Starting your career is a huge milestone. As exciting as it is, it often comes with new challenges and responsibilities. That’s why the beginning of your career is the perfect time to start working on your financial plan. Here are my top 5 financial planning tips to help you get started:

  1. Take control of your future: You’re the captain of your own ship. Take time to reflect on what you ultimately want in life, whether it’s providing financial security for your family or a life filled with adventures, and commit to making wise financial decisions. Be careful not to fall into the deep trap of “living the dream” – whether it’s traveling the world or spending money on luxurious items – without putting the right measures in place to protect your finances.
  2. Find a good Financial Adviser: Once you’ve committed to making better financial decisions, you’ll have to put in some effort and discipline. Find a Financial Adviser you can trust to partner with you along this exciting journey. A good Financial Adviser will listen to your needs and desires, give you guidance and help you put together a financial plan that will help you achieve those desires. Allowing someone into your life, sharing with them your financial situation and trusting them with your finances is a huge part of the journey.
  3. Don’t forget about risk planning: The first and most important step in financial planning, risk planning involves protecting yourself against the risks of short and long-term Illness, Injury and Death. Perhaps you believe you don’t need risk cover because you don’t have dependents or a home loan, but the risk is not being able to provide for yourself in the event that you become temporarily or permanently ill or injured and aren’t able to work. How would you continue to pursue your goals if you weren’t able to earn a monthly income? You’d probably sleep better at night knowing that you can rely on your risk cover to continue to provide for yourself should something unexpected happen to you.
  4. Get it while you’re young: The best time to get life insurance is while you’re young as life insurance products are priced based on age, among other factors. If you have health conditions, an insurer may charge you more, exclude certain events, or even decline your application. That’s why it’s best to get life cover while you’re still young and at your healthiest.
  5. Save aggressively: Once you’ve taken care of your budget and risk planning, you’ll need to start saving as much as possible. Cut down on unnecessary expenditure such as DSTV, insurance on small items and shopping at expensive stores. Once your money is saved, invest it. Retirement annuities, tax-free savings accounts, off-shore investments and endowments are just some of the options available to you. Remember that every rand you save and invest today will grow with compound interest for you to use in the future.As you start out in your career, take the time to ensure that your future is secured by putting the right measures in place. With an effective financial plan in place and discipline, you can achieve your goals and dreams and continue to take care of yourself, no matter what life throws at you. There are many ways to protect your finances for the future, so take control of your future today and speak to your Financial Adviser about the options available to you.
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