Being New to Money

Being the disadvantaged group of society, the majority of us start from the bottom to make our lives decent. We tip into what we call the “middle” class. We try by all means to make sure that we live better than before. That is why we find ourselves discussing concepts such as black tax.

“Being new to money” can be defined as money and wealth that has not been inherited. This article is looking at what we mean “to have a relationship with money” and how to be practical with it. In most cases we are advised that we should save and invest. That is sound advice to someone who earns a decent salary and there is a form of financial structure in their families, by that I mean the family members are able to cater for their necessities without depending heavily on one person.

It is typical in South Africa for one to start off with a learnership that starts from R3500 going up or have families where there is only one person who has a job. When you come from a family that put their hope on you to survive ,what are the chances of you being able to save as little as R200? By this I am trying to highlight the fact that when we talk about relationships with money we should have such scenarios in our heads. This is a social factor because when we are having open discussions about relationships with money we tend to not include such scenarios. Can we maybe have a conversation about such cases? They form a big part of the economy after all and not developing their financial literacy is not doing the country any good. It takes special people to be able to navigate themselves to a better financial future because they are able to handle money better and teach their families on how to handle money and even to learn to make extra income.

The question is, are the programmes put in place for financial literacy effective for the majority of the society? It would be worth it to promote programmes that are specific to those below middle class. Truth is that due to the lack of financial literacy it is very hard to maintain a decent lifestyle and be debt-free. Debt-free includes loan sharks because that is where most go due to the restrictions in the banking systems. Education has proved to be a good tool to transform society, it would be a great deal to give financial education that is tailored for the majority discussed in this article. It may seem improbable but can you imagine having a youth that can manage their money no matter how little.

Making decisions on a hungry stomach is difficult. It makes it hard to plan for the future because you are living hand to mouth. It would make a huge difference to talk about escaping poverty not only as individuals but together as families, friends and associates. Educating one another and having candid conversations about improving financial situations is a way to improve the economy. With that comes pressure that may lead to depression and feelings of inadequacy by trying to keep up with those who started in a better position hence it is important to include those at the lowest step on the financial independence and wealth creation.

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Author: Olebogeng Seribe

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