What to tell your younger self about money

Johannesburg - It’s Women’s Month and on August 9 we celebrate Women’s Day, which commemorates a time in 1956 when about 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the restrictive pass laws.  

South African women have come a long way since then but there are still opportunities when we can learn from the past and each other.

Angelique Ruzicka has asked some prominent women about what they would tell their younger selves or communities about money and how to manage it.

Here’s what they had to say:

PATRICIA KOPANE, DA SHADOW MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS

I think the problem in general, especially in the black community, is that our parents don’t play open cards with their money. They would just tell you the money is not there.

I would say we need to teach our children that money must be looked after.

Also we must teach our children it’s not everything – just work hard because you can’t get money easily.

Women must be educated so they can get out of poverty or they must be given skills so they can look after themselves. Currently, there are many women who are not working.

Government should support small businesses as many of them are run by women.

Banks also need to be flexible so that women can get loans from the banks and start small businesses.

Start saving early:

ABIGAIL VISAGIES, NEWS ANCHOR ON ANN7

I would definitely tell my younger self to start saving my money.

Even if you aren’t saving for “rainy days”, which I think you should be doing, the earlier you start saving the bigger your deposit will be for that dream car or dream home or even that expensive spoil you think you deserve from time to time.

Also make time to sit down with your banker and really understand your finances and how it all works in order to make educated financial decisions.

Tackle the smallest debt first:

LISA RALEIGH, MEDIA PERSONALITY, FITNESS AND WELLNESS EXPERT

Use your savings to cancel existing debt and start saving from the bottom again.

If you need to tackle debt, start with your smallest debt first.

This gives you confidence! Once you’ve cleared a few small debts – like clothing accounts – use that little extra residual income to tackle the next, bigger debt.

If you have a credit card, take note of when your monthly statements come in.

We get 55 days of interest-free spending and it is important to make our credit card payments before these days are up.

It is useful to have a “kill and refill” approach to tackling credit card debt.

Rather than simply paying the minimal amount due each month, kill off larger chunks at a time.

Develop a positive attitude:

LIANNE LUTZ OF WOMEN’S WEALTH, WEALTH COACHING AND CONSULTING FOR WOMEN

You have two choices: either continue to live in fear of money or choose to take control of your finances and your attitude towards money.

Put money away in a monthly policy or savings plan; educate yourself by reading books like Wayne Dyer’s The Power of Intention, and develop a positive attitude about money.

Change how you think about money: start believing things can get better, things can change; gently replace negative fearful thoughts with positive, empowered thoughts.

Know that failure is part of life but if you set financial goals, work hard, keep your attention on what you want (not on what you don’t want) and always focus on abundance, your life will get better and your financial situation will constantly improve.

Listen to my dad:

SHERLIN BARENDS, RADIO PRESENTER, KFM

I would tell my younger self to take her dad’s advice: Save to the point that it almost hurts.

In the same breath I appreciate how my mother enjoys the money she has worked so hard for.

I would also tell my younger self to google “compound interest”.

It’s all about balancing what we want/need today versus what we’ll want/need in future.

Use money to create memorable experiences for yourself and others.

Show money respect:

SECHABA G, RADIO PRESENTER, KFM

Treat money with the utmost respect and don’t see it as an immediate commodity.

Money can go a long way, depending on how knowledgeable you are about making it work for you.

As tight as things may seem when you are young, investing and saving is never a bad idea.

Get the right advice:

KAMINI PATHER, WINNER OF MASTERCHEF SA SEASON 2, HOST OF GIRL EAT WORLD, AND MEDIA PERSONALITY

Dear younger me: You were not born to be a hippy, no matter how many pieces of tie-die clothing you own.

You like shiny things. And money makes the world go round, so you need to know exactly what is potting.

And while you may have many other skills, let’s be honest: money management is not your forte. But there are people in the world who have the knowledge to help you, so go and find them.

And as it is with your hair – you may leave the cutting up to the experts, but it is YOU who knows what style you like and what colour and cut suits you – so it is with money; only you know your own needs and financial goals.

So take responsibility for the creation of your own wealth, and give constant input to your adviser.

Check your portfolio. Check your returns.

Ask questions.

Take control:

SUMAIYA DE’MAR, FASHION LAWYER, SA FASHION LAW

Be generous but don’t allow anybody else to take control of your finances. Be independent and remember you are the leader of your own destiny.

Don’t confuse credit with wealth:

TSHEGO MANCHE, OWNER OF LA MANCHE CLOTHING

Banks will come to you, because you’re in good standing, everything will be offered to you on a buffet of credit, from clothing accounts and new cars to furniture accounts.

But credit is not wealth.

Be able to decipher what works for you and what doesn’t.

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