmes visit the website

Set SMART Financial Goals for 2018

Last week we spent time thinking about our financial dreams. A dream will however remain a dream unless you convert it into a financial goal, create an action plan and start taking action to achieve those goals.

Financial goals are different for every person. Your goals might also change as you grow older or become more financially stable. One person might dream about driving an expensive German car and owning a game farm, while the next person wants to get through the month without having to stress about money. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, but you need to have a goal. Without having a set goal, you will just continue to float through life. Goals give purpose and direction. Goals force you to thrive and not only survive.

The very first step in financial goalsetting is to write down your goals, but write it down in a SMART way:

  • Be Specific – define clearly what your goal is. “I want to get rich” is not a goal. Define what “rich” means to you. For example: ‘I want to buy my first house’.
  • Measure it – set smaller milestones that you will be able to measure. For example: ‘I want to save-up the deposit by the end of this year’.
  • Be Achievable – dream big but be realistic. Your goal must be achievable to keep you motivated. For example: Maybe your ideal home is a double-storey home with a big garden and a swimming pool, but maybe you won’t be able to afford it in the given time. Then you should maybe first invest in a townhouse and upgrade to your ideal home later or when you earn more money.
  • Be Relevant – it should be relevant to you; what is your personal financial goal. It should be something that inspires you. There is no point in making the neighbour’s goal your goal.
  • Set Timelines – set timelines by when you want to achieve what. For example: ‘I want to save-up a deposit to buy my first house by the end of this year and buy my new house in two years’ time when I have enough money to pay for the transfer costs as well’.

Spend time thinking about what your financial dreams are, if you don’t know already. Once you know your financial dreams, covert them into financial goals. Go write down your goals and make sure you have set each goal in a SMART way as explained above. If you write it down, it creates a sense of responsibility and you will be more likely to achieve it. Setting your SMART goals will also help you to compile a plan to achieve those goals.

Download your FREE Financial Goalsetting Workbook to help you get going.

Written by Ronel Jooste

CA(SA) and Financial Coach

Contact Ronel: ronel@financiallyfitlife.co.za

For more information about my financial wellness programmes visit the website

What is Your Financial Dream?

A New Year brings new dreams. We set New Year resolutions. We are ready to take-on new challenges. Popular items on our wish lists usually include goals to live a healthier lifestyle; exercise more frequently; lose weight or spend more time with our loved ones.

The focus is often more on our physical appearance and we tend to ignore our financial wellbeing. We work-out relentlessly to lose those extra kilograms we gained during the December holidays; diligently following an exercise programme or meal plan. We often resist spending time to improve our financial status even though financial difficulty is one of the biggest causes for stress in the majority of households. What is your financial dream though?

  • Maybe you want to become financially stable and no longer have to constantly stress about money?
  • Maybe you want to become debt-free?
  • Will 2018 be the year you are going to buy that dream car?
  • Is buying your first home or maybe upgrading to your dream home on your wish list?
  • Are you dreaming about creating a better lifestyle for yourself and your loved ones in 2018?
  • Do you want to set yourself up to retire comfortably?
  • Are you dreaming about that exotic overseas holiday?
  • Do you want to ensure you put away enough money to pay for your children’s education?
  • Maybe you want to build up a nest egg that will give you peace of mind when something unforeseen happens?
  • Or maybe you want to start with that business on the side to create additional income and can help you to achieve financial freedom?

Take time out to think about your financial dreams. Think about your short-term dreams for 2018 as well as your medium (2-5 years) and longer (5-10 years) term dreams. Write down your financial dreams, no matter how small or big they are. Thereafter create a vision board for yourself with pictures to remind you of all your financial dreams. Put your vision board up on the wall of your bedroom, in your study or at your desk at work where you can see it on a daily basis. The very first step towards making a dream a reality is to start visualizing it.

Written by Ronel Jooste

CA(SA) and Financial Coach

Contact Ronel: ronel@financiallyfitlife.co.za

For more information about my financial wellness programmes click here

Financial Tips for Businesses #1

Personal versus Business Expenses

When having a business it is important to have a separate business bank account. Pay your business expenses from your business bank account and your personal expenses from your personal bank account. It may sound obvious but many business owners get it wrong. If you don’t keep your personal and business finances separate:

  • You run the risk of your financial results not being a true and accurate reflection of your business.
  • The accounting function can become a nightmare.
  • SARS might penalize you for incorrectly deducting personal expenses for tax purposes.
  • Your profit margins and other ratios will not be accurate and provide you with a false picture of your business.
  • It might become a habit relying on your business to cover personal over-expenditure.

Analyse Combined Financial Results

Business owners wanting to make meaningful decisions, should analyse their combined financial status. Don’t analyse your income statement or balance sheet in isolation. To make optimal and powerful decisions based on your financial results, analyse all of these in relation to each other and as a combined picture: income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, statement of equity, budget and financial ratios.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Business owners should always calculate and know the Return on Investment (ROI) they make in their business. ROI is a solid performance measurement ratio assisting the business owner to understand how profitable the investment in the business is or how efficient any other investments are. ROI basically calculates the profit or loss generated on an investment in relation to the amount of money invested. The formula to calculate ROI = Net profit of the investment (total return less costs) divided by the total investment x 100. ROI is measured and expressed as a percentage and therefore it is easily comparable to other investments. The ratio will assist you to make the best decision if comparing different investments. It also assist you determining whether your current investment in your business is profitable.

Direct and Indirect Expenses

Certain products / businesses seem profitable but when the indirect costs are added to the costing model, the profit margin can become a lot smaller or the product / business might even make a loss. For example when selling hamburgers: the direct costs will be purchasing bread rolls, patties, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and cheese. But don’t forget to add the smaller indirect costs like sauces, packaging, printing price lists etc. Other costs like rent, salaries, water and electricity, marketing etc. should also be factored into account. Always consider all costs when making financial decisions; when determining prices; when doing cost projections and when calculating profitability.

Budget for Income and Expenses

When preparing a budget, it is critical to budget for both income and expenses. When budgeting for expenses only, you will not know whether you are projecting a profit or a loss. You will also not know if you are exceeding your budgeted income and should be cutting costs.