Q: What fuels your passion for financial literacy?
A: Money Managers was birthed in July 2019 as a blog wherein I was going through some financial hardships and thought I could share appreciating that someone somewhere might be going through the same challenges. My personal desire for financial freedom and ultimately time freedom is what fuels my passion. I acknowledge that financial education is the answer to many of our life problems. I am learning through teaching, and this is the best way for me to retain what I learn and apply it in my life. I made a promise to myself to influence one person each day with financial education.
Q: What are some of the services that Money Managers offer?
A: We provide financial education, financial coaching and mentoring. We appreciate and acknowledge that issues of money have more to deal with behavior. For this reason, we have created money management tools to help individuals take small incremental steps towards managing their money better.
Q: How do you think financial literacy can be used to reduce the country’s ever-increasing household debt?
A: People need to open up about money right from the household level. We need to make money a topic of discussion at the dinner table. It is also time for our government to realise the need for incorporating financial education in the school curriculum. I have started doing my part and am sure others will follow suit. People are getting into debt because some do not know any better. They do not know the difference between good debt and bad debt. Debt is just a tool that can be disastrous if not used properly.
Q: What are some of the ways that can be used to build wealth and achieve financial freedom?
A: Money Vision: Have a precise and clearly defined vision for your money. It is simple – money follows vision. Without it, money will never stay with you.
Develop a money management mindset: What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see money? Is it just spending, saving or investing? Be aware of your current money management mindset and change it. Poverty is all about your mindset.
Money Habits: Are your current money management habits they working for you or working against you? If your habits are working against you, it is time to change then. The most prevalent habit we see is people living beyond their means. If you earn P10 000, why do you live off P12, 000? It is simple: You earn P10 000; live off P9 000 and save and invest the P1 000 that remains. You need to control your spending, more especially self-imposed lifestyle inflation.
Q: When investing, how important it is to think long-term rather than short-term?
A: Investing is a long-term game. You cannot invest your money today and expect good returns tomorrow. It does not work like that in the investment world. People are chasing quick riches and this is why it is so easy to be scammed. Stay away from investments that sound too good to be true! Seek investment education before you put your money into any kind of investment. I cannot stress this enough.
Q: What systems can one put in place to better one’s relationship with money?
A: Good money management boils down to habit. Plan and have an intentional plan for your money. You need to start budgeting for your income before receiving it. Do not only budget; track your spending too. You cannot master what you cannot measure. Never ever spend more than you earn. Pay yourself first. Every time you receive an income, at least 10 percent of that income is yours to keep. Learn to hold on to some of your money and start investing your savings. Appreciate that saving is a temporary bridge to investing. Get debt education. One of the best things one can do for oneself is to learn how to use debt well. It is so disheartening how people are trapped in unproductive bad debt.
Q: Do you feel the government is doing enough in prioritising financial education, particularly from the grassroots level?
A: Nothing is actually being done. We can be the drivers of the change we want to see. If the government does not appreciate the need for financial education, we have to make the government see it by taking our own steps towards empowering the young generation with financial education. We are not doing this for the government but for our own benefit and the generations to come.
Q: What role can financial educators like you play in sensitising the public around issues involving finances?
A: I believe without a doubt that financial education can answer many of the problems we face. The amount of interest from the public is overwhelming. People are eager to learn, and we need financial educators to join hands in spreading financial education and teaching people how to manage their own personal economies. Everyone, whether they like it or they don’t, will be faced with making financial decisions at some point. The question is, are people better-equipped to make proper financial decisions? It is our job as financial educators to bridge this gap more so that the financial world is ever evolving. The benefits of financially empowered people will spill over to the national economy. What we see in the economy in terms of financial resource management is a manifestation of the lack of financial education at the personal level.
A: What are some of the money saving tips that you recommend for wealth accumulation and debt elimination?
Q: You save by putting money aside when it comes and by spending less when it goes out. It is more about building the habit than it is with the amount. Start small with what you can, and before you know it you will be a regular saver. Have a savings plan in place to save money for your goals. Do not just save money for the sake of saving. Each thebe or pula that you save should be attached to a specific goal with a timeline for achieving the goal. Identify which expenses you can cut back on and reallocate this amount to your savings. Decide where you will save. Identify places to save, available savings products, and their pros and cons. Getting rid of expensive consumer debt is a good way of saving money.