Make a Plan

Consider a Financial Health Check

people consolidation

It’s the time of year you think about putting a thicker duvet on the bed, dusting off the heater and perhaps getting a ‘flu shot. It’s also a good time for a financial health check.

Many of us consider our financial position at the beginning of the year and resolve to try and pay off debt, save a little more and perhaps invest some money, but six months later we have forgotten our good intentions.

Early in the year, when you’re still enthused and committed, is probably the best time to pencil in a date for a financial review. But, even if you haven’t planned a regular financial assessment, it’s a sensible habit and halfway through the year is as good a time as any.

Here are three things to consider when you do.

Assess your financial goals: When considering your goals, be practical and realistic. If you’ve been a couch potato all your life you wouldn’t start a fitness programme by entering an Ironman. You might begin running, cycling and swimming smaller distances and build up your fitness levels in each discipline. The same applies to your financial health.

Setting too many goals can be as bad as one, huge unrealistic goal. Rather set two or three. This makes it easier to stay focussed and track progress. Reaching attainable targets will give you a sense of achievement and will encourage you to continue improving your financial wellbeing. It’s better than giving up because you’ve tried to do too many things at once or been too ambitious. 

Ask yourself if the goals you set at the beginning of the year are still achievable. Be honest. If reaching your savings target will only require a little belt tightening in the second half of the year, then stick to your plan. Similarly if you’re easily going to reach it, perhaps you need to set yourself a stretch target. 

Check your credit score: Everybody from banks to retailers, landlords to car dealers decide about your financial dependability based on the three figures that comprise your credit score. Think of it as the printout from an ECG, the machine used to check your heart rate. It provides an indication of how consistent and reliable you are financially. 

By law you’re entitled to one free credit report a year from any of the credit bureaus. The problem for many people is that, like the readout from an ECG, unless you’re an expert these can be difficult to understand and usually don’t give you much information on what you can do to improve a poor score.

Fortunately there are alternatives. Online financial tools such as Pulse enable you to get a free credit rating as often as you like. What’s more, it also provides information about how the rating is made up, how you can improve a poor rating and also makes it possible for you to track your progress over time.  

Review your budget: It’s something even the finance minister does – he calls it the mid-term budget review. The reason for reviewing your budget is that some of the assumptions you made at the beginning of the year may no longer be true. For example VAT has gone up and the cost of fuel has increased. This may mean you’re spending more than you anticipated and might need to try and cut back further in order to reach your other financial goals.

 
Think again of the triathlon analogy. Halfway through your training programme, you may have reached your running and cycling targets, but are struggling with the swimming. You can either focus on running and cycling and hope that better times in these will make up for the time you spend in the water, or you can get some expert help to improve your swimming times. 

 
Similarly when your review your budget you may find that you’re on track with paying off debt but aren’t saving as much as you’d intended. You might look to see where else you can save on monthly expenditure to make up the shortfall, or speak to a financial advisor. 

 
Whether you’re planning the equivalent of a financial Ironman or just want to get fit and lose a few kilogrammes, it’s helpful to set some goals and regularly assess your progress. It increases the chances that you’ll stick to your plan and ultimately achieve your goals.

Pulse

Pulse is a FREE financial wellness tool that allows you to check and improve your credit rating.

Find Out More
Personal Loan

A Personal Loan is a convenient way to take care of your personal and family needs and goals.

Find Out More
Consolidation Loan

Consolidating can be an effective way to manage your finances and increase your cash flow.

Find Out More
Insurance

You could save on your monthly premiums by insuring your car and home with the same insurer.

Find Out More
Medical Aid

Find medical aid cover that best suits you and your family’s needs.

Find Out More
24%

of customers use loans for consolidation

24%

of customers use loans for renovations

12%

of customers use loans for education

Our Sponsorships

Read more about how we support grassroots Rugby through our Currie Cup Sponsorship.

Read More
Job Opportunities

Thinking of working for DirectAxis? Why not explore what it means to work at DirectAxis.

Read More
Customer Care

We pride ourselves on delivering the best possible customer service. Get in touch today.

Read More
Social Initiatives

Find out more about the corporate social initiatives we're undertaking to deliver positive change.

Read More

Your direct connection to Financial Services. Direct Axis SA (Pty) Ltd (Registration no 1995/006077/07) is an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP 5 and FSP 7249) © Copyright 2018 
Privacy Policy - Legal Documents - Sitemap
This page is protected by reCAPTCHA, and subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of service.

Loan repayment terms range from 24 to 72 months. The maximum interest rate with regards to a DirectAxis Personal Loan is 27.5% per annum (compounded monthly). Your rate and initiation fee will be determined according to your personal risk profile.
An illustrative example of a loan at an interest rate of 27.5% per annum would be: Loan amount R50 000 plus a once-off initiation fee of R1 207.50 and a monthly admin fee of R69.00, over 72 months.
The total cost of the loan will be R 110 013.57 which is a maximum Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 30.74%.