What will you do with your 13th cheque?

What will you do with your 13th cheque?

As the end of the year draws closer and the festive season approaches, we look forward to some relaxation time and some party time - it’s summer sun and fun season.

But if we don’t give a little consideration to finances, it can also become a very expensive time of year with many of us landing up in debt!

If you are expecting a bonus or 13th cheque next month - now is a great time to have a good think about how you want to look after that extra bit of income that’s about to land. Perhaps in past years, you have spent your bonus before it has even arrived. Perhaps you have blown it all on buying gifts for loved ones (very generous and kind hearted, if not entirely financially wise).

This year, consider putting it to a different use. Let this year be the change. Consider saving some of it, and using some of it to pay off debt. Spend a smaller portion of it buying gifts for family and friends. Think carefully and act wisely.

Here’s an idea that should satisfy a few financial needs all in one … divide your bonus into 3 different parts.

  1. Save a third. A good place to start is saving for retirement. Right now. Here are different mechanisms for saving.

  2. Spend a third to pay off debt. Ideally we should all aim to live a debt free life. Getting rid of debt can free us up to live a more independent and less stressful life. Even small incremental payments to get rid of our debt help.

  3. Spend a third on gifts and food and fun (we all need some fun or what’s the point of working so hard!?)

Becoming financially savvy comes naturally to some and harder to others. But all of us can learn a few basics and apply this knowledge to our own finances. The feeling you will get in the present and future when you have lightened the load of debt, or increased your savings, will be well worth being a bit more careful now.

Regarding gifts for loved ones - this year why not try to spend a little less? Get creative. Make gifts. Offer a service. Cook a meal. Walk the dog. Use your unique talents to show your love and appreciation, rather than all of your 13th cheque!

And remember that we can all learn to manage our finances. Simply make a start. When that bonus arrives this year, think a little harder about what you could do with it.

The underwriter of this policy is Old Mutual Alternative Risk Transfer Limited (OMART) a registered long-term insurer.

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