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Bokang Moeko

“Saving and investing money is like training for the Comrades Marathon. You can’t start the training for the race a couple of weeks before the event. It takes months, if not years, to get a hundred percent fit for the race.” – Unknown.

The same goes for your money. The most successful savers are those people who have made saving a part of their life – part of their mindset.

A few number have that mindset, I guess that is why it’s rare to find people who have an emergency kitty, even though the list of emergencies is virtually endless, (you are advised to have between three and six month’s salary in some accessible form).

Frankly speaking, if you don’t have an emergency kitty you are skating on a thin ice especially now that we are on the grip of ‘cost-push’ inflation (mounting costs of producing goods and services are ‘pushing’ up prices) and the rand might plummet to R30 to the dollar in December.

But whenever the subject of saving and investment is brought up people recoil instinctively before they come up with frivolous justification for their inability to save. If you believe I am being unfair, take a closer look at your spending pattern!

To save you need to be disciplined, you need to stop being hopelessly attracted to the shiny and the showy with no regard for your actual life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect, I am somewhat a victim as well and have often found out I do all that because I have no self-esteem. If I looked a certain way I would be more confident – I fully understand why in India, nearly two-thirds of dermatological products are for skin bleaching, and in Nigeria 77 percent of women use skin lightening creams.

I don’t have a smaller nose. I have a naturally kinky hair and too many times, I cringed at my reflection and thought, “Why am I so ugly?”

I tried to fix what I thought was wrong with me until I realised that the ideal of beauty I saw in magazines or the movies wasn’t made for me at all. But it took courage not to succumb to temptation of not being part of the inner circle – it still does.

Simply put, too many people spend money, a lot of money, on things they don’t actually need, to impress people they don’t know or like.

My best kept secret: every time I am about to buy a beauty product I do not necessarily need I remind myself that the beauty industry gains a lot from convincing us that we’re too flat chested, or fat, or we don’t have clear enough skin – anything to say we’re not good enough so we need to buy something to improve our appearance. So is every industry!

I don’t suffer from delusions of grandeur. I don’t see myself as a solitary force of order amidst the chaos all I do is state observable facts: You are imperfectly perfect; you don’t need to drive cars that are not mainstream to be powerful; and there is absolutely nothing wrong with Scandinavian Style.

When you start to love yourself and live “your” life, you are able to simplify your lifestyle and save. When you stop subscribing to falsehoods you subscribe to, it becomes easy to save. (I taught a young man long ago to live his life based on a foundation of self-love, confidence and prosperity. He listened and has a saving plan I wish I could have).

Know your strengths. Create ‘me time’ in your life: drop deeper and deeper into yourself into the truth within – much wisdom, self-love, and humility will be unearthed. Categorically speaking, that’s all you need to change your life. That’s all you need to start a saving plan.

You are way more than a persona carefully created to increase your likeability – don’t waste your money creating that persona, save it and make it work for you!

Remember: You didn’t make it today to wonder: What do people think of me? This question destroys dreams, erodes self-esteem and paves the way for some of the unhappiest people in the world and dig themselves into financial trouble.

Costs are ever- rising due to a number of factors: salary and wage demands that do not match increases in productivity and imported inflation as a result of an ever changing rand exchange rate. You then need to spend some time thinking, don’t go shopping, figure out what you need and stop there.

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