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I Do, I Do, I Do Until Finances Us Do Part!

Don’t let finances cause a divide in your marriage.

Colin Long




Gone are the days where the man was the bread winner and his spouse was the home maker. Where the husband would hold onto the purse strings while his spouse played the submissive homemaker.

No, today’s modern couple is very different. It’s common place for both spouses to be working and for both spouses to share and take joint responsibility for all matters related to married and family life such as raising the children, washing the dishes, making dinner, paying the bills and planning the future.

Intimacy and money are the two leading causes of divorce and generally if there is no money there is no intimacy. In light of this, and considering today’s stressful economic times, good financial planning and financial discipline is one of the most important aspects to a successful and lasting relationship.

Here are a few key elements to avoid the “I do’s” turning into “I don’t!”

Pay yourself first – save

You are the most important person in your life so make sure that you pay yourself first and secure your own and your family’s financial future.

This can be done by putting money in a bank account, a retirement annuity, a pension fund or any other approved financial instrument before paying any of your household bills.

But how much is the right amount to put into those accounts? Saving 15% will ensure that you will be financially secure in your retirement years. You need to speak to a professional financial planner who will most appropriately invest these monies into the correct savings vehicles based on aspects such as liquidity, flexibility and tax efficiency.

Related: Are You Financially Secure?


The cornerstone to any financial plan is a good budget. The budget should be realistic and can be done by setting up a simple spreadsheet for fixed costs (bond, car repayments, school fees etc) and variable costs.

It’s normally with the variable costs where we tend to overspend on things like gifts and entertainment. It is important to keep these variable expenses under control and I find the best way of doing this is to set a maximum monetary amount for these variable expenses and then to update one’s spreadsheet daily (this will take less than five minutes to do) by entering the day’s expenses.

This can be done by keeping the receipts of each purchase.  The will give you a clear idea of where your money is going and allow you to save towards a healthy financial future.

Bank accounts

A key suggestion and consideration is to have both separate and joint bank accounts. “A man is not a financial plan” and it is important that each spouse is financially independent, yet jointly financially committed.

What does this mean? Have a joint account for all your fixed monthly expenses (bond and car repayments, rates and taxes, debit orders, utilities etc.) and separate accounts for variable expenses such as entertainment and personal spending.

Related: Smarter Wills in 4 Steps

Emergency fund

An important part of your financial plan is to set up an emergency fund. This should be equal to three to six months of your joint monthly household expenditure. There are many ways of structuring this fund.

You can save additional money in a money market account, a savings account or simply pay more into your access bond. The important thing to note is that the money must be very liquid (as in you have easy access to it) and that you get a respectable rate of return.

Tip: By paying more money into your access bond you’re effectively saving at your bonds lending rate with no tax or risk aspects to worry about.

Grow your wealth separately, together

It is important that each spouse accumulates assets in their own name, not only because they’re each contributing to the general welfare and success of the family unit (contributions from a non monetary source are equally as important) but there can be certain tax advantages in doing so.

It also creates less financial stress should one of the spouses die.

Evaluate your financial position

At least once a month spend an evening over a nice dinner that you both have made and review your month’s budget. See where you may have gone wrong and reward yourself if you’ve stuck to your guns.

Also spend time talking and discussing your financial future – where do you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years from now, where do you want to retire, what kind of lifestyle do you want to live?

Communication and boundaries

For any relationship to succeed, romantic or otherwise, communication is the essential ingredient and never more so than when it comes to one’s finances. It is important to be completely honest and realistic about your financial situation and your financial goals.

Once you have set up your budget and put a financial plan in place it will take financial wisdom, discipline and shared responsibility towards sticking to the plan in order to make it work for you.

Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. ~ Henry Ford

Colin Long CFP ® is an executive financial planner at Consolidated Financial Planning KZN, an authorised financial services provider. He holds a Post Grad Dip Fin Plan. For more information visit


Personal Finance

10 Tips To Become A Millionaire This Year

Becoming a millionaire requires changing your mindset and implementing some changes.

Murray Newlands



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Becoming a millionaire may seem out of your reach, but it’s possible with the right attitude and guidance. The fact of the matter is your income can only grow as quickly as you do, so you need to change your mindset to achieve your goal of becoming a millionaire.

Once you have a millionaire mind, you can’t lose it, no matter what financial or business mistakes you make along the way. To get yourself there, you’re going to need some structure. To help you, I’ve outlined the top ten tips you should follow to become a millionaire this year.

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Personal Finance

If You Think These 5 Things, You’ll Never Get Rich By The Time You’re 30

Five common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business and how to correct them.



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Last week, I had lunch with a millennial who wanted some advice about a business he’s starting. After the usual small talk, we got down to discussing his business plan. Within a short time, it was clear that his business idea was great, his plan for executing was fairly solid and he had gathered together a strong team to help him make it happen.

So far, so good. But, to be frank, this guy has no chance of being successful with his current mentality. What it takes to be rich (or successful in any measure) has a lot more to do with your mindset than your ideas and plans.

From the time we started in business at the ripe ages of six and seven, our Grandpa Joe taught my brother Matthew and me many lessons about the details of running a profitable business. Over the years, we learned about how to create a business plan; how to market our products and services; and how to take care of customers, vendors and employees. All this knowledge has been invaluable to us in creating and running successful businesses. But, what our grandfather taught us about attitude and mindset trumps all other lessons.

Without calling out the specific individual I spoke with recently, below are five “hypothetical” attitudes that will get you nowhere in your journey to success – and the attitudes that should replace them.

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Personal Finance

5 Habits That Lead To Millionaire Business Success

You need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.

Timothy Sykes




What do all millionaire businesspeople have in common? Well, a lot of things.

I found from a recent study that 80 percent of all millionaires still go to work every single day. They’re working people just like me. But, they have to keep themselves in work or it all grinds to a halt. So what are the habits you need to make your business a success?

1. Patience

Nothing is ever going to come easy. You can look at the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, as well as the other usual suspects, to realize that success didn’t come with their first venture. Many of them failed time and time again. It took patience for them to become successful.

I read an article recently about 36-year-old teacher Andrew Hallam who became a self-made millionaire on a teaching salary. But, in his spare time he invested smart and lived frugally.

It proves you don’t have to inherit lots of money or become an instant success to make a millionaire business.

Related: 4 Ways To Become A Millionaire Even When You Start With Little

2. Dedication

You have to be dedicated to your craft if you’re going to become successful. Going back to Bill Gates again, he started his business in the back of his garage. Now that’s dedication.

It’s what I tell all my students. If they’re not dedicated to this, then they should leave. You need to be able to push through the barren periods if you’re going to reach the oasis of success.

3. Ambition and big dreams

Have you ever heard the quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”?

I take that to heart because even if you aim to become a billionaire and miss you still might be a millionaire many times over. Take the Wright Brothers as an example. Not content with creating a successful glider in 1902 they went on to create the world’s first airplane in 1903, making four brief flights in Kitty Hawk. It demonstrates the importance of dreaming big because you never know what you might achieve.

Related: 12 Millionaire Habits To Start Making Serious Money Soon And Build Wealth In A Hurry

4. Learn from mistakes

Every good businessperson will mess something up. It’s inevitable. What’s important is how you learn from your mistakes over time. Do you adapt after making your mistakes?

Millionaire businesspeople always set some time aside to reflect. Then they create a plan of action for ensuring that it doesn’t happen again. Most failed businesspeople put it down to “bad luck.”

5. Focus on niches

This important! Try to take over a whole industry at once and you’ll inevitably get swallowed up by the competition. Start small and control your own niche before moving into another niche. When you master your small area, you can push on and expand.

Related: 21 Choices Millionaires Make That You Aren’t Making But Should Be

You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to expand after you master your own niche/audience first.

Do you have what it takes? That’s the question I always ask novice businesspeople. You need a plan and you need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.

This article was originally posted here on

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