Managing your finances does not have to be difficult. Here are five easy steps for you to keep your finances under control.
Set Up a Budget
This is your first step. Review what expenses must be spent each month. Do not include expenses that are not necessary. Be honest and strict with your necessities. If you already have a budget, review it and cut back the unnecessary expenses.
Your budget is important because budgeting gives you a better understanding of where your money goes every month. Budgets let you see ways to save on expenses. They help you determine if you have funds left for savings and spending at your discretion.
Start a Savings Plan
If you do not yet have savings, make a plan to get started. Keep aside an amount on your payday itself. Decide how much money you can put into savings and stick to that amount.
The goal of your savings plan is to save an amount equal to six months of your current income. This is your cash reserve for emergencies. Once your cash reserve goal has been met, you can decide if you want to make investments that are not as liquid as cash in the bank.
Avoid Debt wherever and whenever Possible
After budgeting and saving, you need to be strict about debt management. Avoid at all costs, the use of credit cards. If you have a credit card, do not use it unless it is very necessary. Never take funds from savings to pay credit card bills. Credit cards should only be held and used for emergencies or unexpected expenses that you can cover quickly.
Strengthen Your Credit Rating
You should not use more than fifty percent of your credit card limit. Even better is to keep the amount of credit you use at twenty to thirty percent. Stick to this principle and your credit rating will improve greatly. Also pay your bills and debts on time as they influence the credit rating. Having a great credit rating will help you qualify for a loan in the future.
Be Insured for Health Expenses
Make sure you have some form of medical insurance. Pick a policy that has higher deductible limits to keep your monthly payment low. This insurance is to protect you against catastrophic medical expenses. After your cash reserve and savings plans are fulfilled you can consider more comprehensive medical insurance.
There may be times when you may need financial help to manage your business projects. For businesspeople working on projects in Africa, the African Development Bank can be approached for necessary finances. You can also seek ADB-USTDA Trust Fund for funding feasibility study of businesses. Other institutions that can help you with finances include African Enterprise Fund, New South Africa Management Fund, Southern African Enterprise Development Fund, and Ghana Venture Capital Fund and so on.
Other organisations like the African Chambers of Commerce, The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, African Embassies in the US and The Africa Project Development Facility can be crucial resources to assist you in identifying possible ventures in the African countries.