“I took out a loan to pay off a loan”

“I took out a loan to pay off a loan”

I met Abongile Khunjulwa Tyopo through Twitter. We haven’t met in person yet but she was keen to share her story on my blog series “Money mistakes I made“. I started this series to share things I’ve learned in my personal finance journey. I also hope to learn more about saving and investing through this. And yes, it’s good to hear that there are people who went to similar things as I did.

One of the things Abongile teaches us in this post is that it doesn’t hurt to wait and save for the things you want. I seriously needed this reminder. Thank you Abongile!

Abongile Khunjulwa Tyopo pay loan
Abongile Tyopo

Here’s our Q&A:

Tell me your full names, please.
Abongile Khunjulwa Tyopo

Where do you live?
Port Elizabeth

Tell me a bit about yourself.
As a Public Relations professional, I’m employed full time as a Communication Manager for a legal firm. I have been employed since my third-year tertiary level at 24 years. I am now 36.
I’m a parent of two girls (ages 11 and 5) and married for eight years. I pay black tax too ๐Ÿ™‚

What are the worst money mistakes or decisions you’ve made when it comes to your finances?

  • Phew! plenty ๐Ÿ™‚ But on the number #1 spot is taking a loan to pay off a loan (hides).
  • #2 Getting two cars – brand new – on credit because the banks said I could afford it.
  • #3 Spending all my pension payouts whenever I resigned from jobs and blowing it on holidays instead of re-investing
  • #4 Not investing for my own post-graduate education
  • #5 Generally just being too spontaneous when I had a windfall (At some point owning gadgets I didn’t need, holidaying on a whim and paying peak season rates and buying things that depreciate)

took loan out pay melissajavan

RELATED POST: Money mistakes I made + Lessons from my parents

What lessons have you learned regarding money?

  • Clothing store cards – never again I had my first and last clothing store account when I was a student. I couldn’t pay it off until I had a judgment to my name. As soon as I started working I spent my first performance bonus to clear my credit. I have never had a clothing card ever since. It was just feeding my silly spontaneity. Now I save to buy clothes at certain seasons.
  • Never buy furniture on credit. When I first started working I stayed with my aunt, only contributing to monthly groceries and her electrical bill. I could stay for as long I wanted because she was happy to have someone there. But I was young and naรฏve and what’s a better way to show your friends you have arrived than staying in your own pad and “owning” your own stuff? Instead of saving for when I move out I went and bought everything from fridge, bed, pots, to radio, on credit. At some months I couldn’t keep up paying rent, water, and lights while maintaining a good credit with my furniture store. To make matters worse, I also quit the job while I had a mountain of debt. I started a new job and my salary went once again to clear the credit. Now I am not afraid to wait to buy new couches, and I am not afraid to buy second hand – but always cash.
  • Never take a loan to pay another loan. It’s just stupid. Don’t do it.

What tips can you give us regarding the lessons you’ve learned?
1. Avoid credit like the plague ๐Ÿ™‚
2. Wait. It doesn’t hurt to wait for that pair of shoes, that new curved TV, that cruise to Portuguese Islands will come again. Instant gratification has long-term effects.
3. And don’t be a slave to commercialism. Just because Kim Kardashian sleeps in Versace pajamas doesn’t mean I must get them. I sleep fine in my pair from Edgars ๐Ÿ™‚

Who (and where) taught you about making good money decisions?

  • Firstly, experience is the best teacher! Most it is learned from being burned, from making bad decisions.
  • Secondly, my grandmother – she saved and invested and she didn’t depend on one source of income.
  • Some I have learned from friends, colleagues, radio interviews, magazine articles, blogs, and well-known personalities. Oh, and one time I banked with a bank that had a financial planner as part of the package, learned valuable lessons from that as well.

Please share your blog URL and social media handles.
No blog as yet. Twitter: @ZondiKaZiyeka and LinkedIn: Abongile Tyopo.

Thank you Abongile!

What did you like about this interview? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.


  1. It’s almost necessary to make some of these mistakes because that’s how you’ll. Listen, I’m learning every single day about making the right decisions about money because Iv made the wrong ones before.

  2. Love this post – really really, some awesome tips and still learning some of these lessons much to my detriment. But we all make these mistakes.

  3. The store credit cards are becoming more and more popular over her in the UK. The amount of horror stories Ive heard about them are keeping me well away!! It’s good to discus this though because some people are not aware of these things! Great idea to get this stuff out in the open ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  4. I so appreciate Abongile’s perspective and her honesty about the financial lessons she’s learned. I have learned pretty much all of these same lessons the hard way too! Never, ever again to store credit cards or financing things like furniture or even cars.

  5. So true I remember getting my clothing account and feeling so grown up and so happy but that did not last when I still had to pay back the money… and I did not have the clothes anymore.

    Excellent advise and lessons learnt from Abongile

  6. Thank you for shedding light on this key topic. I remember when I was in my early twenties having this “now” mindset. I also felt I needed to make them to get through and learn. I’m now more conscious of how I manage my money

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *