qa1. In a relationship, what is best, to manage money together or separately? (Lerato)

  • This is one of those questions that there is no easy answer to. The financed need to be managed together you cannot have two people in one relationship pulling in two different directions
  • I would like to say that the level of financial intimacy depends on the level of the relationship. If you started dating yesterday then there is no point in sharing the intricacies but when you have been together for some time and especially as you are preparing for marriage then the finances need to be discussed
  • It is up to you as a couple if you would like to have a joint account or separate accounts. Some have said that they feel that is a little invasive and some have argued that it has helped to keep them accountable because they then think twice before spending
  • It is a difficult conversation but one that needs to be had. Remember that a relationship is a partnership, love shouldn’t be given in exchange for monetary rewards.

2. Any advice on how best to make use of the 13th cheque? (Themba)

  • Themba thanx for such a question. It is a question with a wide range of answers. There are quite a few things that one can do with that 13th pay cheque. However ultimately it should help relieve some financial pressure
  • .One of the things I have emphasised in the “Surviving the Festive Season” Series is proper and careful planning. 
  • The 13th pay cheque shouldn’t be seen as a license to spend more or to make larger purchases.
  • Think of how your 13th pay cheque could pay for school fees in January for the children, stationary or uniform
  • You could start an investment with some of it
  • Pay off debt or at least reduce the debt

3. So I recently got a lump sum of money from my shares. I have a dilemma. I got involved in a car accident a few months ago, car was a write off and didn’t get much out of it. I need a new car, hence my dilemma, I have enough to buy cash a second hand car using money from my shares money, or should I use the money to put in a huge deposit for a brand new car? (Ashton)

  • The short answer is avoid debt.
  • If the shares were cashed with the sole purpose of getting the car and that was the plan so be it
  • You just have to be very careful to take your time in looking and make sure you get value for your money
  • Remember that your need is Transport don’t cloud it with fancy optional extras, it often happens we have a legitimate need and then want to add things we shouldn’t be adding.
  • Things like mag rims, leather seats and music systems are all great but sticking to the essentials will save you money and might even leave you with change

4. When times are tough, which often is the case, is it wise to borrow from one’s savings or should just one get a separate loan? (Simba)

  • Before one thinks of borrowing the day to day finances should be managed with a strict budget and what we can a daily budget diary. Once those things are recorded and you know exactly where the money is going you can look at cutting back
  • No matter how much one has discipline is required
  • If it does happen that one needs to borrow then its better to avoid a paying interest, as long as you will then make changes in your finances to pay yourself back
  • Loans and debt are made so glamorous and at times people would have survived without the loans. Before borrowing you should have exhausted every other cost cutting avenue and it should be an absolute last resort
  • While a loan may provide temporary relief, you don’t want to get into a cycle of debt. Always remember that the money needs to be paid back. Not making loan repayments has other implications

Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant at Citadel.


Christmas Savings 149x225Christmas decorations have started coming up, summer is in full swing just about and most of us are quite ready for holiday. We look forward to the Christmas season but it can quickly become a financial obstacle course. As we will be trying to dodge all the different expenses.

If we are to survive the festive season and come out of it financially well there are quite a lot of situations we need to navigate wisely. The festive season sees consumer spending reach a maximum and research in the past has shown that despite negative economic outlooks South Africans continue to spend. If you are to survive the festive season, here are a few things one has to consider and watch out for:

  • Start to plan your finances. Be it the Christmas lunch or a few days away plan these and budget for these things.
  • Decorations go up, the store layout changes and so does the music. All of these things are in an effort to keep you in the store longer. The longer you stay inside a store the more likely you are to make a purchase.
  • It is the season of “Sensational advertising”. After seeing/hearing certain adverts we often feel we can’t live without the products advertised. You have survived so far, don’t fall for it
  • The festive season and special occasions don’t change dates, we know they are coming so do the wise thing to have a plan for them, start saving the money for them as soon as possible and avoid the last minute rush

Proverbs 12:11 says “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense”. A salary nowadays is hard earned, the bible speaks about having plenty finances (bread) if you work for it. Therefore making unnecessary purchases and wasting money is senseless.
After all if you don’t have a plan to spend your money someone else will. Start to discipline yourself heading into the festive season and come out of it financially well.

Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant at Citadel.The Festive Season is Upon us


stokvel 300x225As a citizen of South Africa you have no doubt heard the term “stokvel”. Stokvels are also known as group savings clubs, societies or social clubs, and lately even investor clubs.

A stokvel is defined as a savings society where members regularly contribute, usually monthly, an agreed amount to a central fund. Once the contributions are collected, the stokvel will pay out a pre-determined sum or percentage to a different member each month.

Research reveals that 42% of South African households use stokvels as a savings tool, proving their popularity. Here are a few important things to be aware of and consider in relation to stokvels:

There are many different types of stokvels and each serves a specific purpose. The most common type is the “contribution stokvel” referred to above. There are also party stokvels, grocery stokvels and stokvels that will only pay out at under certain circumstances (such as in the event of death) or at certain times (like Christmas time).

  • Stokvels are often governed by a constitution. The constitution includes information pertaining to contribution amounts, duties of each member, the type of stokvel, when meetings will be held, etc.
  • Members rarely default. The sense of community and shared responsibility is defining trait of this type savings scheme.
  • Knowing when you will get your pay-out makes it easier to develop and execute a financial plan.
  • As a way of encouraging savings, some banks now offer specific accounts for stokvels; the benefits of which differ from bank to bank.

Stokvels are a great initiative. However they need to viewed as one of many savings tools available. One should not forego a retirement investment, for example, in favour of exclusively using stockvels. The reason being, even if you are still saving, other types of savings and investment vehicles offer various other benefits that stokvels don’t (such as being geared towards long-term investing, or offering tax saving benefits, etc).

Proverbs 21:20 says “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” The Bible encourages us to save and not to spend every cent we bring in or otherwise waste money. The money you receive as a stokvel member should be used wisely and should benefit you not only today but into the future as well.

Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant at Citadel.

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Finance on Friday

Personal Financial Coaching with Lesetja Madiba

IMG 3437Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant and has a B.Comm Statistics.
He discusses Personal Finances live on a Friday during Changing Gear at 17h00.
Podcasts of these talks are also available.
Click HERE  for Lesetja's Profile and contact details.
Click HERE to read Lesetja's latest Financial Advice Blog.

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