On Friday, 6 March 2020, a team from Nedbank in the Garden Route, conducted a financial awareness session with staff members of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) at the municipality’s Head-Office in George.
The purpose of the session was to inform staff regarding the importance of their financial well-being and how to make a mind shift to ensure meaningful and effective financial decision-making. The following topics were covered, namely: saving, budgeting, credit and the implications thereof, as well as why customers are turned down for credit related transactions.
Ms Marcelle Field, Sales Support Manager, advised that the first most important aspect to look at one’s lifestyle and budget, is to differentiate between what the needed items and wanted items on a budget are. “And for staff who does not have a budget in place, draft a budget immediately, it is not too late,” she said. During this part of the session, employees participated in an exercise, where the Nedbank team provided them with a simulated budget, for them to identify the “needs” and “wants” on the budget, as well as what expenses were fixed, variable expenses or part of unforeseen expenses.
More topics, namely: the importance of a will, housing bonds, how to build a good credit history, as well as the importance of saving for a child’s education and future, were shared. During this part of the session more questions were raised of which the Nedbank team responded well by using practical examples to convey a clear message to all employees present.
In conclusion, five staff members participated in a role-play and acted as financial advisers to the simulated budget, to advise the budget owner on better decisions to make for an effective budget. The result of the role-play was an indication of how well participants grasped the information and tips provided to them by the team.
Ms Shandre Abrahams, the GRDM Employee Wellness Practitioner extended a word of appreciation to the team, including, Mss Marchelle Field, Melissa Vermaak, Joanne Ross and Larissa Olivier, for their insight and for the important information shared with the GRDM staff. The next session will be conducted for staff members at the municipality’s depot in Oudtshoorn, with the Knysna, George and Riversdale depots to follow.
The top financial tips shared at the event:
- In terms of budgeting, identify “Wants” and “Needs”, as well as the “fixed”, “variable” and “unforeseen” circumstances, write down income and expenses and mark the items that were already been paid. Also, start to save as little as R50 per month (stop order if not sufficiently disciplined).
- In order to maintain or build a good credit record, do not skip any payments and make payments on time. Do not be afraid to borrow money, but never borrow more than what you can afford. Open a current account as it helps to build up a credit profile and do not draw excessive amounts of cash, rather swipe your card as it leaves a paper trail.
- Always ask for a statement and scrutinise your statements thoroughly and make arrangements to pay off debt before you are handed over.
- Good credit is regarded as an investment e.g a house. These investments add value to your life and contribute to your financial well-being and stability.
- Bad Credit is used to buy items that can be consumed e.g. food or clothes and if abused, can lead to financial instability because food and clothes do not increase in value over time.