After years of investigating and finding solutions for the issues affecting the progress of disadvantaged communities, Desire Peters knows first-hand how a lack of financial knowledge can derail a person’s growth.
As Chief Programmes Development Officer at GoldYouth Development Agency, Desire is responsible for the growth and execution of youth education and upbringing, specifically focused on financial literacy – an initiative supported by DirectAxis.
Our relationship with money can be summed up in one word: complex,” says Desire.
“The way we handle our finances – how we acquire it, spend it, and save it – can be largely attributed to the nurturing we received around money and values while growing up,” says Desire. “We either learn to be aware of living within our means, or we pick up habits that cause us to be irresponsible.”
Each person processes money differently, which means our financial behaviour is unique.
“It’s interesting how rural households are in less debt than urban households. There’s a greater culture of saving in rural communities,” says Desire. “Not being exposed to lifestyle pressures has encouraged people to live more purposefully.”
Here Desire shares how she changed her relationship with money and improved her life –and how you can do the same:
Have a Positive Money Mindset
With increased self-awareness, you can start to ask yourself the right questions about how you think about money. Do you have negative thoughts when it comes to money? Or do you have positive feelings towards it? And are these thoughts serving you?
“What you believe about money becomes your reality,” says Desire. “When I made the decision to think differently about my money – to love it, nurture it, and respect it – my life and finances improved.”
Set Yourself Financial Goals
“It sounds simple enough, but having a goal to work towards will inspire and motivate you to keep moving forward,” says Desire.
Having a plan and purpose for your money gives you a springboard to secure your financial future. The key is to start small, and build from there:– See how you can cut costs every month
– Decide on an amount and save money towards it over six months
– Open a savings account or retirement annuity
– Start a small business on the side to supplement your income
Learn from Past Money Mistakes
We all make mistakes – especially when it comes to money. But instead of living with regret, learn from the experience and move on, and be determined to do better in the future.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’ve made some poor judgments with money, it’s ok, remember that you made the best decision you could at that time,” says Desire.
Be Intentional with Your Money
You know you’re being intentional with your money when spending it feels good. Like using it for things that make sense, add value to your life, or will benefit you in the long run.
“Creating a budget helps you stay focused, and helps you align your spending behaviour with how you want to spend your money,” says Desire. “Instant gratification doesn’t last, and getting into debt will keep you from reaching your goal.”
Educate Yourself About Money
Desire believes that empowering yourself with the right knowledge is the best way to help you understand your financial situation and improve your relationship with money.
“85% of South Africans are over-indebted,” says Desire. “We find a lack of knowledge to be one of the major causes. It’s something we’re trying to address through our financial literacy programmes. Read as much as you can – there are plenty of helpful articles with valuable information on life and finances.”
When you understand money – like the difference between good debt versus bad debt, or how your credit rating impacts your buying power – you will start seeing improvements in your finances, and your life.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you build your better tomorrow, together.