Learning the hard way

Times are tough financially and when times are tough, one learns very hard lessons, especially when it comes to money, an expert has said.

31 October 2018 | Economics

It all starts within your current budget- Marisol Basson, Founder, The Succession Company

NDAMA NAKASHOLE

In an interview with Market Watch in view of World Savings Day, financial planner Marisol Basson said this day should remind society that one should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario – as we are living through one now.

Celebrated on 31 October every year, World Savings Day was created with the basic idea of convincing society of the importance of saving.

“The goal should be to apply these lessons when the tough times have passed,” said Basson, who founded the Succession Company, a financial planning firm that specialises in investment, insurance, wills, trusts and estate planning.

Planning

Although times are tough now, Basson said there is always a way out by means of planning.

She said people have the misconception that one needs to have millions in order to be able to save. However, that’s not the case at all.

“It all starts within your current budget,” she said.

For example, she said she used to spend around N$1 000 per month buying fast food and coffee during the workday. She was just too lazy to pack her own meals at home.

“N$1 000 per month is a lot of money to spend on food that you could just have brought from home,” said Basson.

If one plans better, one can save that amount every month.

“Saving starts by the small choices we make when we decide not to spend money on things that are completely unnecessary,” she said.

She urged people to stop making excuses and commit to living within their means.

People also need to set aside a fixed amount on a monthly basis that will go towards their savings, she added.

“There are many options available. The most important thing is to have the right financial planner who can help you achieve your financial goals.”

Other must-knows

According to Basson, before you starts saving, you first need to decide why you want to save, as that would make committing to goals a lot easier.

“Determine whether your goals are long or short term. Compare fees across your various investment vehicle options, as well as what other benefits the chosen investment vehicle will have, such as tax benefits.

Right path

When choosing a financial planner, you have to do a proper background check.

“Ask for their comprehensive CV, it’s your right,” she said.

When times are tough financially, people tend to cancel their insurance and investment policies first. Basson said that is a big mistake.

In fact, she advises that you rather chat to your financial planner about lowering your existing cover or premiums, “but don’t cancel your policies altogether”.

“Make sure to budget and save monthly for an emergency fund, long-term insurance and retirement,” she said.

Engaging

Basson has started presenting talks titled ‘Financially Fierce’.

In the first talk a week ago, she covered the basics of investments and insurance available to the average person. It was an interactive session where everyone could share their thoughts and experiences.

“The aim with these sessions is to provide guidance and advice to women regarding their finances. On too many occasions I have witnessed how women are just not coming to the table to chat about their money and I want to change that by sharing facts and knowledge,” she said.

Basson financed the first session herself, but she has since received generous sponsorship offers from the insurers whose products she markets.

“This means great things, as I can now accommodate more women at the next session,” she said.

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