How to get financially fit during lockdown

The coronavirus may have slowed the South African economy. But, say the experts, there’s really no time like the lockdown to hone your money skills. Here’s how to get started with free online tools from Old Mutual Rewards – and earn points while you’re at it.

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8 April 2020: In a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, South Africa entered a 21-day national lockdown at midnight on Thursday, 26 March. Confined to our homes for three weeks, we’ve had to find creative ways to pass the time.

Binge-watching nineties sitcoms might work for a while. Still, there is a far more constructive use of this time that you might not have considered, says Brett Cameron, Head of Old Mutual Rewards, the only rewards programme that recognises South Africans for achieving their financial goals.

April just so happens to be Financial Literacy Month, an annual reminder of the importance of cultivating healthy financial habits. “It’s the ideal opportunity to take stock of your finances, learn new money skills, and plot your goals,” says Cameron. “Now, more than ever, we need to take an honest look at what we have and plan ahead to ensure our future.”

Of course, in the same way, that going straight from the couch to lifting heavy weights could leave you seriously injured, so it’s important to build your financial fitness slowly and steadily, starting with the basics: good form and realistic goals.

This three-step training plan from Old Mutual Rewards turns your efforts into points you can use to buy airtime, vouchers, or even invest in kickstarting an emergency fund.

Follow it to finish the lockdown smarter – and richer – than you started.

1. Bed down the basics for 135 points

Under the ‘Financial Wellbeing Programme,’ you’ll find a range of nifty education tools, including videos, quizzes, calculators and assessments. They’re straightforward to follow and take just a few short minutes to complete. Each activity helps you assess your current financial fitness and explains exactly how to get to the next level.

2. Get on top of your budget for 1 750 points

The lockdown is an excellent opportunity to get comfortable with your budget. For starters, request your free credit report and understand what it says about the state of your money matters. This is worth 100 points if you haven’t already obtained your report this year.

Then, download the 22SEVEN budgeting app (and earn up to 1 400 points) to help you make the necessary changes to get you financially fit. 22Seven, which is owned by Old Mutual, allows you to see all your accounts, transactions, savings and investments in one place.

And once you’ve sorted out the basics, a financial adviser can help you take your financial goals to the next level. Plus, you can score 250 points for this.

3. Learn how to start building wealth for up to 750 points

In ‘Moneyversity,’ you’ll take a series of courses on wealth-building topics such as saving for retirement or investing in property. Each course consists of videos, infographics and games, and you can choose from Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced to suit your skill level.

To kick-start this three-step training plan. Sign up for Old Mutual Rewards today.

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