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By Maya Fisher-French
If you've been putting off opening a tax-free savings account, here's a trick to help you get going.
Last week I completed the herculean task of opening tax-free savings accounts for my kids and myself. I have had the forms ready to fill out since April, but they just sat there in my to-do basket, making me feel guilty.
My procrastination was really down to the tediousness of the task. First I had to fill in all the forms – there are four pages per application. This also required deciding on which funds to invest in as the industry has managed to still make tax-free savings choices complicated!
Then I had to find all the supporting documentation: proof of residence and a bank statement – which could not be more than three months old; a copy of my ID; copies of my children's birth certificates; and, it turns out, bank statements of my children's bank accounts on the bank's letterhead.
No wonder I felt overwhelmed by the sheer idea of going through all this admin. But I put some time aside and spent – I kid you not – an entire morning sorting it out. Who has a whole morning to open a savings account!?
Then I read about a study conducted by behavioral psychologists at Pennsylvania State University which found that people have a tendency to complete tasks quickly just for the sake of getting them done sooner. This suggested that people were more likely to complete tasks if they were broken into smaller individual tasks that they could do quickly. Smaller tasks are easier to complete and create a sense of accomplishment on their own as well as bringing you closer to completing your goal.
Break it down
So if you intend to open an investment account but feel a bit overwhelmed by it all, take a tip from these psychologists and break it into the following tasks:
Day one: Select the investment and print the forms
Day two: Fill in the forms and see what documents are required
Day three: Decide what document you will use for proof of residency and locate it
Day four: Obtain your proof of bank account either by printing off your most recent emailed statement or going to the bank
Day five: Make a clear copy of your ID book and any other supporting documents – you are now ready to fax/scan that document and start saving!
It may seem trivial to put time aside just to locate a document, but trust me, you are more likely to start that investment if you set aside ten minutes a day for a week than trying to find a whole morning to get it done.
Article from https://mayaonmoney.co.za/2015/08/a-trick-to-start-you-saving/