It’s hard to think clearly when your finances are spinning out of control. But there are people who can help, who will listen to your problems and help you find solutions! These are the six people to turn to when you’re in a financial crisis!
1. A financial adviser
Financial advisers can help you get your finances under control! He or she will help you budget effectively, draw up a debt payment plan, and help you find ways to save money.
Find one: Visit the FPI website or listing directories such as Find an advisor and Find a financial planner. Your bank, insurer or investment company, or your employer, may also have a listing of advisers or be able to refer you to an adviser.
Top tip: Make sure your adviser is registered with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and negotiate a fee upfront.
2. A tax practitioner
If you have a tax problem, for example you have outstanding returns or taxes or disagree with a SARS assessment, a tax practitioner can help. They will complete your tax returns, analyse your tax returns and any assessments, deal with SARS on your behalf and help you find a solution.
Find one: Contact the South African Institute of Taxation, or ask your financial adviser for a referral.
3. A debt counsellor
If you are in too much debt and/or cannot afford your monthly repayments, a professional debt counsellor can apply for debt review on your behalf and come up with a debt repayment plan. This will make your debt affordable, and you won’t be contacted by creditors for payment as you are in debt review!
However, you need to contact a debt counsellor as soon as there is a problem because they may not be able to help you if a creditor has instituted legal proceedings – such as serving you with a summons.
Find one: The Truth About Money offers debt management services including telephonic debt counselling, debt consolidation and debt settlement, or you can visit the National Credit Regulator to find a registered debt counsellor in your area. Your bank or employer may also have a referral service to a debt counsellor.
4. A counsellor or psychologist
A registered counsellor, psychologist or even a life coach can support and help you in times when a financial crisis is giving you sleepless nights.
Find one: Your GP should be able to refer you to a counsellor or psychologist, your employer may offer counselling services or refer you to a counsellor, or you can use directories such as Therapist Directory and Psychologist today to find local counsellors.
Top tip: SADAG (the South African Depression and Anxiety Group) offers free counselling services.
5. Your money buddy
Your money buddy is a friend or colleague who helps you spend and save wisely. And you do the same for them. In times of crisis, they can listen to your problems, and offer practical solutions and support!
6. Your family
Don’t forget about your family! They can be a source of emotional support, and sometimes financial support too – although make sure you have a formal written agreement if money changes hands.
It can be hard to approach family as you may feel you have let them down! Let them know why you want to talk and how you feel and ask for their support and advice.
Find the way forward
Don’t wait to ask for help – these people are ready, willing and able to help you! Together you can find a solution!