Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
3 minute read
9 Sep 2021
1:07 pm

Covid-19 setbacks: How to refocus your financial goals

Sandisiwe Mbhele

Reevaluating your financial health? Reset and don't give up. Just like your mental health, your financial state comes with accountability.

Picture: iStock

If you are reflecting on your financial goals or your state of financial health from earlier in the year, it is more than understandable if some goals were not met.

With only four months to go until the year ends, like our mental health, financial health can affect our lives and have lasting effects that can impact us negatively. Financial health can be based on your current monetary affairs, your needs and sometimes impulsive buying to spoil yourself to deal with your current affairs.

Lindi Monyae, executive of emerging consumer markets at Liberty, says women have a lot on their plate and finding the time to reflect on financial decisions can be an added task they don’t have time for.

However, there are a group of women who have made a conscious decision to make financial choices good for their mindsets, taking full accountability for their financial health.

Financial setbacks and how to refocus your goals

Having a financial plan in a pandemic, with so much uncertainty, predicting what the year will bring and the current economic and social challenges, don’t make it easy to achieve our financial goals, Monyae said.

But don’t give up.

“Reassessing your goals and finding small wins will allow an individual to accept reality but still action aspects of their goals. You might want to reevaluate savings amounts, the term of the financial goal or restate the preconditions for that financial goal such as paying debts before you save or cutting down spending on credit cards or redoing your budget,” she added.

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Savings mindset in a pandemic

The past year and a half has resulted in massive job losses and closure of businesses, and having a saving mindset is not a top priority as it was before.

Savings are dependent on our everyday behaviour.

“When we have a savings mindset, we think more carefully about how we spend the money we do have, such as looking for meaningful sales, checking and comparing prices, looking for more affordable quality no-brand name items. A financial mindset creates awareness of interest rates on loans taken and searches for more information before making a financial decision,” said Monyae.

Financial health and savings. Picture: iStock

Ways to practise self-care to meet your financial needs

  • Find time to relax
  • Go outside – it doesnt cost you anything but has a lot of value
  • Take time to read a book
  • Get enough sleep
  • Play outside with kids
  • Picnics

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Take full accountability for your financial health

Certain financial decisions are bound to lead to mistakes but these can be corrected.

Monyae explains this means an individual takes “time to create a financial vision with clear financial goals and execute the necessary steps in achieving those goals”.

Don’t be despondent when things don’t go according to plan. Identify what has not worked and make the necessary changes.

‘Women are better with money’

There is a perception that women make better money decisions because the base their choices on family needs first.

How can one practise responsible financial spending when it comes to family matters? Monyae says this question is a challenging one.

“Because we want the best for our families, and we want to support our families through challenging times. There is no right or wrong answer as each circumstance and need is different.”

She advises that people should consult a financial adviser, saying getting an expert to look at their finances is a great place to start.

“It can help you make the appropriate financial decisions without being too emotionally involved and can help you prioritise,” she adds.

If you are looking to splurge do so, depending on your affordability. Financial freedom comes when you understand your goals and getting expert advice, Monyae concludes.