Reflections- Women Conference

I can not believe the success of the last two conferences. The property investment seminar was not that full but the engagement from the audience was impressive. As the host , I learnt so much from the guests which will definitely help me in my  investment journey. With last friday’s women conference, I am still processing how we got fully booked within a short span of time. For those that could not make it into the conference, below is the link to watch the recording.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WE3JY50XbDeqVWq0FAdcT98pF8g8ct6x/view?usp=drive_web&fbclid=IwAR18ax-JX8YjqrumojWI8kNWUGWm3TmHPE-ZKJYPndywEhLTMf9GeR7LTZE

To my new readers, the blog’s primary aim is to empower young adults on financial matters. Initially I started off with only financial matters, however with conversations , I am realizing that there is a need for other topics to be covered. It is for this reason that I hosted a seminar in topics other than money.

We would love to hear from you. How did you find the conference ? What is that one thing that you took away from the conference? What do you think we did well and what can we improve on next time? How frequently would you like to hear from us?

The one challenge with last week’s conference was capacity. My Zoom account could only accommodate 100 people and therefore we had people struggling to join. This is something that  I am looking into. If there is enough interest in future talks, I will definitely upgrade to a higher account on the condition that I can recover the costs attached.

To engage with us, please leave your answer in the comment box or email me at armaskletina@gmail.com

Until nex time ~Dhalondoka

When everyone else is gone ~ Reflection of financial decisions ( Inspired by Twaloloka)

Today when we drove from work, we gave someone a lift. The route we took passed by Twaloloka, the location that was recently destroyed by fire in Walvis Bay ( read it here) and many Namibians from different regions donated a lot of items to try and get the residents of this township to restore their lives and build  anew. The last I saw was a beautiful picture of tents lined up where the families are temporally moved to while the government is sorting out land where they will be located.

Photo: The Namibian

Today as we drove by, I asked my fiancé to drive a bit slow so I can observe. Life is continuing in the new settlement. There was a boy and his younger sibling taking off fish that was hung on a line to dry. This is common way to preserve fish if you do not have a fridge. Unfortunately all the donations catered for many things but not capital items. There was also fresh sand surrounding the tents which is a sign that some of them were working on making their tents firm to survive the wave of east winds.  There was even a tent where there was a taxi parked next to it. This brings hope that despite all the hardships, people were able to bounce back and start making the most out of life.

After some time, I then told my fiancé I’ve had enough time to observe and he could drive. He only took me there on the promise that I would not take a photo, to which I agreed. As we drove away, I realized the Red cross sign on one of the tent and the next and then the next. Only then I realized that the tents are either military tents ( green marked with big numbers) or white with Red crosses. It thus sank in for me that this is just a humanitarian crisis. There is nothing different between the living conditions of these people and those of displaced men and women in east and north Africa where civil war is still happening in some countries.

Only yesterday we all stood in solidarity and togetherness with them but now we are all gone. They are left to embrace life inside the tents.  Although not directly comparable, it reminded me of weddings in our communities ( in particular in Oshiwambo speaking people). How the whole family will pull together to make sure that the event is success. The donations will pour in in forms of money, food, cattle, cars to ensure that the event happens and that all guests are catered for. This often puts pressure on the couple getting married to match the efforts being put in by the family, which at times leaves many broke and indebted.

Just as the world went silent on Twaloloka and the residents had to embrace life by themselves, so you will be left to ponder and make the best of your financial decisions. Whether it was a wedding or any other financial decision, you will need to bear the financial consequences of your decision and re-build that which you have destroyed. For many, they go in debt and clearing this can cost them peace  and other unintended consequences.

In conclusion, when everyone else is gone and the lights goes off in your room, you will only have each other or yourself. Think before you act and avoid impulsive decisions.

own: Self reflection at the pond in my village

Love~ Dhalondoka Panduleni

Financial Wedding Diary of a Village Girl

2020 is a very interesting year to plan a wedding mainly because Covid-19 is changing the way we live. The best that has come out for  me thus far is online marriage counselling. Because of the restrictions in gathering, we get to do counselling online which allows for flexibility and freedom. This weekend there were two events in the wedding sphere in Namibia that is worth  highlighting.

I feel sorry for her but this too shall pass.

There was a heart moving story of an elderly couple who got a wedding funded by random Namibians after a clip of their announcement day went viral on social media. The couple did not have the means to throw a white wedding as known by many and many Namibia pulled together various resources to make this wedding happen. It was great to see the joy that this gesture brought in the lives of this elderly couple and it is something that they will hardly ever forget after 32 years of being in a relationship.

The couple could only thank God

This gesture was seen by many in two lights. Some people are pro the donation and they believe that everyone deserve a good wedding and it was unfortunate that the family of the bride and groom did not chip in to help. On the other hand there are those who believe that this couple were about the set a precedent that was going to liberate a lot of people in Namibia.  Society has labelled what a good wedding should be and its unfortunately expensive for many people and thus they just opt not to get married.

This is not just pressure to the poor people. Even as we plan this wedding, there are certain unspoken pressure from friends and family that if not carefully looked at can leave someone feeling unhappy and broke. This range from simple things  such as where to buy your wedding dress, what the value of your wedding ring should be, the number of grannies dresses that you should sponsor and who should do your décor. Often the inputs of these people is based on the opinion of what a good wedding should be and they ignored the fact that all that cost money.

I am lucky in the sense that if I make up my mind that this is not  in our budget ,  we will buy what fit in it and any suggestion beyond that, unless you are funding it, we will politely say “No thank you”. These was seen as being rude and hard headed at first but eventually people begin to realize that they do not have that much influence. In the end it all costs money and if the money is not there, there is unfortunately nothing we can do.

My one word of advise to other fellow bride who have  weddings  in November/December, let us not be ignorant  to   the  fact that times are not the same. There is a possibility that your wedding will only be attended by 50 people or even 10 people, so do not waste your money on unnecessary things that you will not be able to recoup. I for one is delaying the making of grannies dresses. My mum thinks I will stress last minute but I personally think I’d rather take the stress of splitting the dresses  to be made by 5 tailors instead of wasting money for dresses just to end up  in heap of other wedding dresses that our grand parents have. We have also given our bridesmaids and groomsmen an option to not pay if they feel constraints or might not make it instead of taking people’s money and then having to refund them later.

Yes, this may sound extreme but really, this is probably the first year the government restricts the number of people that can attend  a wedding thus things can not continue the way they are being done.  After seeing a bride getting arrested at her wedding day because she exceeded the number allowed at a gathering it really sank in that we are indeed living in unprecedent times. Imagine!

Love~ Pandu naTaati

Many thanks ~ Financial Coaching

I have always been wanting to get in speaking engagements so that I can teach and empower others on money matters. This has been long coming and 4 years ago, we met up with Sam Shivute who gave us tips and tricks on how to start but I found myself not having executed on that advise 2 years down the line. So this year when Corona hit, I made a goal that I will be working actively toward this goal and come November 29th, I would have done 28 speaking engagements before turning 28.

With online platforms things has really been easy. Just a poster and scheduling a meeting is all that is needed to be able to host a conference and of course your brain. I have decided I am making it even easier by reaching out to people in my circle that inspire me and I believe have something to teach. The interest has been growing with some session having as little as 8 people whilst other had over thirty people.

Whether I reach the 28 session before November or not is no longer the goal. The goal is to grow and become better at what I do. With one talk at a time we will create  that mental shift that can bring about economic emancipation amongst the youth.

In conclusion, many thanks to all of you that make time to join our meetings and learn from each other. Thank you for your time, contributions and questions. We hope that is the beginning of a great long journey.  In final thoughts,  let me leave you with this quote from a friend, what do you want?

I do not want to be rich someday, I just want to get in the shop and buy what I want without looking at the price

Zandra Maass

Stay safe  ~ Dhalondoka

Financial Schock- Home loan tracking

As I was  going about my day yesterday, I received a call to do something for my brother that involved money. In the process I had to log in my banking app so that I can check if there is enough to spend.

dav

My home loan is with the same bank where my transaction account is and everything I log in, I get to see what my total assets  (The money left in my transactional account) and what my liabilities are ( the money I owe on the home loan) is at any given point in time. The last time I checked, I remember thinking to myself that if I slash off the next N$50 000 of the home loan I will bring the loan amount to just under $200 000, which will bring me closer to my hairy audacious goal ( read it here).

What I found almost made my heart skip a beat. The app showed I owed a whooping N$657 000. What could have could have happened I thought? At first thought maybe someone stole my savings and now my home loan has increased significantly. Then again I thought, the house did not even costs N$500 000 so there is no way I can owe the bank that much. After collecting my thoughts I called the bank to enquire.

The banker was slightly confused because on her end, it shows the correct amount. She then assured me that maybe there is just something pulling incorrectly and I should not panicked. She refreshed the data from her end and hopefully it should pull through within a day or so. After that, I called a friend that has a home loan account at the same bank and she also noticed the same, and the bank is aware and are working on it.

After this experience I realized that in as much as I owe the bank, at this point in time, with the current level of earnings and responsibilities; I am not prepared to owe the bank $657 000. This is because I have conditioned my mind the sort of debt level that will not cost me my sleep at night in context of things around me and the quality of life I would like to live.

This therefore bring me to a very good introspection for you. How much are your debt level? Are you aware of how much you should be owing or you simply just rely on the lender to let you know how much you owe? Is your debt level perhaps costing you your sleep especially in these times of uncertainty? Think about it.

Stay Safe ~Dhalondoka

Property Investments Virtual Conference~ Coming Soon

dav

I have been getting a few questions from friends that have people ask them questions about property investments. These questions range from people wanting to know what the process of buying a home entails, whether now is the time to get a property and how much does one qualify for etc.

Although there is nothing special about the process, I think most young people lack the insight on property ownership and deciding on the right investment.  I have written a few articles of how one can understand the power of interest rates and the process of buying a home earlier, so to do some background work read those articles.

To better improve our understanding on this, I am excited to bring to you a virtual conference on properties, where I will share experiences from young people’s journey of buying properties. Getting information what the journey was like for them, what mistakes they made along the way as well as lessons and advise they have for other homebuyers.

This conference will be attended on an RSVP basis and first preference will be given to our blog readers. To be become a reader, kindly leave your email address on this article, for us to send you an invite or simply click the follow button  and enter your email.

Sharing is caring, spread the word.

Stay Safe

Dhalondoka

 

 

Impairing trust in the soft loan market

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I am going to put this disclaimer upfront – This article is in no way meant to be an attack to those that owes me money . I am just writing a few concerns I have personally and shared by those around me about the soft loan to our fellow friends and family.

I was planning a trip for one of my team member  to go wrap up a job out of town. This entailed making transport arrangements which involved money. She is travelling with a company our firm does not have an account with, and it was sort of the late for the firm to make a payment , so I engaged in a conversation to ask if she has funds available for her to pay and then claim in the next S&T cycle.

I was not expecting her to have money for such an unplanned trip in the middle of the month but surprisingly she did. This for me was impressive looking at her earnings level because I have seen people with a much higher income level that can barely make it through the month. When I ask how she manages to do that, she mentioned a few things but one that caught my attention was “No i have stopped lending people money so that they can learn how to manage their funds”. This for me was profound.

Let me define for you what a soft loan is. It is define as a loan that is made on terms very favorable to a borrower. Often it has no interest attached and has no fixed repayments  terms ” other than not being repayable before the next pay day of course”. If I were to put it on my balancesheet, I’d probably classify it as a non-current related party loan with almost an element of a loss on day 1.

The thing that saddens me is that, the borrowers of soft loans do not respect the lenders which is beginning to erode trust in that market. The borrowers in many instances demands these loans at unreasonable terms such as:

  1. They want such money within a short period of time ( instantly) and whatever it will cost you. This might mean incurring charges for withdrawing money against the terms of your account and incurring extra charges or even disrupting your schedule to go apply for them this money.
  2. They want it in a given form- some except you to EFT you even if you tell them you only have cash. This is also time and money for you to arrange this deposits.

As if that was not enough, there is always an assumption that you did not need the money that is why you gave it to them. They than take it for granted by not committing to a fixed repayment terms by stating things like ” I will pay it as soon as possible, I will pay it when I get my money from XX, I will pay it when I get paid or I will pay it installments” . Here is the thing, the lender is already lenient that they are not charging you interest and yet you cannot even commit to a repayment term?

What is more disrespectful is when the term that they pay  promised to pay sort of lapse. In many instances, they go quite without rendering an explanation as to why they do not fulfil what they promised. Even worst is when they give you an excuse that they first had to do ABC and ran out of money and they will see if they can maybe pay you next month.

Again, this is not an attack to my debtors, these are general concerns everyone who is lenient shares. Please get this very well and do not take it personal.

What I am trying to get you to understand is , what you are doing is indirectly impairing trust in the soft loan market. You not repaying that loan as promised will put a dent in that person’s budget and incapacitate them to help the next person who is needing help just the same way you were in need. You assuming that person has money is impairing trust in that person’s ability to trust the next borrower. You not paying back is costing the other person in interest that they could have earned in the savings account that they took to help you.

Just like my team member has stopped to lend money so that people can learn to manage their funds well, essentially we will also do the same. One day I will wake up make a decision like her, what then?  The soft loan market is one that is holding society together especially in the black communities.

My plea to you , if you borrow money from someone

  1. Be thankful that person helped you.
  2. Be respectful to honour your promises
  3. Do not assume that person does not need the money
  4. Be mindful of those that are coming to ask after yoube

As soon as we get that, this market will continue and we will all leave in harmony with one another.  If not, each soft loan essentially is just a peace eroding , friendship destruction transaction, which is a ticking bomb waiting to explode.

Stay Safe

Dhalondoka

( These are days when I explain what my Dad meant with my name ~ the one who is warned in advance has an opportunity to prepare to fight the battle”)

 

Insurance vs investments

 

 

Airtport

I have written a few articles about insurance, one which was triggered because I lost my bag on a plane early last year.  In these articles, I covered what insurance is and how excess works on short term insurance. Today I would like to bring one important aspect of insurance. It’s non cumulative in nature.

Yesterday my broker called offering me a new product. He explained that they are discontinuing the sale of the existing product and are offering a new product. Under the old product, the main key features were:

  1. My cover was subject to a 5% annual increase
  2. It was a life time contribution
  3. And it has future debt cover

The new product  although similar in nature is slightly different in a sense that it:

1. Has a cap on contribution. One is only contributing until retirement. An important element due to the fact that when you retire you are unlikely to have a higher income and thus may not afford to carry on with the premium. What is important to note here is that, if you stop contributing in the mist of the your lifetime, you loose the benefits no matter how many years you’ve paid. This is  indeed a good benefit introduced. But since they are taking a risk that you might live longer than anticipated, you  will need to pay a slightly higher premium to compensate them for this risk.

2. The second benefit is that of a cash back. Every 5 years, you will be getting money back from the insurance if you are still alive. The benefit with the life cover is that it only pay out in an event of your death. So it’s a future investment for those that you’ll leave behind in an event of your death. Therefore having the option to receive some of your money back whilst you’re still alive may encourage people to view it as an investment option too.

As for me, I am definitely considering the new cover as there is nothing to loose and I have more benefit when compared to the current cover. The only issue with changing covers is that you need to re-do blood tests that you would have done when you enter in the first contract, which if your lifestyle has changed may increase your risk profile which might increase  your premium.

After consultations with my fiancé, we actually reached a conclusion that even if the new cover is better than the old one, it comes at a high premium and since my lifestyle has not changed since the old cover,  and with other commitments already in the pipeline, it’s best I stay on my old cover. We will re-look into it early next year when we are planning a family and maybe increase the cover to include future kids if possible and update the beneficiary list.

In conclusion, insurance contracts are not investments. If the insured event does not happen or you terminate the contract before the insured event, you loose all your contributions.  In addition, products will always be upgraded and sound better so really evaluated whether its worth changing or not.   Know the difference between insurance and investment to avoid disappointments many years down the line.

Stay safe.

Dhalondoka.

Financial checklist

Checklist

Earlier this year  I bought a book  with an interesting checklist at the end. The book itself was not the greatest finance book I’ve read but the checklist at the end was very useful.

The checklist is one that I use to establish a client profile in my coaching business. When you call in for an appointment, generally, I would ask you to complete the checklist. This is the first ground work we do to understand our client and assess what numbers we are working with.

As you know that the tax season is upon us with the extension for individual income tax returns date moved to September, I was trying to file my return  to avoid the last minute rush. This is now done online , which I already registered last year. I was surprised to learn that I had actually forgotten my username and my password; which was  is risky if this was a last minute submission.

As part of improving my financial checklist, I already had a tax folder but I had only populated my income tax number. I therefore added in my username and log in details in case I forget it again.

Having those details handy especially your income tax number is very useful especially when you change jobs as your new employer will need that. Else you will be double registered for tax and incur penalties on your dormant account.

Having all your information in our file helps make you better financial decision.

Remember to file your tax returns.

Check out our services in the article on how you can kick start your financial planning journey.

Stay Safe

Dhalondoka

 

 

Signing new clients – Drive, plan, connect and soo much more

Today as we drove to work, we noticed someone new at the corner of the street on our route to work. The lady used to be our driving school clients at some stage so we stopped by to greet her and also to see what she was doing there. She has started a business of selling coffee and bread to commuters as way to raise money as she was recently retrenched at the mall.

How did she think of a coffee business in times such as these? Well, determination. She thought of an opportunity and went for it. Whether she makes a success out of it or not will depend on how well she run and manage it and most importantly how she market it.

This brought me to re-assessing the business I am involved in. Very rarely do we market our product on larger platforms but the cost of digital marketing is almost minimal.

So kindly please see the services we offer and see which one you can sign up today:

Empower driving School – We offer driving classes for those wanting to obtain their driver’s license in Walvis Bay. Our affordable rates $119.99/Hour  with complementary free hours when booking for more than 6 session.  Flexible working hours everyday of the week to accommodate you and your schedule.  Contact Matias  at 081 206 8881 for all your driving needs.

Business ideas

Financial coaching one or one – If you have been join our Zoom group sessions, you might not be able to get personalize advise given the number of people the call. We  can offer one or one by helping you look at your situation and finding a long term solutions for it. Our consultation fee start at N$199 per session. Make the choice today and take charge of your finances. These sessions are held via Zoom hence we are available across the country.   Book your slot by sending a message at 081 61 47 860.

 

Hosting an event – Want to host a virtual sessions and not sure what or when to start? We will design and market the event for you and  schedule it on our zoom account. Rental of the account is N$99.99  for each session and the account can accommodate 1000 participants with no time limit. Your event will also be recorded and we will share with you the recording of your call in case you have people that could not make the meeting. Book your slot by sending a message at 081 6147860. Marketing costs are charged separately depending on what your needs are.

Black Tax

Airtime and Dstv services – We offer monthly Aweh packages where our clients pay upfront for their services and we send weekly aweh vouchers. We also are a DSVT agent and facilitate  payments. For this we are merely agents and we do not charge you extra. What you would have paid at DSTV or MTC is what you will pay by us, except we might save you extra costs such as taxi fee or bank charges. Our preferred options are EFT as that normally is free at many banks. For this dial us at 081 61 47860 or 081 20 68881.

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This are how we can be of service to you.

Stay safe

Love

Dhalondoka