“Eish – I can’t wait for payday.”
That’s a phrase we often hear – or say – and it usually gets said only a few days after the last payday. Too many of us are living from month to month, see and getting ourselves into a lot of debt. Most of us don’t believe we can survive without debt.
There are many reasons we get into debt: we want to invest in a house or a car, we need to pay student fees, or for most South Africans we simply don’t earn enough to cover our daily needs and expenses. But a lot of us get into debt because we want to show others we’ve progressed in life, or because we want something and we want it now.
The trouble starts when we start thinking of the latest cellphone or gadget, the newest fashion or a flashy car as basic needs and start to use debt as a form of income. We think of credit cards and store cards as actual money that we have, not as money we don’t have and that we’ll have to repay with high interest.
Welcome to week 4 of the HEARTLINES Values & Money campaign. This week we focus on the money value, wisdom in borrowing.
Wisdom can keep us from making bad decisions, from living beyond our means and it can guide us in making sensible decisions that will keep us out of trouble. It is certainly cheaper and wiser to, where possible, save money over time and then buy what we need rather than borrowing to buy.
It’s true: being wise in how we borrow is not always easy. It means we may have to read long documents, get informed on different options and ask ourselves tough questions such as, why do I think I need this debt in my life or, am I really able to repay this? But in a country where more than 45% of people have bad credit records, it seems the smartest thing we could do.
When we use sound judgement and learn from our experiences and those of others, it becomes easier to not get into bad debt. It allows us to be true to ourselves about the things we really need and lets us have good debt without the bad fruit.
And this way, we don’t have to be afraid to answer any phone calls or get unexpected visitors at our door.
Week 4 of the HEARTLINES Values & Money campaign.
Join the conversation. Live the values.