“Consider starting the new year by setting aside a bit extra each month to pay into your bond" - Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond

Resolutions worth making in 2022 (and no, it’s not weight loss!)

Unsurprisingly, losing weight, getting in shape, saving money and focusing more on self care are among the most common New Year’s resolutions people make each year, according to one poll.

And while these are certainly positive intentions, we also know that only around 12% of people are able to stick to these new habits. In 2022, rather than undertaking the same old goals, only to give it up some 36 days later, try an alternative approach to your resolutions by committing to easy things that will improve your finances, career and overall wellbeing in the long run.

Here’s a list of great ways to begin.

Try out a new hobby

Finding new creative hobbies is a great way to give yourself a sense of purpose, and feel more productive. If you have an interest in gardening, but the thought of buying a lawnmower and all the gardening equipment you need terrifies you because of the cost, you may want to consider renting these items.

With Teljoy, you can have the equipment you need on a flexible month-to-month contract. By going this route, you won’t get yourself into any unnecessary debt – something you do not need in 2022! And it doesn’t have to be gardening, you could consider photography or sewing, the equipment for both of which you can also rent from Teljoy.

“Our rent to own model prioritises access over ownership, allowing for unlimited use of the unit for no more than the cost of the monthly premium. It’s increasingly the way consumers across the globe are choosing to use electronics, appliances, furniture and even fashion and leisure equipment,”

explains Jonathan Hurvitz, CEO of Teljoy.

Spoil yourself

Treat yourself every now and then, whether it’s with a new item of clothing or jewellery, and it’ll help give your spirits a lift when you need it most any time during the year. Another cool option is to buy from companies that give back to the community. Relate Bracelets, for example, is a 100% not-for-profit enterprise that donates all its earned revenue to social upliftment initiatives across the country. So, you can look stylish while supporting those who most need our help during these challenging times.

Spend your time wisely

Make this the year you achieve some of the resolutions you set for yourself by using your time wisely. Once you’ve decided on a goal, set a timeline for it, for example, mastering the basics of a new hobby by April. Next, set time aside for it, like two hours on a Saturday morning, and be strict about keeping that time aside for your new endeavour. Too often we fritter our spare time away, doing tasks that make us feel busy but that don’t actually help us make progress in life. Make the best use of your time by freeing up a few hours for yourself, and really understanding the value of that time. If home tasks keep you occupied over the weekend, consider booking help on SweepSouth’s home-services app. They have everything from domestic workers to gardeners to help you clean and tidy your home inside and out, plus a list of professionals like handymen to attend to niggly DIY jobs that need doing.

Explore more of your own country

South Africa has so much to offer domestic tourists – even just on your doorstep! And with international travel being difficult to plan at the moment, why not make 2022 the year you explore your own backyard a bit more? If you’ve budgeted some spend for an international holiday, why not use that on a local destination instead? You could splurge on something truly unique like staying in a train on a bridge in the Kruger National Park if you choose Kruger Shalati or you could opt for something in one of the main cities. If you want a seaside holiday, Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront in Cape Town is perfectly positioned for that. If a city escape is more your thing, then Radisson RED Rosebank. Whatever you choose, make more domestic holidays a resolution for you and your family this coming year.

Create a visible online presence

If you have a small business, make this the year you grab the attention of a wider audience by having a more visible and effective online presence. Small businesses in the tourism sector have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic’s fallout, but guesthouses and B&Bs – particularly in villages and other previously disadvantaged environments – can improve their market visibility by teaming up with a bigger company like Jurni. The web-based platform allows travelers to find and book their stays in highly localised areas through the use of a back-end system of data collected about these facilities, thereby helping small business owners grow footfall and then demand. 

Head of Communications and Marketing at Jurni, Tshepo Matlou says

“Small businesses involved in tourism can benefit if they either implement an online footprint or improve on their online accessibility, depending on their digital participation, particularly in the previously disadvantaged pockets of the country, where the issue isn’t competition as much as visibility.”

Become property savvy

Although interest rates are likely to remain comparatively low for the next couple of years, it’s always prudent to plan ahead, says Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond.

“Consider starting the new year by setting aside a bit extra each month to pay into your bond. This will not only save on interest over the long term, but it could also shave a few years off your loan repayment period.”

As an example, by paying just R1 000 extra each month on a 20-year bond for a R1 million home, at the current prime lending rate of 7.25%, it’s possible to save about R219 000 in interest and reduce the loan repayment period by four years.

Coetzee adds that if you are thinking about making 2022 the year you buy a new home, make sure you have all your documentation ready – salary slip, bank statements, household expenses – so that your bond originator can process your application and secure the most competitive interest rate.

“Use BetterBond’s affordability calculator to see what you can afford to spend on a new home based on your expenses and income,”

advises Coetzee. You can also get pre-approval through BetterBond, which will include a credit check so that you start the new year knowing your credit score. New Year’s resolutions should get us excited and motivated, and not be just another thing that needs to be done. It’s worth trying a different approach in 2022 because nothing changes unless something changes.

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