At the beginning of this year, nearly 60% of South Africans said saving money was their top goal for 2020, according to a YouGov survey. And while New Year’s resolutions are often already abandoned by February – with only 27% of African respondents in a GeoPoll survey claiming to have met ‘all or most’ of their 2019 goals – Covid-19 has surely made it particularly difficult to stick to even the best-laid financial plans this year. “As an especially challenging year draws to a close, we’re all looking to 2021 for the promise of a fresh start,” says Brett Cameron, Head of Old Mutual Rewards. “But if you really want the best chances of sticking to your 2021 financial goals, don’t wait until late December to plot them out.”
“Start making your resolutions right now, well before the beginning of the holiday season, when we’re out of our routines and more inclined to be impulsive,” Cameron explains. Not only does this give you enough time to craft a really solid plan, but it also makes the stress of the dreaded ‘Janu-worry’ much less of a hurdle. Stress can make us fall back on old habits.”
Whether your goal is to build an emergency fund, put aside money to invest, or even to save for a much-needed holiday after a #20Plenty gone seriously awry, knowing exactly what you need to do, step-by-step, gives you the strongest possible start. It also means you can still avoid overspending or getting into festive debt, which would be a bad start to 2021.
Of course, putting together a plan can in itself feel daunting, especially if your finances are not in great shape right now. But Old Mutual Rewards, a loyalty rewards programme open to everyone (even if you’re not an Old Mutual customer) gives you not only a clear way forward with your finances but also rewards you for every small step you take towards your personal financial goals.
Because the digital rewards programme gives you points every time you make a smart choice or learn a new money skill, it motivates you to stick to your resolutions throughout the year. And when you do, you can even use your points to treat yourself along the way as points can be spent on:
- fuel at Total garages
- airtime and data from all the major cellular providers
- food at top spots like Bootleggers, Kauai, KFC, Krispy Kreme, Nandos, Nü, Primi, Steers, and Wimpy
- clothing and outdoor gear at Sportsmans Warehouse or Outdoor Warehouse
- nationwide retailers such as Woolworths, Checkers, Shoprite and Dis-Chem.
For those determined to make 2021 their best financial year yet, Cameron offers five steps:
1. Get your hands on your credit report – earn 100 points
Old Mutual Rewards members can request their free credit report annually via the rewards programme’s digital platform. It’s completely private and secure, and a credit coach can help you make sense of your report and advise you on improving your score.
Cameron says, “it is essential to know exactly where you currently stand on the spectrum of financial wellness to set realistic goals and an appropriate action plan”.
2. Speak to a financial adviser – earn 250 points
Fill out a simple form and an Old Mutual financial adviser will get in touch to discuss your unique financial priorities, from investment and education to retirement and life insurance.
3. Use 22Seven to budget for a better year – earn up to 1400 points
By downloading the app and selecting ‘Earn Old Mutual Rewards’, you can link your Old Mutual Rewards account to your 22Seven profile and start earning points for simple but effective budgeting habits.
4. Learn financial planning skills – earn up to 750 points
Sign up for free, short courses with Moneyversity on the loyalty rewards programme’s digital platform. Here you can learn how to build a bright financial future, which includes making an emergency plan. You could also buy a book about personal finances from book stores on Uber Eats using your Old Mutual Rewards points.
“All the Moneyversity lessons are insightful and relatable, meaning you will definitely leave each course having learnt applicable skills.”
5. Use your points to treat yourself
“We know that part of any journey of hard work and discipline is taking moments to celebrate and reward yourself,” says Cameron.
To this end, Old Mutual Rewards has partnered with some of South Africa’s leading brands to ensure that your hard-earned points equate to a real treat. The customer rewards programme’s newest partners include Woolworths. Soon to be launched too is HealthSpas, a national directory of some of the best spas in the country. Isn’t that exactly what you need right now?