Finances, Life Lessons

Tax-free savings account: What’s the catch?

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So what is this Tax-Free Savings account, and what is the catch?

Its a question I’ve been trying to find answers to, and I think I finally have it in an easy and simple way to understand.

So here it goes …

The Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) is a simple savings facility for you to use when saving over a medium to long-term. The growth that you will experience in the plan is completely tax free, which means large returns for you at the end of the day. The TFSA plan allows you to save and it offers peace of mind, because you can access your money at any time (subject to a few rules). However, the point of the TFSA is not to be accessed on a monthly (or even annual/short-term basis). Instead, it allows you to save for medium to long-term goals.

You have the flexibility to withdraw from a TFSA at any time. However, if you withdraw, it will count against your yearly (R30 000) and lifetime contribution (R500 000) limits. For example, if you invest R30 000, and you withdraw R10 000 before the end of the same tax year, you’re left with a balance of R20 000. This means that you will not be able to contribute for the rest of the year, as you will only be able to contribute again in the new tax year. To play it safe, always remember that your yearly contributions are limited to R30 000.

 

Because the growth in the plan is completely tax free, it means:

– There is no capital gains tax when you access your money or switch between funds.
– You don’t pay dividend tax on all dividends earned in an investment.
– You don’t pay any interest income tax, which is usually imposed on any interest earnings in an investment.
– You don’t pay tax on any withdrawals from the TFSA.

 

More features

You can choose whether you want to pay a monthly amount (R2 500 per month max or certain minimum requirements might be applicable) or make annual lump sum contributions (R30 000 p.a. max) into your TFSA. Important to remember is that any contributions above these limits will be subject to 40% tax. So, please don’t go there!

You don’t have to commit to a specific investment term for your monthly investments. You can select how long you want to make payments into your plan, and how long you want to keep your money invested. However, keep in mind that the longer your money is invested, the more you will benefit from tax-free growth.

Even though there are limits as to how much you can invest, there are no limits on the growth of your investment. So once again, the longer you stay invested, the more you benefit from tax-free growth in the long run.

Information taken from The Wealth Room

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Taryn Leigh Armstrong

Finances, Life Lessons

Awesome tips to stress-free Budgeting

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The word Budgeting sometimes feels like a swear word in all our homes. Even if you do Budget, it always seems so easy to sway off the budgeting pathway as the month progresses.

Careful understanding however of where your money goes, will give you ways to save more than spend.

 

Here are some helpful tips that I found off The Wealth Room website:

 

  1. Understand the goal

The goal of a budget is to help us control our spending, so we can spend less than we make and focus our spending on what matters most to us.

 

  1. Save first  

Rather than saving what is left over at the end of the month, save first and spend the rest. This strategy takes advantage of behavioural finance. By getting money out of your check account and into savings first, you are less likely to spend your savings during the month.

 

  1. Track spending for a week

This will show you how spending even small amounts of money adds up over time. It will also reveal areas of spending that otherwise go unnoticed. Ideally, you should track your spending for a full month, but even tracking for a week can provide valuable information about your spending patterns.

 

  1. Use the 3-category budget

Most people overspend in just a few categories. Common examples include eating out, buying clothes, buying gadgets and entertainment. Using the data accumulated from tracking your spending, pick the three budget categories you’d like to bring under control, and monitor your spending in just these areas. The 3-category budget is easy to implement and can have a significant effect on your finances.

 

  1. Try the 50/20/30 plan

With this plan, 50% of your income goes to necessities, 20% to long-term savings, and 30% to lifestyle choices. This plan can be a good starting point if you struggle to decide just how much you should spend on individual budget categories.

 

Happy Budgeting everyone

 

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Taryn Leigh Armstrong

 

Finances, Life Lessons, Products I Love

Looking for a CHARITY to support? Try POPUP

It’s very rare to find a Charity Organization that focuses on every aspect of a person’s life, from their emotional status and daily needs, all the way through to up-skilling and training them.

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POPUP (People Upliftment Programme) is a non-profit organisation with a holistic approach to the upliftment of under-privileged communities thereby ensuring that all the needs of individuals are addressed – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. POPUP renders services to all persons living in Tshwane (in the Gauteng province, South Africa) and the surrounding areas regardless of race, culture, gender or religion. Currently POPUP’s main centre is situated in Salvokop, Pretoria. POPUP also expanded with a second centre in Soshanguve

 

POPUP has amazing ways of helping the underprivileged, they comprise of:

  • A Soup Kitchen
  • A Free Clothing Store
  • A Daycare centre
  • A Food programme
  • Food parcels
  • Counselling
  • Skills development & Training
  • Job creation & placement
  • Medical, Dental & Eye-care services

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Should you wish to get involved you can volunteer in one of the categories, you could donate money to their organization, or you could download their ‘needs list’ and donate some of the items on their list.

They host a POPUP Market, where the proceeds benefit the entrepreneur exhibiting his / her products at their premises. They truly believe in enriching lives, enriching communities.

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For more info on this amazing Charity Organization, visit their website here

If you want to make a donation, you can do so into their banking account

POPUP BANKING DETAILS:

Name of account: POPUP

Name of bank: ABSA

Branch name: Hatfield

Type of account: Current cheque account

Account number: 4050 663 335

Branch code: 335-545

Reference: Own details

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Remember, we all can make a difference in someone’s life, even if it’s by donating to organizations like POPUP, and enabling them, through your donation, to change the life of the people they reach.

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Leigh

Finances

11 Certain ways to SAVE MONEY on your grocery bill

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With tough economic times at hand. Here are some very practical ways to save money on your grocery bill.

Install the app “Snap N Save
South Africa now has an amazing coupon App called Snap N Save. This app gives you coupons with discounts off various brands. All you do is check what coupons are available before you go shopping. Buy the items on the coupon list that you need. Snap a copy of your till slip using the App and get credited for the amount you saved.

Read the pricing labels properly at supermarkets
Some supermarkets like Pick n Pay now show the price per 100g or price per litre on the pricing sticker. Use this measurement and only this to accurately compare pricing. Because one brand might appear cheaper on shelf but what you aren’t noticing is its a smaller bottle than another brand so in effect you are losing money.

Buy non perishables in bulk when it’s on special
Best thing you can do is buy detergents, toilet paper and toiletries in bulk when it goes on special. Calculate what you consume in a year. For example if you purchase 1 tube of toothpaste a month, you use 12 in the year. So when toothpaste goes on special buy all 12 instead of just 1.
Also important to note is that bulk stores like Makro aren’t necessarily the cheapest on detergents and toiletries. Shop around. Most times bulk stores like Makro make up for their discounted margin on toiletries but might be cheapest on groceries. They know if you in there buying your groceries you will be forced to just buy toiletries because you don’t want the hassle of looking else where.

Don’t make unnecessary trips to the store
To save money don’t waste petrol with daily trips to the store. Everyday items like milk and bread can be bought in bulk and frozen and taken out when needed.

Don’t go shopping when you hungry
If you go shopping when you hungry, you are more likely to spend money buying take out food. This is wasted money. Eat at home before shopping. If you have kids, make sure they fed and pack some fruit or snacks from home to give them when they start crying for something.

Start a coffee savings
If you are someone who loves to buy a cappuccino when you are out of the house, know that you are bleeding money. Every R20 spent on a cup of coffee is money you could have saved. So make a deal with yourself. For every cup of coffee you buy, whether take away coffee or in a restaurant, put that exact same amount into savings. Do it immediately. So when you order that coffee, immediately use your cell phone banking and transfer that R20 into a savings account. You will be amazed how much you end up with at the end of the year.

Set a weekly cooking menu and make a shopping list.
Before you leave the house, write out a menu for the week. Then look through your cupboard and fridge and make a shopping list of the ingredients you are missing. That way you don’t get tempted to buy what you don’t need.

Shop weekly not monthly
Trust me on this one. It saves money because you don’t buy things you “think you need or will use” and you run less of a risk of perishables like fruit and vegetables going rotten.

Know what “Take Out” or restaurant specials are on which days
Spur has a two burgers for the price of one on Mondays and Steers has it on Wednesdays. If you want to buy take out, only get it on the days when specials are available.

Sign up for every free loyalty programme out there
This is free money. Use it. It adds up. Whether it’s a Spur, Woolworths, Clicks or Dischem cards. It’s money for nothing. Take it.

Put your money in an envelope
Decide what your food budget is for the week. If it’s R1000 then withdraw R1000 put it in an envelope and go shopping with that. Leave your cards at home. You will be amazed how you will be forced to find ways to shop wisely when you know you have no other money to spend on that grocery bill. Sounds silly but it works!

Happy Shopping. Feel free to comment and leave any tips or tricks you have or let us know if any of these add value to your life.