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Personal Finance

Spending Yourself Homeless?

Living beyond one’s means can derail the finances of even the highest earners.

Andrew Padoa




In today’s society, where impressions are so important, we even find wealthy individuals spending to impress. One famous person comes to mind – Mike Tyson. “Iron Mike” was earning $30 million a fight at the height of his career. He spent his fortune on mansions,Bengaltigers and jewellery.

In South Africa, not many of us own Bengaltigers, but many individuals feel compelled to purchase a flashy car or beautiful apartment on the beach – both of which might be well beyond what we can afford.  Living within our means is the foundation of financial stability. Below are a few signs that you are living beyond your means.

1) You can’t survive without your salary for at least three months.

Everybody needs an emergency fund as the basis of their financial plan. How big this fund should be depends on how long you would expect to be unemployed if you were retrenched.  A fund equal to three months’ salary is reasonable but six months would be ideal.

However this is unattainable for many South Africans. If you are a self-employed individual then you should provide for at least six months – especially in the current economic conditions.  Your emergency fund could also be used for some other unanticipated emergencies, such as a major medical expense, or vehicle repair.

2) Saving less than 10% of your salary

The majority of South Africans are chronically under saving. It is critical that we are saving at least 10% of our income from when we get our first job for our retirement. If we start saving later in life, we would need to save significantly more than 10%.

If you need to save for a shorter-term goal such as travel or buying a big asset, then you might have to save even more.

3) Our housing costs are more than 30% of net salary

Our housing costs are too high if we are paying more than 30% of our net salary towards a bond or home rental. This is a general rule of thumb, but we would be in a significantly better financial situation if we follow this guideline. Consider moving to a smaller house if this sounds familiar.

Also consider this number if you are applying for a bond. Just because the bank is willing to offer you a loan of R1 million, does not mean you should take the entire amount, if the bond instalment is more than 30% of your salary.

4) Not budgeting

Stick to a budget. If you’re currently living beyond your means, a detailed budget can help you get back on track. Keep in mind that while you may think you can keep a tally in your head, it’s important to have a written budget so you can keep track of all your expenditures.  It is very easy for things to spiral out of control if you are not following a budget or planning your expenses.

Also, not budgeting can increase emotional spending – which could very quickly get you into debt. ‘Retail therapy’ adds up – and all too often, it leads to financial disaster.

5) Constantly using your credit card

Although credit cards may come with fantastic benefits (such as eBucks through FNB) and allow us to purchase items online, it is important that you are aware of how much you are spending. According to several studies, shoppers who rely on credit cards rarely know how much they spend until their statements arrive.

Shoppers who use cash should be a lot more aware of what they are spending. Consider paying with cash or transferring money to your credit card if you find yourself getting into debt through credit card purchases.

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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