Turning financial stress into success: strategies for making your money work in difficult times
22 Feb, 2023

Turning financial stress into success: strategies for making your money work in difficult times

Lephoi Mokgatle, Head of Product at Momentum Money

Every year in February, South African consumers tune into the National Budget Speech to find out what the impact will be on their current spending behaviours, cost of living and financial planning.

Latest results from the Q4 2022 Consumer Financial Vulnerability Index showed fewer consumers could afford their daily expenses at the end of 2022 compared to the beginning of 2023. It was clear that people spent more than what they earned, which directly affected their ability to save or repay their debt.

Lephoi Mokgatle, Head of Product at Momentum Money says, “These difficult times further emphasise why getting the most out of your money is essential. Making your money work for you simply means taking practical, uncomplicated steps to make sure you can realise your financial goals.”

Mokgatle recommends three smart-money moves that are sure to beat the economic blues:

1. Kickstart your saving journey

Rainy days are sure to come at some point, stay prepared for the unforeseen by manifesting a solid and clear savings plan. It is often the first step in ensuring your savings approach to money becomes habit-forming. Whilst saving may not necessarily yield the kind of returns that come from investing, it is a practical way to start your money journey.

“Determine how much you are willing to save every month and work towards it. It is easier to save consistently when you have a goal in mind. The goal does not have to be something big like funding education or a car. It can also be saving towards something seemingly small, like those pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for a while,” she says.

2. Transform your savings into investments

Investing is buying financial assets such as shares, bonds, stocks or cash instruments to grow your wealth. Investing is key to creating wealth, reaching your financial goals and making your money work for you.

“Whilst some traditional investment instruments have been largely inaccessible to the majority of South Africans, new and uncomplicated digital products like Momentum Money are creating the space for more potential investors to take up investments in a way that works for them,” Mokgatle says.

3. Become a conscious spender

Rising costs have made most consumers more conscious about how they spend their money, but one cannot emphasise this enough. “It is often easier to simply pop into your local 24-hour convenience store to get the bread for the kid’s lunchboxes at 6pm the night before, however this inevitably results in leaving the store with far more than just the bread”, Mokgatle adds.

If there’s household shopping to be done, make a list before arriving at the shops and stick to it. Consumers can also actively shop around for the best deals online without having to leave their homes. The financial services industry has also expanded the range of financial tools and services available to consumers so that they can practice conscious spending in a way that is practical and easy. Tracking tools that track your monthly spend as well as smart online planners that show you how much of your money is left before you receive your next regular monthly income are just a couple of services consumers can tap into to make smarter spending decisions.

If you are concerned about what direction to go when making your money work for you, Mokgatle says the right advice is always a phone call or a virtual meeting away. “Having a solid financial plan remains an important part of making your financial journey a success. There is also a rich harvest of financial advisers out there armed and ready to guide you. It’s up to you to make the first move.”



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