Aisha Baker | How I learned to spend smarter

Aisha Baker. (Image: Supplied)
Aisha Baker. (Image: Supplied)

Aisha Baker hasn’t had a traditional career. As a first-year marketing student at the University of Cape Town, she was underwhelmed by subjects like economics and craved a creative outlet. That was how her blog, Baked Online, was born back in 2009.

“My business happened totally by accident. I was still studying and doing odd jobs and promotions on the side at the time,” she says.

Since then, Aisha has learned many valuable money lessons. But the one that taught her to spend smarter is simple: shop around and get a few quotes before deciding on the best deal. At the same time, she’s also learned that it’s important not to buy something immediately.

Aisha’s money journey

Aisha was born to 2 entrepreneurial parents and remembers money being a regular topic of conversation at the dinner table when she was a child.

Her first first-hand interaction with money came when she received some for Eid as a little girl. “I remember spending that money on important things like candy and Barbie dolls!” she recalls.

Aisha admits that she has not always been the most discerning spender. When looking for a service, for example, she used to book the first person she found online. It was this bad habit that led to a few bad experiences, which taught her the value of shopping around.

3 ways to smarter spending

With money, comes responsibility. Overspending can happen quickly but there are simple ways to avoid falling into this trap: 

1.    Plan ahead

Budget, budget, budget! Budgeting will help you plan better. You’ll know how much money you have for essentials, such as bill payments, food or rent, and how much you have left to play around with for entertainment or splurges.

2.     Sleep on it

“I enjoy the good life such as nice things and good food. I still struggle with that, especially after my first child was born,” says Aisha. “I just wanted to buy him nice things, but I had to hold back on spending too much.” A good way to do this is by giving yourself 24 hours to sleep on it. By the morning you often will have forgotten about it or discovered that you have a similar pair of shoes in your cupboard. So, do you really need that pricy pair of boots? Probably not. Kids need new shoes because they’ve outgrown theirs? That’s a necessity.

3.    Shop around

As Aisha says, it’s important to shop around for the best deal. Do you need a new handbag? Compare prices and think it over. Twice.

Simplify spending. Live better.  

Shopping for the best deal includes looking at things like bank charges. “In 2019, I moved to Capitec, which saved me a lot in bank charges,” Aisha says. With the Capitec app she can create different pockets inside her Global One solution. “I also now pay myself a small salary so I don’t dip into my business profits to buy something for myself or the kids.”

This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Capitec.