National Savings Month is upon us again. July has been declared Savings Month by the South African Savings Institute in an effort to encourage people to save.

Savings should be an essential part of our financial management but the fact is that, for most of us, it isn’t. Consumers are under pressure and the debt to income ratio now sits at about 78%. That means that not only are people not saving, but most South Africans are spending most of their salaries each month paying back debt.

Before we can start saving and investing, we need to start get our debt levels under control. Only once this is achieved can we effectively save. It is important to save for the following reasons:

  • Emergencies. “Life happens”, as they say, and should you find yourself in a situation where you burst two tyres or are temporarily out of work, you can fall back on your emergency fund. Often people are forced into debt for lack of this safety net and repaying this debt then becomes an added burden, and one you have to live with long after the crisis has been resolved.
  • Creating financial independence. You need sufficient money saved and invested so that when you no longer work, your money can work for you and sustain you. This requires a strict savings and investment discipline throughout your working life.
  • Short, medium and long term goals. Saving for that holiday or new car - and being able to pay for it in cash - eliminates the lingering financial stress that paying off such items on credit brings. It means that you are in a better financial position in the long term as you are not paying the bank to service your debt, but the bank is paying you interest as you are able to continue saving towards the next goal. Make sure that your goals are financially sound, that attaining them will enable you to continue living within your means, and that you don’t put off savings for your retirement.

Once you know what you saving for, you will be more disciplined in order to achieve it. Saving for the sake of saving doesn’t work. Remember that it is never to early or too late to start saving. As long as you have some sort of income, be it a salary (for most of us) or an allowance/pocket money (for varsity students and teens) you can save a portion of it. It is recommended that you save at least 15% of your monthly income. While it may not seem like much, with time, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Proverbs 21:20 says “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.”

While there are many demands on our pocket, the Bible in this passage speaks against wasting our finances. The benefits of saving and investing means you can enjoy peace of mind and secure a better financial tomorrow. There is wisdom in that.

Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant at Citadel.

slider 1 1170x400

couples fight moneyWe have spoken about financial accountability and being responsible for yourself and – particularly later on in life – those you care for. 

We have also spoken about some lessons that not only the youth but everyone should take to heart.

One of the common questions that has come up has been: how do couples handle money?

Regardless of whether or not someone has a surplus of money, finances can be a big source of conflict.

What is it that we need to consider when handling money as a couple? Regardless of your age, consider the following:

  • A couple that is dating will have a very different conversation about money than a couple that is looking to marry or one that is married.
  • Communicate with each other about your finances and seek guidance when in need. Do not leave it up to chance or “go with the flow”.
  • Financial support is seen as an emotional need. Being responsible for and accountable to each other will ensure that you are able to meet this need for your partner.
  • Budget together and review this budget regularly. This way you know the state of your financial affairs and very little comes as a surprise. As a start be sure to record all purchases and expenses so no money slips through the cracks until you develop financial discipline as a couple.
  • Combine your resources. You are a union and you can’t want to function separate of your spouse/partner.

The Bible in Proverbs 21:5 says: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty. But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty”.

Remember to separate financial talks from relationship talks. Your biggest advantage will be to approach your finances logically rather than emotionally and to remove any unnecessary pressure and influence.

Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant at Citadel.

blog equippingyoungpeopleinfostercare 2015At each stage of life our responsibilities are different. We spoke last week about being accountable and how our responsibilities increase as we earn more and gain more dependents and obligations. It is youth month but you aren’t excluded if you are a little older. There are certain lessons and habits that need to be learnt and practiced in one’s youth if we are to manage our finances effectively tomorrow.

While these lessons apply to everybody, the youth in particular (who have the most time on their side) should be aware of them:

Money is worked for, it doesn’t fall from the sky and therefore needs to be managed appropriately

Start good financial habits as early as possible. Make a habit of budgeting and saving. If you can develop these habits now you will carry them well into the future

Do not spend to fit in with society. Make sure that what you are spending on will benefit you not only today but in the future as well. Spending to keep up with friends will leave you penniless and without money tomorrow.

Galatians 6:4-5 says “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load”.

We live in quite a materialistic world where people are servants to their money. Develop the correct money habits and as scripture says carry your own weight. That is so much more rewarding.

Also remember what Proverbs 13:11 says, “Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles but the one who gathers by labour increases it.”

How you go about gathering wealth will have a big impact on your life. Make wise decisions.

Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant at Citadel.

Finance Blog by Lesetja Madiba

Thumbnail LISTENER Q&A OCTOBER – NOVEMBER  1. In a relationship, what is best, to manage money together or separately? (Lerato) This is one of those questions...
More inFinance Blog  

List Your Parish Here!

parishdirect

Radio Veritas is Building a Comprehensive listing of Parishes and Mass Times for travellers and others
Be a part of Southern Africa's First Online Parish Directory and list your Parish here!

Click Here!

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.

Login Here

Important Links

sacbc

The Southern African 
Catholic Bishops' Conference

Light A Candle

prayer candles1

A St Vincent de Paul Initiative ot raise funds for the needy 

catholiconline 1

South Africa's only Catholic web resources and information portal

header logo scrossSouthern Africa's only Catholic Weekly
Newspaper 

topbanner

A Brotherhood of
Catholic Gentlemen
in South Africa

VAlogo

Up to date News
straight from the
Vatican

marfam ad 2

Catholic Family Life
Resources and 
Information

immac logo newNational Online Repository and Catholic Media