Money, no one likes to talk about it, but unfortunately it’s a necessary part of life. When Dan and I moved in together after getting married, finances were one of the main things that we fought about, mainly because we had both been so independent in our finances and now it was something that we shared. It has taken us a good few years to figure out how to work together when it comes to money, and so I thought that I would share how we keen on top of our finances, in case you are in need of a tip or two.
1. Have a set role: Everyone’s financial situation is different and different methods work for different people, take us for example; Dan gets paid a set salary every month, whereas I get paid every week and the amount can fluctuate. What works best for us is that Dan pays for all the big expenses from his set salary at the beginning of the month, things like the bond, school fees, investments, water and lights, etc. I pay for our groceries and entertainment. Knowing what each person pays each month makes our finances feel that much more organised. The way that we choose work our money is very fluid and transparent; Dan transfers money to me if I need and vise versa. Often we just use each others cards (we have signing power on each others accounts) if we need to.
2. Know what you are worth: We bought our home almost two years ago, once we are done with this current batch of renovations, we will get someone in to value our property and theory says that it should be worth a decent amount more than what we originally paid. We should be doing the same for our cars, although we have been quite slack in that department. Dan is due a new car in about a year, and so we need to start thinking about what we can afford and also how much we will be able to sell his current car for. CarZar is a great website to either sell your car or get it valued, plus it’s a pretty simple procedure. First off, you fill in all of your car details online, once that is done you can either take your car to one of their partnering dealerships or an inspector will be sent to you and you will be given a value for your car. If you would like to sell, you have two options: instant cash where CarZar will make you an instant cash offer or more ZAR for your car, this means that CarZar will advertise your car for 48 hours with their network of dealerships and you may get a better price.
3. We draw up a cash flow, not just a budget: I’m pretty sure that every single guide to being financially savy says that you should draw up a budget, and so that’s what Dan and I have always done, but for some reason there always seemed to be more month at the end of the money. After deciding that a simple budget wasn’t cutting it for us, Dan suggested that we draw up a cash flow instead. This way we could plot exactly when money was coming in (especially if I was expecting payments at odd times, cash back from medical aid, etc) and when exactly it was going out (weekly groceries, different debit order dates, etc). This helped so much and our finances are so much more organised that we very rarely get an unexpected suprise which can upset the whole financial balance that we planned.
Even if you are someone who prefers to “wing it”, financial planning is so ridiculously important and I find, takes a ton of stress off. How do you plan and organise your finances?
*This post has been sponsored by CarZar