dear africa – The stereotypes

Dear Africa

I’m feeling a little controversial today, the Ntsiki Maswai kind of controversy. The Chris Rock Oscars opening monologue kind of controversy. The Julius Malema Cape Chamber speech kind of controversy. But this conversations needs to happen, and someone needs to start them.

You pay full bouquet of dstv but you don’t own a single share of Naspers? Why?

Why you pay for national Virgin active price, but you never travel? You only check-in at 1 gym everyday? You don’t even look like you gym there at all, you just going for the shower and sonar. Why?

You pay R600pm for IPhone 6s plus, but you don’t own apple shares, which are easily accessible through etfs like dbxus or dbxwd? Why? Not even Vodacom or Mtn share? Why o le so Africa?

You got your car through finance deals like the VW/Audi, BMW select or Mercedes Benz agility, which are designed to give you a false sense of affordability with 30% balloon, when you can truly just barely afford a tazz, why?

Why rent an apartment, but you don’t even own a single share of growthpoint or redefine, which are no more than 12bucks a pop? Why? I’m not even a fan of property, but if you don’t own your own property you should at the very least own some property shares.

You don’t have your own RA or TFSA, yet you have 2 credit cards, an overdraft bigger than your salary, and still take wonga loans? Come on. You and Zuma are the reason why we are on the brink of junk status. Come on, please, Jeerrr.

Your net-worth is negative half a million because of the balloon car and credit cards, yet you don’t even have a life cover for at least half a million? Who do you think is gonna pay your debts should you kick the bucket? Please man.

Your whole lifestyle is sustained by a single income, yet you don’t have an income protection plan? Retrenchments happens, and UIF will only cover your wonga loan.

You say you love your job, but you never think of up-skilling yourself so that you can move up a notch? Register for that short course, start a new degree, or do your honors or masters.

Why do you consume such large amounts of Moets and single malts, wear Raw and Diesel jeans on Edgars accounts, yet you don’t own shares of Sabmiller or Distell, or even MrPrice Group? Why vele?

You pay R450 in banking fees every month for that shiny black or titanium card, you look down on people with Capitec card, yet you don’t even own Capitec shares, which is the best performing bank on the JSE. For the why?

You don’t have an education plan for your children, but you buy them Nike and Timberland shoes, which they quickly outgrow every few months, Yet Curro (forget their racial controversies, follow the money) shares are going for less than R50 at JSE? How are you going to pay the actual Curro fees when your child eventually starts school? Why mara?

You are always seen at political rallies and conferences, hoping to score a tender or a position, but you don’t even have a pty registered. You believe in black magic ne? The period of people getting business or jobs in the government because of their struggle credentials is slowly coming to an end. Young, smart and educated young leaders are taking over. And what struggle credential do you have anyway? FeesMustFall?

You have a nice University degree which you acquired through the help of NSFAS, and you have a nice job, but you haven’t paid a single cent back, Yet you say you support the student movements? How?

Before, you bite my head of, I’m also guilty of some of these things, so this is a little introspection.
We can’t blame Jkop of Nkandla for all our problems, some of them are self-inflicted, and takes just a little bit of effort, and education, to help the state recover economically.

While we wait for Julius and co to implement the Freedom Charter and nationalize the land and the mines and the banks and pharmaceuticals, let’s start off the process by silent protest of buying shares in these companies, let Malema make all the noise at the Cape Chamber.
The JSE is one of the few organisations that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of color, closely followed by SARS. So read up on the benefits the Treasury gives for having things like RAs, and TFSA, and take the savings from there and put them into the stock market.

Let’s stop accumulating more and more credit. Let’s start businesses, and invest in other businesses. Let’s get more degrees.

WhatsApp gifting scam

In the interest of not offending people with a severe maths deficiency, I have decided I’m going to use a story most of you should be familiar with. The characters are from Despicable Me, and the Minions movies.

Here are the assumptions:
Let’s assume Gru, and his 99 minions crash-landed on some remote inaccessible island when Grumobile ran out of fuel.
No one is coming to get them.
They all have R1000 on each of their persons. R100k in total pool money.

The Gru has a great idea, he starts a gifting scheme. Each of them will contribute their R1000 to this scheme, and will, in turn, get R5000, as long as they keep recruiting. We will assume recruit is easy, and all 99 minions will buy into this. They are minions after all.

Someone advised me to use beyond Matric level maths, so I only used the sum function in Excel. So Grade1 maths should also suffice.

To illustrate further, I will refer to my very simple Excel spreadsheet.
Column A I have names of minions and their leader Gru.
Column B I have money each of them has.
Column C I have the money each one will get when they invest.
And finally, Column D shows you the pool money decreasing as the gifting progresses.
Column A and B have no formulas.
Column C is simply SUM(Bn:Bn+6). This is little bit complicated, and I had to put it manually in each cell. eg. Gru’s formula is =SUM(B1:B6).
Minion#1’s formula is =SUM(B7:B11)
Minion#2’s formula is =SUM(B11:B15)
Minion#19’s formula is =SUM(B96:B100)

Column D is just a running total of the pool money.

To cut the story short, Gru gets R6000 because he’s the boss of the minions, and this is his genius idea. Minion#1 to Minion#18 all get their magic R5000 when they put in R1000.
Minion#19 gets R4000, this is because Mr Gru got the other extra R1000.
At this point, the pool money is finished.
Gru Gifting scheme collapses, with a total of 80 disgruntled minions who have just lost all their money.
And 19 happy minions, and their boss Gru.

dear.africa – african time

This is a personal story which I originally shared on this day, 3 years ago, on my first day of work after a retrenchment.
Today I want to share with you a personal story that highlights the importance of being punctual. Be it catching a flight/bus, meeting with the president, your child’s school dance, or just a drink with the boys. (My boys will probably differ here, as I have on more than a few occasions being late on such engagements)

Many years ago, circa 2007 I worked for a company. Let’s call it company X. At this company, there were very few black people employed. When I joined, there were only 2 black employees, and they both resigned shortly after I joined, leaving me as the only token black guy.

Company X continued with their efforts to recruit black employees, albeit only in lowly intern positions. By the time I left the company, mid-2010, there were well over 15 black employees. During my period there, we formed an informal group of black staff members. Aptly named “The Black Forum”. I was the self-appointment president/chairman of that forum.

We met regularly, braaied, drank, and sometimes deliberated on work politics effecting the black staff. We never had strikes or protests.

We continued to meet even after most of us had left the company. Less regularly than we used to. The attendance levels have also dwindled.

In 2011, I organized a reunion meeting, with past and current employees of X just to touch base. On that particular evening of the meeting, I arrived at least 15 minutes before the scheduled meeting time, as I was the organizer and chair. It would’ve been embarrassing for me to arrive late. During those 15 minutes, I met a fellow Black Forum member whom I had never met before, he had joined X after I left. Let’s call him V.

After greetings and introductions, me and V got along like a house on fire. At the end of the evening, it was as if we had known each other for decades. And since that day we had been good friends.

Fast forward to 2017. V hits me up on Whatsapp, on some “yo, Paulina, my company is looking for some BI developers, if you interested please apply”
He calls me “Paulina”. Don’t ask.

I’m reluctant, but I send through my CV. I get interviewed. I do a litany of technical tests. I get another follow up interview. I get an offer. I sign. I tell every company that has been playing hide and seek with my emotions to stop contacting me. Today was my first day. V is now my colleague.

I’m not perfect, I have missed an early morning plane in Cape Town a few years ago, and paid a hefty price. But I always try to be early, you’ll never know whom you might meet and chat to in those 15 minutes.

If I had not been 15 minutes early for that Black Forum meeting, maybe I’ll still be waiting for my UIF payment.

Moral of this story, for once I am advocating for doing away with something African, casually called the African Time. It is just a bad excuse used by people who don’t have respect for other people. And there’s nothing African about that. Let’s stick to global systems like the GMT or the UTC.

dear.africa – content is the new currency

If you’re here, on social media, you’re already producing content daily, but it belongs to the big 3 tech companies, Facebook, Google, and Apple. And they make billions of money out of it. That’s why most of their products are free because you give them free content. Why not get something-nyana out of it as well? How?

Be deliberate about it. The content that you share, should somehow also serve you, and the people who follow you. Advertise your business. Get new leads. Hustle for your MLM business. Offer advice. Share information. Sell directly to your followers. Create and build networks while you are here.

It doesn’t matter what you do. Even if you’re just here for laughs and gags, get the best out of it, and do make as many people as you can also laugh. Become a renowned meme lord. There’s a guy on Twitter called Takatina1, a clown of note. He writes his usual hilarious threads, but on 2nd tweet, there’s usually an ad snug in there for something he’s promoting. Genius. There are countless such accounts, even if luck does play some role, like that lady who wrote “o jewa ke eng”. She is extracting all she can from that 1 tweet with dedication.

If you’re a lurker. One of those awkward people who never does anything, no posts of your own, no likes, no profile picture, no check-ins, nothing, but you’re still here daily, that’s also fine. Just make it beneficial for you, curate your ultimate timeline by carefully choosing who you like/follow. It doesn’t matter who you are, you too can take advantage, even billionaires like Elon Musk use twitter to drive Telsa sales or ‘manipulate’ stock price. You can do anything here, Trump runs his entire tenure as POTUS on Twitter.

Are you a teacher at creche, record Mary had a little lamb, and share with the parents on youtube.
Are you a young economist, look at work of Wandile Sehlobo.
A lawyer, look at Tumi Sole.
Want to become a TV presenter? TV is dead, look at Marawa, Carol, Nicolette.
Are you an artist, look at Nelson Makamo, or Rasta.
In the big wide world called the internet, there is enough space for all of us. Find your little corner, and set up shop there.

Write, share, like, love, make funny videos dancing on TikTok, and create value, also known as ‘monetise’ on these streets.

dear africa – why ETFs

dear africa

Some of you asked me if you should buy Sasol shares. It does not have to be Sasol actually, it can be any company, a few years ago it was Steinhoff (when it tanked and people thought it will recover), a few weeks ago it was Telsa, yesterday it was Oil. There will always be that 1 or few companies in the news cycle. My answer is always simple and boring, if you have some money to play with, and you will not cry if that company’s price tanks completely, then sure, go ahead. If the price skyrockets, that is not going to make you an instant billionaire either, well, unless your play money is in the millions.

If however, you want your money to be there next week, next month, next year, and in 10-20 years, then I tell you to buy a low cost broad market ETF.

Lets take the S&P 500 Index as an example. Apple Inc has the biggest weighting in that index with a whopping 4.58% (as at 31 December 2019).
This means that if you invested R100, and Apple somehow disappeared off the face of the earth permanently without trace, you will only lose R4.58c. I know this is unlikely, but remember Blackberry or Nokia?
The top 10 is completed by Visa Inc, with a weighting of 1.20%, If that vanishes, you will only lose R1.20c. And if or when company number #499 does vanish, which is more plausible, your holding will hardly show a sign of decline, because that company #499’s weighting is roughly 0.00000000009%.

You can also buy Individual shares if a seasoned Financial Asset Manager told you so, one with many years of successful track record of picking the right stocks and beating benchmarks consistently, In other words, if a unicorn told you to.

Otherwise, buy a low cost broad market ETF, like the S&P 500.

dear africa – Network Marketing, Multi Level Marketing

I have abandoned writing my regular rumblings for a while now, and a few of my loyal followers started complaining. So I’m back, by popular demand. Without making up a list of excuses about why I don’t write often as I used to, honestly, the truth is that it is hard to keep up to a frequent schedule without starting to bore people and sounding monotonous. It is damn hard to come up with fresh original content all the time, especially to address the same issue, ie, personal finances.

In the past 6 months, a couple of friends have tried to recruit me to their respective MLM business, but I had to turn them down gently, or not so gently if they persisted. This morning, a friend send me this inbox below:

“Dear Paul
What is your opinion on Network Marketing Businesses.”

Now, as you read my reply to ***Thabo, keep the question in mind, with emphasis on the word “opinion”

Hi ***Tbos

I’m not a big fan for of Network Marketing / Multi Level Marketing. I have been exposed to them since 2006 or there about, I even worked at Clientele for few years, running statements for their IFA program. I know a few people who were making a decent living. “Few” is the operative word here, and don’t get me wrong, few is relative to the size of the Network Marketing size itself. So for old and successful ones like Forever, the “few” can run into thousands, while millions in the network are just scraping by, and actually funding their upstream leads.

That’s where my main issue lies. MLM It is not for everyone, and it is designed that way. Let’s paint a hypothetical scenario. Say there was 1 MLM company in the whole world, and all of us joined, all 7 billion of us. By design, in most MLM companies, to be fair this is the case in all companies anyway, the structure is not flat. The early adopters as well as hard workers who are very good in influence and manage to convince as many people as they can to join will benefit significantly. This is a wild unscientific guess, but I don’t think more than 10% of the pool in a typical MLM structure can make a decent living on their earnings. The other 90% funds the 10%. You can challenge my guesstimate. But even at 50/50 split, the logic is still the same, the 1 half funds the other half.

In a large MLM company, like the one in our hypothetical example, that 10% can easily be 1 billion people making a decent living, but the other 6 billion people will be struggling, the 7000 000 000’th person will be getting zero for referral income, because there’s no one else left to recruit. And referral income is the lifeblood of the all MLM businesses, the underlying product comes a distant second in terms of earnings. Even if the Product does sell, what if all the 7 billion people have already bought that product? What now, who do we sell to? My example is probably stupid or narrow-minded or both, but it can be scaled down, what if you have sold to all your family and friends all all your social media links?

Now, let talk about the “few”, the 10% who makes it to the top ladder. To be part of the the “few” that make it in MLM business, you have to be an early adopter, and hope that the actual business will be sustainable for a long time. And you have to work damn hard selling the business and getting new leads all the time to increase your downstream. Eventually, you will get to a point where you don’t have to even do anything anymore, when you have big enough pool in your downstream, that works equally as hard as you did, to also increase their own fortunes. If you’re not an early adopter, you can still achieve some decent success, if you work hard enough, in converting new people to join.

I personally don’t have a single bone in me to either do the hard work, or selling, same reason I’ll just suck if i was a politician. And unfortunately, I cannot join any MLM knowing very well that I just don’t have the personality to do well in MLM business.

I know a “few” people who seem to be doing well with their respective MLM businesses, they’ve quit their professional careers to focus on it, and have been doing so for few years. So it does work, for some. Not everybody, actually most of them will collapse in 1 day if we were all to join and expect the same returns.

I hope I didn’t discourage, and I hope it works out for you, just keep on knocking on as many doors as you can, and don’t dwell too much of the ones who shut down the door in your face (like me 🙂 ) Just focus on the ones you win. You will lose some relationships along the way (but this depends entirely on how you sell, and how those relationships responds to it). Just be prepared for it.

All the best.

Ps: ***Thabo/Tbos is not his/her real name 🙂

dear africa – Matric 2016 Edition

NB: For a change, this is not about finance, but dedicated to the Class of 2016 that is now going to Universities and Colleges across the country.
For the past couple of years I have been writing and sharing a list of do’s and don’t’s for first years. This is by no means the gospel, just my own experiences and observations. The last time I was a full-time student was over a decade ago, so some of these may well be irrelevant.

– Most institutions only take online applications, please check with your respective one to see how they administer (late) applications.

– The website of most institutions, is the institution’s acronym, followed by .ac.za. Eg: University of Pretoria is www.up.ac.za
Tswane University of Technology is www.tut.ac.za and so forth

– don’t bring your big bags with all your belongings when you are still coming to look for space and accommodation, arrange to travel back home and get it or ask someone to bring it as soon as you have settled, only carry the essentials
(Most colleges now only accepts student who have applied the previous year, so perhaps this is not relevant anymore)

– don’t carry large sums of cash on your person, make a direct deposit into institution’s bank account and take the deposit slip to the school

– be careful of fly-by-night schools, if you never heard the name before, move along

– avoid the brown A4 envelope, it’s a dead give-away that you are new in town, looking for a job or place to study, get a nice bag

– use google maps on your phone, also get your local campus map to avoid attending wrong classes

– if you get lost, ask someone in a uniform for help, not just randoms

– walk with confidence, Bheki Cele style, even if your are lost

– don’t be shy to ask stupid questions on campus/in class

– by all means, buy 2nd hand textbooks

– lose the mxit lingo, Professors can’t be bothered to decipher what you trying to say

– choose your friends carefully, make an effort to be-friend the smarter kids in class (You will meet your lifetime mates here, most probably even your future spouse)

– forget that you were an A student in high school, work your @$$-off, most of the work will be new material

– find something to take your mind off school every once in a while, sport, social group, church, etc

– don’t open clothing accounts, resist the temptation

– if you have NSFAS, go easy on it, use it for tuition only. You will have to pay it back when you finish school, with interest. So think twice before buying that tablet, or swiping trolley-full of food that you will sell to other students with.

– if you want to start drinking, smoking, dating, taking drugs, don’t do it because you now have the freedom to do so, do it because you want to, and you know all consequences

– if/when you start dating, please use a condom, your parents didn’t send you to school to make babies

– register for 1 or 2 courses that are outside your main field, but interest you, eg: Philosophy, Foreign language

– if you’re studying IT related course, try to get some international IT certificates while you’re still in school. Eg: Microsoft courses, Cisco courses, Oracle courses etc. You might score yourself a nice student job on the side, getting real industry experience while still studying

– if you join SASCO, PASMA, or any other student political organs, please just keep your education first priority, then politics second, or find a perfect balance.

– google the word ‘plagiarism’ good, now that you know what is means, avoid it like the plague

– bookmark this website (http://www.wikipedia.org/), if you run into a subject/topic/concept/word you never heard of, forget Google, just search for it on Wikipedia. (Check the point above this one, about Plagirism, don’t copy and paste)
Also, note that Profs don’t like Wikipedia as a source, so after you understood the concept, try to find a reputable academic journal, and rather use that as your source

– try to attend a graduation ceremony, it will keep you motivated

– try to get vac work, it will place you miles ahead of your peers when you start job hunting

– having said all of that, have fun, varsity is meant to be fun, don’t be uptight, go to parties, socialise

– make new friends and have fun, but never forget why you are here

– bonus (stolen, don’t remember who posted it): you will meet some 17 year old driving your father’s dream car, move along swiftly

dear africa – 13th cheque or Bonus

First things first, your 13th cheque is not a bonus. It is your salary, already included in your total cost to company. Your employer is just nice to you by saving on your behalf, for 11 months. Because you can’t be trusted with saving it yourself if they paid it to you monthly. Oh, and your employer also earns a decent interest on that money too, which you get zero of, it is their reward for saving money for you.

Now that is out of the way, let’s see what you can do with your windfall.
If you really want to enjoy the benefits for a long time, not just for the next 16 days of spending sprees, you will be wise to use that money and pay of at least 12 bills of something on your usual monthly budget.
Here’s a few examples that you can pay once-off full annual premium, and forget about it for the whole of next year.
1. Medical aid
2. Short term insurance
3. Child(ren) school fees
4. Rent
5. Credit card or store accounts.
6. Access bond
7. Tax Free Savings Account
8. Retirement Annuity
9. Start an Emergency Fund

If you take your whole bonus amount, and drop it in one of the above, you will enjoy your bonus for 12 full months, instead of 16 days of December.

Bonus: This is an actual bonus, some insurance companies and schools will give you a nice discount if you pay for 1 full year in one shot. Now that’s a bonus.

But if you’ll rather be Moreki this festive, please give me a call, I’ll obey all the rules, as song as you buy.

Peace, have a safe one.

dear africa – Black Friday

Today is Black Friday, there’re specials all over the place. You know what else if on special? Stocks at the JSE, if your buy through my favorite brokers, Easy Equities: http://bit.ly/2fxtpk7

If you join and/or FICA today or on Monday, they will fund your account with R100. That’s not all, if you buy any stock, they will also wave their broker fees, which are already the lowest in the market anyway.

If you’re not sure what to buy today, buy Dis-chem, they just recently listed on the JSE, and are currently trading around R20 a pop. When Clicks listed in 2004, they were trading at around R7, today Clicks shares trades around R120. Considering that Clicks and Dis-chem operates very similar business models, it is easy to assume, and hope Dis-chem price will follow similar trend as Clicks.

Disclaimer: I am not a Financial Adviser and past performance does not guarantee future performance.

dear africa -Fi

I have been meaning to write up a step by step guide to financial freedom for a while now. The internet is littered many such guides, but mine is a my own personal journey, that I am travelling and learning as I go along. I have renewed motivation because a friend of mine is taking a journey I personally took just over 3 years ago. The treacherous trip of killing debt and stay out of debt. So today I just want to share my notes and methods I used along the route.

Killing debt is the very first step to attaining financial freedom. If you dream of becoming wealthy one day, this should be your very first step. Doing anything else before you complete this step is counter-productive, there isn’t any investment that can give you better returns than the interest you pay on a loan, except perhaps MMM.

To kill all my debt, I used a method called snowballing. I just found out that there’s a sexual practice with the same name, I will not get into details, let’s stick to the context shall we. Debt snowballing is basically applied when you have more than 1 account owing, and you pay off the smallest account first, while paying only the minimum required amount of the other accounts, until the first one is completely cleared, then you move on to the next, and so forth and stuff like that.

This is not the most efficient method, but it will do wonders in boosting your moral, because, in just a few months, you’ll have paid off your first account. The most efficient method is a variation of snowballing called the avalanche. Works similar to snowballing, except you pay the account with the highest interest rate first.

For this method to work, you need to be willing to pay a little bit extra over and above your minimum. Now that’s where the challenge lies, where do you get that extra money if you are already squeezed? Cut down on some luxuries. Don’t get that new Iphone, drop you dstv to compact, shop around for new insurance, trade your gym membership for running, reduce the booze, etc.

Before you start, cut up all the cards, toss them into the bin, do it today, now. That’s step number 0.

Let’s do an exammple:
Edgars, balance: R2500, minimum payment: R150
Woolies, balance: R5000, minimum payment: R300
Capitec personal loan, balance: R15000, minimum payment: R750
Discovery credit card, balance: R25000, minimum payment: R1500
Wesbank Polo Vivo, balance: R109000, minimum payment: R3400
Total time to pay off normally: at least 72 months (guess how many month using snowball)
Interest paid: Over R30000

Snowball: R700 (This is the money you managed to save by cancelling dstv premium and you will add it on to your debt killing strategy)
Month1: Edgars: R150+R700=R850, the rest pay just the minimum, to avoid the stress of those dreadful calls when you miss a payment.

Month5: Edgars is paid off. Buy yourself a bottle of R50 wine, not 4 cousins ne (with money you have been saving for not boozing up so much, don’t touch the snowball budget)
Woolies: R850+R300=R1150, the rest pay minimum.

Month8: Woolies is done. Call them, oh, and Edgars too, and inform them that you will not be needing the accounts anymore. They might try some funny tactics to keep you on their leash, or ask you to bring your paternal great grand mother’s proof of residince, just do it, get Khumbulekhaya, SpeakOut, Utatakho all involved if you have to. Buy another bottle of wine, not 4th street please, you deserve better.
Capitec: R1150+750=R1900, the rest, you know the drill by now.

Tip: On the credit card, call Discovery every month, and ask them to reduce your credit limit, by at least R1000. Do it. It helps to remove all temptations.
Tip: If you get a salary increase, also increase your snowball amount. If you get a bonus, drop some of it into one of the accounts, these additional amounts are called snowflakes, they make a great difference.

Month14: Capitec is done and dusted. By now your should be able to sleep through an earthquake, killing debt does wonders to the quality of your sleep. And now you are no longer avoiding private calls, it may well be a recruiter for a potential new job. But if it’s VW trying to sell you the new polo max with heated automatic panoramic sunroof, tell them in the most diplomatic manner to <insert your favorite word here>. My favorite word is ‘gtfo’.
Discovery R1900+R1500=R3400, and the minimum to remaining account.
Tip: Use an app called 22seven, connect all your accounts, and watch your networth moving from negative, towards zero.

Month17: Credit card is down, buy yourself a bottle bottle of champagne. Not Jc le Roux ne! But not Moët at Taboo.
Call Discovery, order a new card (remember you cut up the old), reduce the credit limit to the bare minimum, something that you can always pay off in 1 month, without a sweat. Credit cards, when used carefully can give you great rewards. But if you don’t want anything to do with credit ever, it’s absolutely ok to close the account too.
Wesbank R3400+R3400=R6800

Month27: Wow, well done, now you can take a picture with your car at a dealership, after you have done a maintenance service, ask them to borrow you that big ribbon, and caption the picture with “Look at God”. Don’t forget to call Wesbank to send you the necessary documents so that you can finally take ownership of your car. At this point you will feel like you can actually afford the Golf R, don’t do it. Take a holiday rather, and then stay tuned for the next step in the path to financial independence.
Tip: If you have a bond, consider putting it on as your last account on the snowball, I know the amount is staggering, but just do it. Paying off a house over 20 year period is criminal on the part of banks, and stupid tax on any one who does it.

Time to pay: 27 Months
Interest savings: over R5000 in interest saved.

Just to brag a little bit, I’m completely debt free, and for the first time since I bought my first car back in 2007, I have a positive net-worth. It is the greatest feeling ever, and if anything, makes you sleep very well.

Come on, take out your calculator, add up the value of all your assets, then subtract all the money that you owe to banks and retail outlets. If the number is negative, start today, and reduce that deficit, until you get to zero.

Here’s a link the spreadsheet I used in the example: