How to get your finances in order

As a parent or breadwinner, it can be challenging to cover your family’s monthly expenses but there are ways of stretching your income so that you can take care of your family’s needs and expenses. Here are some tips on how you can get your finances to make sure that your loved ones can always be well looked after.

1. Draw up a realistic budget and prioritise

Taking charge of your financial situation is very important. You can only do this if you truly understand your current and future financial position. Something as simple as your monthly budget and understanding what you are spending your money on can help with this.

Start by looking at your monthly expenses and thinking about each expense, deciding if it is a needed expense, a nice to have or a luxury. From here, you can then start prioritising your spending. The most important thing about budgeting is to be realistic - you can only stick to a budget if it is realistic. But also remember that you must be disciplined so that you can stick to your monthly budget!

For those rainy days or extra unexpected costs, you must have an emergency savings Get into the habit of saving – even if you can only set aside a small amount each month as a start. Your emergency savings will help you when you have unexpected costs like replacing big household appliances or fixing your car.

2. Manage your debt

If you struggle to cover your family’s monthly expenses it can be very easy to fall into the debt trap. To avoid this you need to be very careful about taking on any new debt and about managing the debt you have. Here are some suggestions that you can think about:

  • If possible, use cash rather than credit
  • Keep a very good track of all your debt – reducing the number of store cards and other credit cards you might have is probably a good idea
  • Pay off debt as soon as you can
  • Know exactly how much interest you pay on the debt you have
  • Combine your debt into one account (at a lower overall interest rate) if possible
  • Talk to a financial expert if you need help managing your debt – sooner rather than later

3. Make sure you have enough cover

It is important to make sure that your current financial position is in order, but also considering your family’s future financial wellbeing should you no longer be able to provide for them. Here are some types of cover that you should consider:-

  • Life cover or Sanlam online Accidental Death Plan – this cover will pay out so that your loved ones are taken care of when you die. This money can be used for household expenses, your children’s education, etc.
  • Funeral cover - funeral insurance such as Sanlam online Family Funeral Plan pays out soon after a death to ease the financial burden when you or your loved ones are faced with the cost of burying a family member
  • Disability cover – if you are disabled and you are unable to earn an income, this cover will pay out a lump sum or monthly income to help you with your family’s monthly expenses.

4. Tick off this financial checklist

Do you have a checklist when thinking about your financial needs, goals and priorities? Here’s a checklist you can use to start your journey of financial wellbeing:

  • Updated will: Do you have a will that states your wishes with regards to your child and his/her financial needs (i.e. appoint a guardian)?
  • Life cover: Do you have enough life cover to make sure that your children will be financially secured should you pass away?
  • Funeral cover: Do you have the funeral or accidental death cover you need and are your funeral policy details kept up-to-date to ensure claims are processed faster?
  • Disability cover: Do you have enough cover should you be unable to generate an income as a result of a disability or critical illness, such as cancer?
  • Emergency fund: Do you have an emergency savings fund to cover those unexpected events or costs?
  • Education savings: Is your child’s schooling and tertiary education planned for, including related expenses, such as uniforms and books?
  • Retirement: And don’t forget to look after yourself too! You also need to ensure that you save enough for your retirement so that you can be financially self-sufficient and maintain your standard of living in your golden years.

Remember, taking out funeral cover doesn’t have to be a difficult task. With Sanlam, you can buy your funeral policies online, hassle-free. It’s a simple step that can make a big difference to your family’s future.

Sanlam online Family Funeral Plan

  • Get up to R40 000 funeral cover for less than R40!
  • Build a Funeral Plan for you and your family today!

Sanlam online Accidental Death Plan

  • Get up to R200 000 accidental death cover for less than R55!
  • Cover for you and your Spouse/Partner now!