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“I learned that money problems can cause many other issues”

money problems melissajavan

Today on the Money Mistakes series, I’m sharing the story of Chanene Ablett who hails from Benoni in Johannesburg. We did this interview a while ago (thank you Chanene) and in the meanwhile Chanene was awarded a 2017 SA Mommy Bloggers’ Award. You can read more about it here. You can also find more about Chanene on her blog, Tonic and Tiaras.

I started the Money Mistakes series to hold myself accountable, identify my mistakes and also to improve paying off my debt. You can read about the “Six Things I Learned From Paying Off My Debt” here.

Anyway, Chanene’s story hit me hard and I can identify with some of the past financial mistakes she made. One of it was to not take responsibility for my debt and let it go into further arrears. Once, I had a loan where I paid less than the instalment each month. After two years I saw that my loan amount is still the same as when I got it. Very, very sad. I then decided to pay more.

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Here is Chanene’s story:

Tell me a bit about yourself.
I am a debt counsellor – no longer practising. Currently studying towards a degree in Community Development. I’m a mom, a beginner blogger (and an award-winning one) and worker bee.

What are the worst money decisions you’ve made?
There were quite a few mistakes I have made – at one stage I owned a business which supplied au pairs locally but when the recession hit the need for the service was reduced as everyone had to tighten their budgets. This did not help my financial situation as I had bought property and had bills piling up.

I then did what I think what the majority of people do – I applied for a loan. I did not know how to budget. I think when you do not have direction of your finances it is easier to feel stressed not knowing what you owe and acting like an ostrich with your head so deep in the sand, with only your toes showing. The feeling of being overwhelmed and a failure made me not take responsibility and make even worse decisions when it came to my finances.

What lessons have you learned regarding money?
I have learned a massive amount;
If you find you are in trouble and that you may need help. I (now) know of a Debt Counsellor who offers a free assessment and guidance when it comes to budgeting.
Step one – take control of your finances.
Step two – if you do not know how to budget or where to start – ask for help.
Step three – speak to your credit providers once you have a plan.

A few things I have learned as well when it comes to money is that if you pay the minimum amount owing on your credit card or loan without making transactions depending on your interest, you are looking at paying back a minimum of two years.

I have learned that money makes us happy when we buy something nice or do something nice. I have also learned that money problems can cause so many other issues so being sensible is sometimes the hardest part. The (good thing is the) feeling of paying off a debt or having a financial goal achieved is a such an amazing feeling.

Who (and where) taught you about money/ making good money decisions?
I think this is a combination of my husband (he is extremely good with money) and when I did my debt counselling course I learned so much more. I think to budget and learning how money works are something that needs to be focused on more at school. I feel this way because we go towards cashless environments (yet) we are losing the value of money and the importance of budgeting and being financially responsible.

You can follow Chanene on:
Twitter: @MsChanaynay
Facebook: TonicandTiaras
Instagram: tonic_and_tiaras

Here are more stories of the Money Mistakes series:
Money Mistakes I Won’t Make In 2018
Money Mistakes I Made
Do You Know Your Money Weakness?
Money Mistake: I Bought Everyday Items On Credit
How To Save Money: Lessons From My Parents
“There’s A Link Between Your Emotions And Financial Behaviour”
How To Pay Off Your Car In Two Years
“I Took Out A Loan To Pay Off A Loan”
The Main Reason I Haven’t Paid Off My Car Yet
Creating A Photo Book For The Grandparent

Thank you Chanene!

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