Men and Finances

I am not a financial adviser or anything of that sort – in fact I also struggle in this area – but I believe men need to find a balance in terms of spending.

Financial literacy is as important as taking a shower. It doesn’t help that you earn so much, yet have to borrow from friends, relatives and girlfriends or wives in the middle of the month because you lack financial planning.

In fact, you buy expensive bottles in clubs, yet your mom is suffering, your sheets have not been washed for weeks and your toothbrush is two years old.

Dit werk nie so nie. Bra, maak iets daar. (It doesn’t work like that. Do something there, dude.)

What we don’t realise is once you enter the debt circle it becomes difficult to exit. You will constantly be borrowing to make ends meet. Gents, try and find a balance in life to avoid this.

Of course, I always emphasise that priorities are different. For example, some drive cheap cars and live in superior locations while others drive expensive cars and live in inferior locations.

My advice is to find a balance and drive a decent car while staying in a decent location.

Buying bottles in clubs doesn’t make you a better man. It makes you the man of the moment and that’s it. Your friends will call you superior names like chief, big boss, munene, cota and so on, but what makes you a better man is being responsible and accountable for your duties.

Buy a bottle when your mom is sorted, sheets are clean, food is bought, kids are supported and boxers and socks are still in wearable conditions. Try and tick all boxes.

Personally, I drink expensive wines as well, but before I purchase an expensive bottle I make sure my parents are sorted and all the important things have been done. I don’t spend much on them, but the little I spend makes a difference in their lives.

Although priorities differ, I see helping parents as a blessing. I am not for black tax, however, it is important as long as it doesn’t empty your bank account. It is bad when you’re the payer, however, very good when you’re the receiver. It is almost like a stokvel scheme. In my opinion, it should be an option and not mandatory.

Groupies or belonging to a group of friends are the things that put guys in debt. When you see your friends acquire goods, it exerts psychological pressure on you to want what your peers have, even though you cannot afford these goods.

Something relatable to me is the fact that most of my friends drive bakkies because they have farms, have businesses and so forth. I drive a sedan from work to home and to run errands. At this stage, a bakkie doesn’t make sense at all. Although the bank issued me a pre-approval because I apparently qualify, in reality I don’t qualify. However, I know of people that own bakkies but never use them for that purpose.

Cannot afford them for that matter, and all they are doing is making the banks richer.

I also know it is quite difficult to save, so we need to find ways to force ourselves to do so. Maybe a debit order with your bank or insurance company? Products like unit trusts, 32-day accounts and flexis are some good ways of saving, or even saving through your parents.

For a fact, there is something called good debt and bad debt, one puts money in your pocket while the other takes money out of your pocket. Borrowing money to pay for your studies is good debt while borrowing to travel is bad debt.

So, which debt is better? None! But we find ourselves in situations and at most times the people we think have money, don’t.
Let that sink in and have a good one Mr Spender.

Meneer_SK is an advocate for men’s grooming and all matters relating to men.
Follow him on Instagram @Meneer_SK

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