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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

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Personal Finance

(Infographic) The Financial Advice Millennials And Gen Zers Want To Know

Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful. And that starts with getting the right advice.




Whether it’s saving for retirement or paying off credit card debt, money management can be a challenge. Of course, different people have different concerns – and that often comes with age. While a 60-something baby boomer might be organising their savings for retirement, your 20-something millennial might be focused on paying off student loans.

In a recent study, financial intelligence company Comet surveyed more than 1 000 people to uncover the top financial concerns of various age groups, as well as the financial advice millennials and Gen Zers want to know and what they hear instead.

Overall, saving for retirement was the top concern across all age groups, with saving for an emergency and affording monthly bills following in second and third. However, it’s no wonder these are some of the most pressing worries – according to the research, 23 percent of people admit they don’t have a savings account, and 43 percent reported not being on track towards their retirement goals. Perhaps that’s because they didn’t hear the right advice growing up. At least that might be the case for Gen Zers and millennials.

According to the research, these young people want to learn things such as how the stock market works, how to manage an investment portfolio, how to invest in real estate and how to build credit. Instead, they’re simply told how to create a budget, save for retirement and pay credit card bills in full every month.

Related: 7 Critical Things Your Financial Advisor Must Meet

Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful and comfortable. To learn more, check out Comet’s infographic below.


Related: Financial Wellness Coach Nelisiwe Masango Shares Retirement Wealth Advice

This article was originally posted here on

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Personal Finance

14 Ways To Make Quick Cash On The Side

If you need money quickly, here are some solid ideas.



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Need to make some fast money on the side, whether it’s to pay off a credit card or to make your rent?

Keep in mind, making quick side cash isn’t about making a lot of money or getting rich. It’s about getting a shot of capital to help tide you over and put something extra in your pocket. However, some of these side-income ideas can build up your wealth over time. There’s many ways to accomplish this: By participating in the gig economy, the sharing economy, online sales networks, passive income techniques and more.

If you’re looking to make extra money in a relatively short period of time, check out these 14 slides.

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Personal Finance

Take Advantage Of Financial Democracy Made Possible By The New Stock Exchanges

Why should financial democracy matter to entrepreneurs?

Etienne Nel




Because it creates a society able to afford products and services. Without it, even the innovative products and services that are entrepreneurs’ bread and butter will fail.

What is financial democracy, exactly?

It’s both the right and the ability of the (wo)man in the street and business people to make the decisions that affect their financial circumstances.

Financial democracy does not automatically follow political democracy. For almost 25 years after South Africa’s political transformation, the exclusiveness of our financial markets continued to deprive the vast majority of South Africans of the means to invest, save, and build wealth. South Africa has, therefore, never developed a retail stock exchange environment. So, it has deprived the majority of small and medium sized business of access to capital.

For entrepreneurs to truly flourish, they need a mechanism that easily and seamlessly connects the investor pool with every size of business. And, they need affordable ways to enter both the retail and institutional market.

In short, they need stock exchanges. Ones on which listing takes weeks rather than years, doesn’t break the bank for listing fees, and provides the shortest route to the largest possible potential investor base.

That’s not been possible in the stock exchange monopoly that existed for six decades. Now, it is.

What’s changed?

We now have four new stock exchanges. The resulting competitive environment will significantly reduce the cost of listing – and the cost for investors of buying and selling shares.

Instead of restricting share trading to people or organisations who already have tens of thousands of rands to invest or millions to spend on listing, by licensing four new stock exchanges, the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA, formerly the FSB) has recognised that most financial decisions do not call for high levels of education.

Related: The Role Of Foreign Exchange In The Economy

Most people know how to spend their own grocery money. Most know that it’s better to keep their R1 000 monthly income in a coffee jar than spend R50 of it on bank account fees. People who can barely read and write are immensely skillful at manipulating air time deals to their advantage.

There is significant financial savvy in all social strata.

In the same way, although the mechanics of bookkeeping and accounting may be unfamiliar territory to many entrepreneurs, most have a clear understanding of the difference between profit and loss.

The FSCA has therefore enabled democratisation of the financial markets by enabling the broadest possible spectrum of entrepreneurs and investors to use stock exchanges to participate in and contribute to the economy – on their own rather than prescriptive terms.

How do you take strategic advantage of this democratisation?

  1. Base your business strategy on people’s instinct for making decisions in their own best interests. Trust financial decentralisation, such as one sees in crowd funding and in digital environments such as block chain, where people would far rather trust one another than institutions and governments. This is democracy innately at work in the financial environment and it’s accelerating organically as digital technologies give people more means and the confidence to help themselves – to information and opportunities. Ride the wave.
  2. Tap into people’s desire to innovate. Consumer organisations have proved that letting people interactively help them develop products is a powerful growth engine. Apply the principle by letting people grow your business by buying shares in it, giving you capital and themselves a platform on which to build wealth.
  3. Remember, the ultimate loyalty reward is equity.

Your financial democracy business plan

Look to list on an entrepreneurial stock exchange; one that was founded by entrepreneurs on entrepreneurial principles.

That means: A stock exchange that is already built on financial democracy and decentralisation. One that has, at its core, a single operational concept that keeps things simple for you, automatically gives you an immediate competitive advantage, and, ensures that no matter what your business needs in terms of attracting capital, the exchange can provide all the options in the same, consistent way.

What does such an exchange look like?

It has fintech capabilities. So:

It slashes your listing costs. It achieves this, among other things, by enabling you to populate an electronic prospectus, demonstrating your financial viability, and self publish.

It gives you control by having the granularity and agility to impose relevant governance right down to the individual investor. You get to decide the types and quantities of investors you want to attract. This also enables you to achieve black economic empowerment in perpetuity.

It leads the world by clearing and settling trades in T+0. No-one in the value chain has to hold large sums of money for days following a transaction. Small transactions become profitable. Investors don’t have to risk their life savings on a single large trade. A retail market is opened. An investment and savings culture is entrenched. The economy expands. Your business grows steadily.

It enables anywhere, any time trading via a mobile app that allows investors to see share value in real time. See economy expansion point above.

It integrates processes and procedures, simplifying them and ensuring rapid onboarding of issuers and, therefore, speed to market with new concepts and alignment with the digital economy.

It operates a principles-based regime. So:

It treats you, as an executive, with respect. It’s not prescriptive. It does not insist on excessive oversight, allowing the Companies Act to guide you to sustainability.

It does not attempt to squeeze your company into a pre-defined business or listings format. It recognises and works with your uniqueness.

It obviates the need for expensive specialist listings advisors.

It focuses on financial inclusion and access. So:

Shares can be bought and sold for no more than R1 000. See economy building point above.

Related: 27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

The new world of stock exchanges is integrated, synergistic, holistic, organic, self-fulfilling

Decentralisation of financial control, democratisation of opportunity leads to a whole new economy. One in which, for instance, a taxi operator can finance a minibus through a company in which his purchase gives him shares. A single purchase gives him two benefits: a vehicle on which to found his business and a longer-term investment in shares that he can trade. The funding company gains liquidity through access to a wider base of investors while being able to control who buys and sells and the conditions on which trading takes place. Increasing black equity in business becomes an organic, natural, self-perpetuating process.

Everyone wins in a decentralised, democratised financial market. And it’s the stock exchanges that drive the process.

As an entrepreneur, can you afford to ignore the acceleration that listing could give your business growth?

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