Responsible financial management lessons shared

The new year is officially in full swing, especially as we bid farewell to the longest and most dreaded month of all, January!
Consumers continue to try and find their balance after waiting for their pay cheques, and for those who failed to budget wisely for the festive season, the wait was certainly an uncomfortably long one.
It continues to be clear that as financially savvy as consumers want to be, they find it difficult to remain disciplined. Very often online budgeting tools are complicated to understand so consumers download them but never really put them to effective use.
“We all strive to live a comfortable life; however, all of this is governed by our knowledge of how to best balance what we earn, what we spend and what we have left at our disposal,” says Ghana Msibi, WesBank’s Executive Head of Sales and Marketing.
WesBank’s Affordability Calculator recommends the following tips aimed at assisting consumers to maintain a financially healthy lifestyle throughout the year and their lives.

Start saving early
Often consumers think they can, or should, only start saving once they earn a considerably high salary. Sure, it’s easier to save when you have more disposable income but saving starts in small amounts. It is important to remember that a little goes a long way. If you are putting something away right now, you should not be put off indefinitely. Saving is a lifelong decision which impacts how early you can retire; as well as having a go-to in case of a financially demanding emergency.
Talking freely and openly about money
Build a culture and norm, particularly within your family of talking freely and openly about money. This will drive the teachings – especially with children from a young age – to better understand the difference between income, expenses and disposable income. It will also offer great support in understanding what is a need and a want – which can help save people from splurging unnecessarily.
Plan for your big purchases
The money that you’re spending on unnecessary items now, such as entertainment or clothing, is money that your future self could be using towards something that will make a real difference to your life – such as a deposit for a house, your children’s school fees or even living comfortably in retirement.
“Living from pay cheque to pay cheque can be stressful, even more so if consumers do not make wise financial decisions. It is important to understand how failure to plan effectively early in life can have a negative impact on how you value money as well as your ability to be successful in life,” says Msibi.

Pain Makes Room For Growth In Aftermarket Business

The Control Instruments Group says the substantial write-offs in its OEM business pave the way for it to focus on its automotive aftermarket business, which is where the future of the Group lies.
While Control Instruments’ decision to exit its foreign OEM operation and downsize its local OEM operation has resulted in significant once-off costs, the decision has eliminated the cash drain from the OEM operations on the Group. It has also reduced the Group’s risk profile.
Control Instruments is now primarily focused on the automotive aftermarket. This means that management and cash resources can be focused on growing the aftermarket business off the back of the profitable and solid performance it has delivered over the past three years.
In addition, the smaller size of the Group has meant that the Group no longer requires a separate head office.
In the announcement, the Group advised shareholders that net write-off of the investment in its foreign OEM operation; the realisation of accumulated foreign currency gains and losses; and the trading losses in respect of foreign OEM operation, amount to approximately R80 million.
Exiting the foreign OEM operation and closing the head office have resulted in once-off costs of approximately R28 million in the results for the year ended 31 December 2011. The 2011 results have also been negatively affected by the restructuring of local OEM operation and trading losses in that business. Consequently the deferred tax asset in the local OEM operation of approximately R23 million has been de-recognised.