Preparing your budget for unexpected expenses

Unexpected events (expenses) such as illness or retrenchment can have a long-lasting impact on you and your family’s financial wellbeing.

To help people prepare for life’s financial setbacks is one of the main reasons why Old Mutual is a proud sponsor of For Better or Worse, says John Manyike, Head of Financial Education at Old Mutual.

“As a leading insurer with nearly 175 years of experience of enabling positive futures for customers, we value opportunities to help South Africans manage their money better.  For Better or Worse, which airs on Mzansi Magic Channel 161 every Tuesday at 21:30, celebrates marriage while sharing insights into the trials and tribulations of real-life couples. The show also delves into the thorny subject of handling financial challenges as a couple,” he says.

For example, in a recent episode Msimelelo and Somikazi Boltina had to cope with trauma and unexpected financial difficulties. Msimelelo was involved in a car accident that left him wheelchair bound. This posed immense financial and psychological challenges in their marriage and they had to grapple with exorbitant medical bills. What enabled them to get through it was rigorous financial planning coupled with being able to separate needs from wants.

Financial setbacks can be a huge blow and can pressure couples to make drastic lifestyle changes just to stay afloat until circumstances change. In some cases, this may mean selling a car, moving to another neighbourhood or moving in with in-laws and changing their children’s schools. It’s crucial for couples to jointly consult a financial adviser to help craft a financial plan which, among other things, covers risks that may materialise in their lives.

“If you no longer receive an income, it’s simply not feasible to carry on as normal. During such a crisis, major financial adjustments are necessary to accommodate monthly financial obligations, including daily living expenses,” says Manyike.

“It is precisely for this reason that financial experts always recommend that couples consult a financial adviser while they are employed to get an understanding of risk products that offer protection and peace of mind in case the unexpected happens,” he adds.

Catch the next episodes of For Better or Worse with Mo and Phindi every Tuesday night on channel 161 (Mzansi Magic) at 21:30 to hear more stories about couples who navigate the highs and lows of marriage, especially the challenge of managing money responsibly and harmoniously.

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