qa1. In a relationship, what is best, to manage money together or separately? (Lerato)

  • This is one of those questions that there is no easy answer to. The financed need to be managed together you cannot have two people in one relationship pulling in two different directions
  • I would like to say that the level of financial intimacy depends on the level of the relationship. If you started dating yesterday then there is no point in sharing the intricacies but when you have been together for some time and especially as you are preparing for marriage then the finances need to be discussed
  • It is up to you as a couple if you would like to have a joint account or separate accounts. Some have said that they feel that is a little invasive and some have argued that it has helped to keep them accountable because they then think twice before spending
  • It is a difficult conversation but one that needs to be had. Remember that a relationship is a partnership, love shouldn’t be given in exchange for monetary rewards.

2. Any advice on how best to make use of the 13th cheque? (Themba)

  • Themba thanx for such a question. It is a question with a wide range of answers. There are quite a few things that one can do with that 13th pay cheque. However ultimately it should help relieve some financial pressure
  • .One of the things I have emphasised in the “Surviving the Festive Season” Series is proper and careful planning. 
  • The 13th pay cheque shouldn’t be seen as a license to spend more or to make larger purchases.
  • Think of how your 13th pay cheque could pay for school fees in January for the children, stationary or uniform
  • You could start an investment with some of it
  • Pay off debt or at least reduce the debt

3. So I recently got a lump sum of money from my shares. I have a dilemma. I got involved in a car accident a few months ago, car was a write off and didn’t get much out of it. I need a new car, hence my dilemma, I have enough to buy cash a second hand car using money from my shares money, or should I use the money to put in a huge deposit for a brand new car? (Ashton)

  • The short answer is avoid debt.
  • If the shares were cashed with the sole purpose of getting the car and that was the plan so be it
  • You just have to be very careful to take your time in looking and make sure you get value for your money
  • Remember that your need is Transport don’t cloud it with fancy optional extras, it often happens we have a legitimate need and then want to add things we shouldn’t be adding.
  • Things like mag rims, leather seats and music systems are all great but sticking to the essentials will save you money and might even leave you with change

4. When times are tough, which often is the case, is it wise to borrow from one’s savings or should just one get a separate loan? (Simba)

  • Before one thinks of borrowing the day to day finances should be managed with a strict budget and what we can a daily budget diary. Once those things are recorded and you know exactly where the money is going you can look at cutting back
  • No matter how much one has discipline is required
  • If it does happen that one needs to borrow then its better to avoid a paying interest, as long as you will then make changes in your finances to pay yourself back
  • Loans and debt are made so glamorous and at times people would have survived without the loans. Before borrowing you should have exhausted every other cost cutting avenue and it should be an absolute last resort
  • While a loan may provide temporary relief, you don’t want to get into a cycle of debt. Always remember that the money needs to be paid back. Not making loan repayments has other implications

Lesetja Madiba is a Financial Wellness Consultant at Citadel.

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