Staying in your lane can save you from indebtedness

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Nyeleti Mabunda says she has learned the hard way and is mending her way to a debt free life

OPINION

It is now a well-known phenomenon that South Africa is struggling with the triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment, however, even the employed are struggling to make ends meet.

This makes South Africa one of the countries at the top of the list of a population that is drowning in debt. Talking to some of the residents of Mamelodi East, it became evident that most people, even those who have well-paying jobs, are struggling to make ends meet.

In a community like Mamelodi, where showing-off is one of the problems for indebtedness, it became evident that most of the residents are indebted because they might be leaving beyond their means.

One of the residents I spoke to, Mr Joe Mitileni, from Mamelodi East Extension 16, revealed that even though he is able to make sure that the basics are cover, he does not know what happens to the rest of his money.

“We like having a nice time, going out for drinks and buying things that are more expensive than we can afford. For instance, we men like having clothing accounts and at the end of the month the money disappears into debit orders immediately when we get our salaries”.

This indicates that budgeting and staying committed to that budget is a problem. Some people do not budget, even those who budget, do not follow through on that budget at the end of the month.

Another resident I spoke to, Ms Nyeleti Mabunda, of Mamelodi, also has many accounts than she can remember. She is even blacklisted from opening accounts further and has to buy everything cash. Because the debtors are following up to call up the debts, she has resorted to loaning money from his landlord, digging herself even more into debt. At the end of the month, she is left only with money for rent and transport.

The case of Ms teaches us that debt is actually more expensive than buying cash. She has learned the hard way and she is now reducing her clothing accounts and living within her means. This means reducing going out when it is not necessary and staying away from loan sharks.

It is never too late, especially for young people who are starting to work, tasting freedom and independence, if not managed, can lead to long term indebtedness and blacklisting that can delay personal development.

Stay within your lane and don’t compare yourself to other people, the benefits are more than you would get in a life of debt.

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