To avoid debt, spend wisely

2019-02-14 06:00

I have been having conversations with individuals and groups that would be referred to as semi-middle class or middle class lately.

And it amused me to discover that the majority of them are deep in debt. As it is always mentioned by economists that debt is either good or bad, I quickly learnt why many of them are in such quagmire.

My assumption was that this is so because of peer pressure, the “black tax”, and the drive to achieve everything at once.

I also came to realise that money or the care thereof is seldom a topic for discussion in these circle.

From an early age, we learnt that money was not a subject that parents discussed with their children and that kind of culture is passed from one generation to another.

Even when advice is given, it would go like this: “with money mtshana you must do this and that and never do as they do, mna I’m clever with my money”. It is that vague. You have to fumble along to find your way to make sense of the advice.

Now, if money is what makes the world go round, shouldn’t we really take time to discuss its merits?

After all money, is our medium of exchange and transactions on a daily basis.

The frame of reference used by the “semi middle class” is that they are fumbling now because when they were young, if they asked for money to by branded clothing, it was never discussed how money is generated or “we can’t afford it”.

They’d be shouted down, but in the end, they would be given the money, without realising its true value.

Now they have inherited this culture of not understanding the value of money.

For this to change, we should start to speak about money, how to use it and savings. I know for a fact that it is not a comfortable topic, to start with.

We start talking about our own finances, instead of that of others.

Let’s organise financial institutions to come and have a word about best ways to generate and spend.

I know it’s the month of love and romance, and since we will be doing lots of spending, we should know the value of money and the side effects of spending. I say that with the knowledge that retailers go for aggressive advertising, so be wise before you are indebted to them. Don’t over spend.

Thembalethu Qolo Nyanga, KTC
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