I AM certain a significant number of us have been or are in debt at the moment.
Being a debtor is often not a great position to be in, particularly when you are failing to pay off the loan.
This past week I was privileged to attend a train the trainer workshop that was being run by Old Mutual.
This workshop changed my life, not just on a trainer level, but on a personal level too. Old Mutual has primarily come up with a life-changing programme on financial literacy dubbed “On The Money”.
The programme is a financial education initiative created to teach individuals how to best manage their finances. It is based on the behaviours of Africa’s “Big Five” animals.
The unique behavioural characteristics of the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo have been distilled to teach individuals how to manage their personal and family finances. At the end of the programme, participants are able to:
Explain the importance of managing their personal finances,
Acknowledge their current “money” personality,
Understand the importance of changing their financial behaviour,
Demonstrate how they can break old habits that get in the way of financial stability and establish new ones.
Research shows that Zimbabweans are not a saving nation. Yet as Orison Swett Marden states: “One penny may seem to you a very insignificant thing, but it is the small seed from which fortunes spring.”
Most Zimbabweans live from hand to mouth and saving just does not seem possible, especially with our “meagre” salaries.
“On The Money” helps people realise that indeed it is possible to save as it is not about the money you make, but about how you spend it.
For this reason, I hope that as many Zimbabweans as possible will be able to attend the “On The Money” workshop. I am sure it will help change mindsets.
As an image consultant, what caught my attention is the relationship between debt and one’s dignity and reputation.
Victor Hugo once said: “A creditor is worse than a slave-owner; for the master owns only your person, but a creditor owns your dignity and can command it.”
In addition to the loss of dignity, the worry, distraction and shame associated with debt can take an emotional and physical toll on our health. As Benjamin Franklin states: “He that goes aborrowing goes asorrowing.”
On the other hand, being debt-free and having control of your finances gives you peace of mind and a bounce in your step.
Strive to have control over your finances. It can be done.
Nonto Masuku is a partner of an image and reputation management firm