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Make financial hygiene a habit for yourself and your money


As devastating as it has been to both the health and economic wellbeing of people across the world, Covid-19 has also provided us with a number of valuable lessons for the future.


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Interestingly, these aren’t limited just to the importance of good personal hygiene as a way of protecting ourselves from illness; there are also interesting parallels that we can draw between looking after our health and developing habits to protect our finances.




Money hygiene habit 1 - Take regular stock of your financial health

Covid-19 has definitely highlighted the truth of that old saying that prevention is better than cure, and it also applies to our finances.” I recommend investing some time regularly to give your finances a thorough check-up and ensure that the goals you set, and habits you have developed, are still serving you well as your circumstances change.


Money hygiene habit 2- Sanitize your spending

Thanks to Covid-19, most of us are more aware than ever of the need to regularly wash and sanitize our hands to prevent infection, and we now need to transfer that good habit to our finances by making sure that we wash away any bad or impulsive spending habits that are impacting on the health of our money. This spending sanitisation is especially important as we approach the festive season.


Money hygiene habit 3 - Mask your money from debt infection

Masks are now largely accepted as an effective way of protecting ourselves, and others from infection. It’s just as important to protect our finances from a form of infection that can also be devastating to our money – debt. While debt is not all bad, and it can be a useful way of accessing what you need, the importance of managing it well, and avoiding exposure to too much of it can’t be overstated.


Money hygiene habit 4 - Keep your distance from bad money decisions

Health experts advise that the best way to prevent infection is to minimise exposure to the virus through social distancing or avoiding direct contact with people who have been exposed to the virus. Money hygiene habit 5 - Avoid fiddling with your investments.


While debt is not all bad, and it can be a useful way of accessing what you need, the importance of managing it well, and avoiding exposure to too much of it can’t be overstated.

Experts remind us to avoid constantly touching our eyes, mouth and nose, as one the precautionary measures against infections. The same advice applies to any investment portfolio, and we need to avoid the temptation to tinker with our asset allocations and our investment plans every time the markets change. The best way to do that, is to avoid allowing yourself to be influenced by short-term market movements and keep your eyes firmly on your long-term goals.


Article was written by Aneesa Razack, CEO of FNB Share Trading.

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Editor's note

American novelist Louisa May Alcott said it best when she said “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

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