Covid-19 has forced many of us to adjust to an unfamiliar order while simultaneously maintaining a rigorous work schedule. Even with hybrid work models introduced, our financial, social and wellness routines have been challenged as we navigate these shifting waters.
Better financial intelligence and planning is undoubtedly the only viable option if we are to navigate this crisis and ensure the next one spells smoother sailing and financial fitness.
The basics, like drawing up a budget can be stressful, but failing to create a plan can be even more so.
Some of us whose routines have been upended have found it difficult to keep healthy habits, unless you consider ‘eating’ a bona fide fitness activity. We’ve neglected our exercise routines and those of us who were always just about to start had a handy excuse.
In fact, we all have many excuses. The lockdown.
The pandemic. Fear of contracting the virus. All of them are valid. Avoiding the combined pitfalls of inactivity and an unhealthy diet is important for economically active Namibians.
Our financial wellbeing is fundamental
Consumer protection has always been of critical importance and Nedbank Namibia, therefore, collaborated with the Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI) to introduce what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive financial education booklet on the Namibian market.
“Financial health exists when the money coming in is greater than the money going out; when all necessary expenses are paid for and it’s possible to save and invest. It means that your financial position ensures enough resources for both your obligations and working towards your goals. This is achieved through proper planning, investment and efficient use of the resources and money at your disposal,” said the Executive of Wealth and Bancassurance at Nedbank Namibia, Biniam Ghirmatsion
Just as we’ve had to adapt the way we exercise and keep fit by creating a routine, starting at a low level and progressing slowly, so we need to adapt our approach to financial health and fitness.
Money gives you access to services and products; it provides you with choices and opportunities, and can bring you a sense of security and peace of mind.
Start with the basics. Budget!
A budget is a plan for what you are going to do with your money. This plan details your current financial situation and helps you to keep track of and manage your spending. It gives you an estimate of your income and expenses, including debt obligations, for a specific period. It is a financial planning tool to help guide your spending and borrowing behaviour, because it shows you how much is left over, after deducting your expenses from your income, to allocate to savings or credit payments. It also helps you face any financial difficulties you may be experiencing.
It can be a relatively simple exercise with huge benefits. But there are few points to consider when drawing up a budget.
Do not underestimate your expenses, or forget yearly expenses or have unrealistic expectations or goals. Also, never lose track of your spending or make your budget so rigid that you will be unhappy and tempted to break it.
Always have an emergency fund for unforeseen events and never forget to save.
Said Ghirmatsion: “One of the major problems identified in the growing over-indebtedness of Namibian consumers is the lack of savings, and the truth is that savings are necessary to help you in an emergency or to secure your future.”
He believes the role of financial institutions to empower their clients to make informed decisions about their money matters has increased in both sincerity and intensity. “In light of this, we trust that the booklet will provide you with information you can use to make smart money
Speaking at the launch of the Nedbank Financial Education Booklet earlier this year, Financial Education and Consumer Protection and Secretariat Manager of the Financial Literacy Initiative, Ndeshi Shitenga said: “The Financial Literacy Initiative’s main objective is to empower communities with financial knowledge. The Nedbank Financial Education booklet has the potential to improve the lives of individuals and business people of Namibia, it can assist people to identify, choose and use the best financial products and services for their specific needs.”
So, take a brisk walk over to Nedbank’s website and get acquainted with a complete guide to attaining financial fitness. You can also find more information in the recently launched Nedbank Financial Education Booklet.