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Day 10: Take charge of your finances

“Finding Money Maturity means resolving your inner conflicts around money. It really comes down to discovering a sense of ease around money.” George Kinder

On the first day, I started working; I didn't have a bed to sleep on, clothes to wear in my first month of work, and money to sustain me for the month. I swore to myself then that the same would never happen to any of my children in future. There were many reasons why this was the case, but the overarching realisation was that there hadn't been sufficient long-term planning when it came to finances in my family. When I observed my white friends at work, most started with cars provided by their families. They lived in flats purchased by their parents – or rented out in their parents' names on their behalf. They didn't have the responsibility to take care of their families as soon as they started working. Because of our country's political history and its resultant socio-economic issues, many of us start in life with a negative balance sheet and a generational inheritance of financial instability. If we take more responsibility and arm ourselves with wisdom and knowledge, we can do our part in disrupting the cycle and changing the financial trajectory of the next generation.

Firstly, I think the following two principles are an essential foundation to establish to help us understand what our responsibility when it comes to personal finance is:

  • Stewardship: first and foremost, we all have a responsibility to understand finances because we have been given a responsibility to be good stewards of our resources. Whether you manage thousands or millions monthly, you have the same responsibility to manage finances wisely for your benefit and the benefit of the next generation. Therefore, it is not an appropriate excuse for any adult to say, "I am just not good with money." We all need to make an effort to learn, even if our partners seem to be doing a great job at managing finances. It saddens me so much to see women sometimes relegate the responsibility for their finances to their spouses and then be surprised when their spouses pass on to learn that the finances were not being managed well. The same applies to people who rely on their parents to make financial decisions for them, who struggle when their parents are no longer there. We need to all be people who can be trusted to manage finances responsibly and grow those finances.

We cannot continue to be a generation of people who prioritise fancy cars, clothes, beauty, alcohol, and entertainment over saving, investing, and going through the painful and arduous process of building a foundation for wealth-creation in our bloodlines. Yes, we should normalise enjoying our money, but we should also be realistic about our responsibility as a first-generation financially independent generation.

  • Growth: We also have a responsibility to ensure that finances grow from one generation to the next. We need not be people who squander our own or our parents' resources, but we need to learn how to grow money through investing in different investment vehicles. This means having a generational mindset and building wealth for our families.

Secondly, I believe that how we manage our money is also a reflection of who we are and that we cannot talk about money without talking about our strengths and weaknesses. If we don't deal with ourselves, then we will struggle with the same money challenges over and over. And if we truly understand our strengths, we can leverage those strengths to build our financial futures. For example, someone that is a people-pleaser will struggle to set boundaries when borrowing people's money and will end up losing money over and over again to people who take advantage. Without dealing with the people-pleasing, this person cannot manage to lose money they borrow. Furthermore, someone whose identity is affirmed by material things will find it challenging to stick to a budget or spend less and invest more because their sense of self-worth is linked to the accumulation of things. Therefore, we need to take stock of what our money behaviours teach us about ourselves and manage our weaknesses so that they don't mess with our financial goals.

Thirdly, regardless of our backgrounds, we need to arm ourselves with the knowledge to ensure that we have the correct beliefs about money that will inform our behaviours. Our money beliefs can either come from what we were taught about and what we have internalized about money (whether true or not) or from facts and information. We have learned about the financial system we all exist and operate, the rules around us, how money grows, etc. If not, we will find ourselves victims of financial scams, we will be limited in our thinking about money, we won't know how to make financial decisions, and we won't know how to implement our financial goals. For example, many people don't know that they can freely correspond with the tax authority if they owe some tax or have been penalised because they don't understand the financial system in which they operate and therefore become paralysed when dealing with tax authorities. I believe that financial literacy, while it alone doesn't cure the poverty that we see and that continues to increase in our society, empowers people to be active participants and to have a voice in this financial system.

Sound financial practices to adopt:


Tokiso Nthebe - Founder of TKO Consultancy

Tkay's tips on setting your 2022 financial goals:

  • Align your financial goals with your life goals

A holistic approach is necessary to determine the financial implications of all your personal goals. For each goal, write down how much money you will need and how you will generate that money. This will bring much more meaning and balance as you set out to implement your goals.

  • Pay yourself first

As soon as you receive any income, put away 20% of it in savings or investments. This is called paying yourself first. Then take care of your needs with the remaining balance. Read about the 50/30/20 rule here.

  • Have a comprehensive financial plan

Consult a qualified and registered financial planner or financial advisor to help you develop a financial plan, with a long term view e.g. 3-7 years (still aligned to your life goals) in mind, with regular reviews. The reality is that life happens (death, child-birth, marriage or illness), but you’ll be better prepared to weather the financial storm when you have a financial plan that caters for your short term and long term financial needs.

  • Have fun and live

Money is tool or resource that affords access to our desired lifestyle. It is our responsibility to manage it well, use it responsibly, enjoy and find a balance between living for today, but planning for tomorrow.


Journal Reflections

  1. Take this financial archetype assessment and reflect on what the results mean to you.

  2. Develop a 20-year financial vision by setting up an aspirational budget and a networth calculator (a list of your assets and liabilities) of what you want your finances to look like twenty years from now. Reflect on what short-term, medium-term and long-term plans you'll make to make sure that you reach your goal.

  3. Use this financial planning worksheet to set your financial goals. You may also use this template and set a monthly budget for 2022, a yearly budget for 2023 and 2024.


Resources and Tools

Useful websites

Woman and Finance by Mapalo Makhu

Resources by The Crown Ministries

How to develop a financial plan

Wealthy Money by Vangile Makwakwa (healing money trauma)

Investment Platforms

Investing on Easy Equities

Investing on Franc

Budgeting Apps



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a passionate leader, accomplished professional and a mentor. I believe that nation-building depends on how well we build people. Therefore, my mission is to contribute to the personal, professional and leadership development of people to empower them to reach their highest potential.

I do this through a mentorship program that I founded and through this blog where I share principles I've applied and insights I've gained in the past twelve years of my career and leadership journey.

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