Personal-Finance

Financial tools to keep you on track in 2020

2020-01-25 11:24

From apps that help you keep an eye on your expenses to tools that assist with setting up your retirement pot, Angelique Ruzicka and Maya Fisher-French look at what tech you can use to sort out your money issues 

USE YOUR BANK’S MONEY TOOLS

Capitec: The Capitec budgeting tool helps you set a budget based on your income and needs. By using the tool, you are able to explore categories in more detail and make financial decisions about your financial priorities.

Nedbank: MyPocket allows savers to compartmentalise money into separate “pockets” for each expense and goal. A Nedbank spokesperson says: “MyPocket is Nedbank’s hassle-free money management feature that can be linked to any Nedbank transactional account at no charge. No matter your age, income or budget, you can start this year by saving for daily expenses, emergencies or goals from as little as R1.”

FNB: The FNB app provides a money tool that allows you to track your spending so that you spend less than you earn. The feature keeps tabs on your cash flow and provides spending tips to manage your cash better. It also provides information on your credit status.

Absa: Absa allows its customers to easily invest in various savings and investment options through its app and its website tools. Christine Wu, managing executive: customer value management at Absa, says: “Some examples are fixed deposits, unit trusts and savings accounts. We also have financial calculators for mortgages on the web. Access to credit management is also facilitated via our app and online systems.”

Standard Bank: Standard Bank customers can get guidance on which savings options are best for them by inputting how much they want to save, the term they want to save for and how much they want to deposit. You can also see how much you’d save if you add lump sums or increase your monthly instalments on your home loan. This is available through the app and the website.

Finance calculator: The Nedbank website has great tools to calculate home loans and car payments. You can play around with affordability, extra payments and the impact a deposit has on your finance costs. You do not have to be a client – simply go to nedbank.co.za, click on tools and guidance, and then click on calculators.

GoalSave: If you have a TymeBank EveryDay account, you can create up to 10 different GoalSaves and give them each a name – for example: school, holiday or rainy day. If you’re willing to wait 10 days for your payout, the bank will give you a bonus on top of the money you saved and the interest you’ve already earned.

SWIPE AND SAVE

Old Mutual Money Account: If you open this transactional account, you’re asked to select an amount of between 5% and 15% of every card purchase to transfer into a money market unit trust in your name. For example, if you spend about R5 000 a month and you set the savings at 10%, it will take R500 from your account and invest it in an Old Mutual Money Market Unit Trust.

Bank your change: This FNB feature allows you to allocate money linked to your savings account every time you spend. Essentially, it is a virtual piggy bank for your loose change. You can choose to round up to the nearest R1, R5, R10, R20 or R50.

Multiply: This rewards programme offered by Momentum turns discounts into real savings. While you qualify for discounts at partners such as Pick n Pay, Makro, CNA and some online stores, you can opt to rather receive cash back. For example, depending on your status, you may qualify for a 20% discount at CNA. You purchase a R500 voucher, but, rather than taking the discount of R100, you still pay R500, but R100 is transferred into a high-interest-bearing account. You can use this to build up your emergency fund. This means the discount really is “saving” money.

Stash: This app, available at the Apple Store and on Google Play, allows for an easy savings experience as you can simply tap the app and transfer money – from R10 to thousands – into your investment, whenever you feel like it.

For example, you may decide to skip the take-away coffee and reward your discipline by tapping R25 into your Stash account. The app invests the money in South Africa’s top 40 companies through a tax-free savings account. There are no fees and you don’t pay any investment tax. Although it is backed by financial services firm Liberty, you don’t have to be a Liberty client and you’ll get R10 put into your Stash account when you sign up.

FINANCIAL HEALTH AND GOALS

22Seven: Backed by Old Mutual, this budgeting app enables you to see all your accounts, transactions, savings and investments in one place. You can link it to all bank, credit, retail and rewards cards and investments to create a detailed budget. You can also transfer savings to a low-cost, index-tracking fund.

Franc: Founded by Thomas Brennan, the former head of digital innovation at Discovery Health, and Sebastian Patel, this app was built to make investing simple and affordable with access to money market funds and the stock exchange. Franc offers two investment options – the Allan Gray Money Market Fund, which has returned an average of 7.87% interest over the past year, and Satrix 40. There’s no minimum investment and Franc charges a 1% fee, which includes the underlying fund management costs.

InvestRight: This tool from Old Mutual is free and easy to use, and can help you to determine how much you need to save and invest for specific financial goals such as retirement or tertiary education. All you need to do is answer five simple questions.

Smart Invest: Provided by Sanlam, this free, do-it-yourself online investing portal helps you reach your financial goals. The only cost is the asset management fee you’ll incur by investing in a unit trust. Ya’eesh Cader, head of digital and e-commerce at Sanlam Investments, says: “Smart Invest is a single platform that helps answer all your questions related to investing. It helps you choose the investment that is right for your specific financial goal, then allows you to track and monitor your investment performance online in real time and at any time. It’s all completely online – no paperwork!”

MyTreasury.co.za: Leaving your money in a transactional account may be one of the reasons your savings aren’t doing very well. MyTreasury is an independent personal finance comparison website that allows you to compare savings options online. It’s free and allows you access to more than 600 different rates at 10 financial institutions.

Outvest: Initiated by Outsurance, Outvest offers goal-based advice and passive investment options through its website and app. There’s a do-it-yourself digital front end, low fees and goal-based calculators, which help you work out how much to save to achieve your goals. Grant Locke, head of Outvest, says: “Anyone can build and manage their tailored investment plan in minutes online or using the app. We are low-cost and use the latest techniques.”

CHECK YOUR RETIREMENT FUNDING

Have you ensured you’re well provided for financially in your golden years? If not, these websites can help you sort that out.

Marriot Income Specialists: It has investment planning tools to help you calculate how much you need to save for retirement, as well as what you need to ensure a financially secure retirement.

10X Investments: This website has a retirement savings calculator and a retirement income calculator.

REVIEW YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS

Insurance is often a neglected area and it can be difficult to calculate what you need. Many people underinsure their lives, income and household contents.

Risk Revealer: This website, powered by Liberty, helps you determine your lifestyle and accidental risk level using animation and by asking some basic questions.

It then provides you with recommended products like lifestyle protection policies.

ASSESS YOUR CREDIT SCORE HEALTH

The Credit Bureau Association says only 188 000 South Africans access their credit report every year – out of a total of 25 million credit-active consumers. Here are some simple tools to make use of to ensure you keep track of your score.

TymeCoach: Offered by TymeBank, this allows you to check your credit score for free and gives tips on how to improve it. It will also give you credit score alerts, which will notify you if there are any changes.

MyFincheck: Developed by Fincheck, this offers you a free credit report with the option to receive a monthly credit report update via a subscription.

TransUnion: It’s easy to download your credit report from transunion.co.za. Check if your details are correct and, if you want to dispute anything, call TransUnion on 0861 482 482.

Experian: Always check your credit score at more than one bureau – you are entitled to an annual free check from each bureau.


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February 23 2020