Personal investing

Can you save more?

Whether you are just doing a regular check up on your long-term investments or evaluating your monthly savings plan, it is a good idea to review your financial decisions at least once a year. July is savings month and the perfect time to take stock, writes Lettie Mzwinila.

Am I paying myself enough? This is a question many investors fail to ask themselves. By saving, you are effectively paying yourself: You are setting money aside to help realise your goals and building a financial buffer to ease the bumpy periods when life happens. Finding the space in your budget to save, after taking your monthly expenses into account, can feel like a daunting task, but once you get started, you’ll realise that all it requires is some planning and discipline.

Setting your savings targets 

While there is no magic number that works for everyone, you may want to start saving some money to build a fund that can cover unexpected financial emergencies. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to save enough to cover your living expenses for at least three months. It takes most people quite some time to accumulate this amount, but by contributing regularly it can be achieved. 

Your savings targets should be determined by what you are saving for, how much you need to save and how much time you have to save for it. Once you have worked this out, you will need to commit. Thinking of your savings and investments as essential fixed expenses that need to be paid each month can help you create the discipline you require for successful saving and long-term investing.

Am I paying myself enough? 

To help you answer this question, you should evaluate these different areas in your financial life: 

Having a real overview of these four areas can help you get started, ensuring that you are paying yourself enough and securing your financial future, one month at a time. As with any goal, being realistic about your needs, and not being too hard on yourself, can go a long way in helping you achieve success. Your future lifestyle depends on the choices you make today, so plan for the healthy financial future you want by paying yourself first.

The financial services, products or investments referred to on this website are not available to persons resident in jurisdictions where their availability or distribution would contravene local laws or regulations and the information on this website is not intended for use by these persons. This website is for information only and does not in any way constitute a solicitation or offer by Allan Gray Proprietary Limited or any of its associates or subsidiaries (collectively “Allan Gray”) to buy or sell any financial instruments or to provide any investment advice or service.

By selecting one of the countries below I confirm that I have read and understood the above and that:

(a) I am not a South African citizen; or 
(b) I do not reside in the Republic of South Africa; or 
(c) I am not otherwise a person to whom the communication of the information contained in this website is prohibited by the laws of my home jurisdiction; and 
(d) I am not acting for the benefit of any such persons mentioned in (a),(b) and (c) and 
(e) I confirm that any investment with Allan Gray is based on my own initiative and not due to any offer or solicitation by Allan Gray.