A financial entanglement is a complicated or compromising situation, in your finances that could cost your family thousands. This article will be referenced to examples from the most popular South African series named Gomora. There are a lot of financial mistakes in that series and we are going to share on ways to avoid being the next Thathi in your financial journey.
How to Avoid a Financial Entanglement
- Avoid debt or manage good debt
One of the biggest mistakes Mr & Mrs. Ndaba made was living a luxurious life which was sponsored by debt. When Mbongeni suddenly died, Thathi found herself in a serious debt trap as all their property and the house was repossessed by the bank. For someone who used to work in a bank, this was the least l expected. This just opened my eyes that many people live a life they can’t afford because of the status quo and they are in debt traps just to keep up with the Joneses.
Debt is not good because it is costly, it might sound good but tomorrow is not guaranteed and you wouldn’t want to live your family in a compromised situation. It is wise to save for the luxury items rather than borrowing. Understanding that there is a time for everything and we do not need to compete with anyone, will save us the stress of being caught in a debt trap or a messy financial entanglement.
- Maintain an Emergency Fund
A well-funded emergency fund is key to a strong financial foundation. From the series Gomora, it is very clear that Thathi did not have an emergency fund or savings. When things went south she was on zero. She had to go back and stay at her mother’s place in the ghetto. Imagine when you are used to staying in affluent suburbs then all of a sudden you find yourself back in the high-density suburbs where you used to diss.
Wearing brand clothes or taking vacations when you don’t have an emergency fund, is a recipe for a terrible financial entanglement. The emergency account is for unexpected emergencies including loss of income due to disability, death, and unexpected car and home repair. I caution against using credit for unexpected expenses because it, quite literally, compounds a bad situation with interest. Your emergency fund should be readily accessible but not too easily accessed that you are tempted to use it for non-emergencies such as vacations.
- Have Financial Dates
To married couples, l always advise a work together on financial matters. Don’t be like Mr. and Mrs. Ndaba right! This couple was in a financial mess but because there was no communication regarding their finances, the wife kept on spending money which was not there. Also, the kids were busy splashing and having parties when the parents were in bankruptcy.
Lack of communication on money matters can lead to financial entanglement. Opening channels of communication on money matters will save lots of stress and also avoid complicated financial situations.
- Financial Adaptability
It is wise when there are some changes in your life that affect your finances that you also adapt quickly to the situation. We notice that Thathi went back to her family, but was still in her high life mentality. This constantly caused fights with her sister; Pretty. When life happens, it’s best to change and adjust to the situation quickly before you hurt others in the process. Downscaling is not a bad thing when things have gone unexpected.
No one will save you
The last important way to avoid financial entanglement is knowing that no-one is coming to save you financially. Thathi’s friends dropped her like a hot potato when she wanted financial assistance. Even the followers on social media do not care about you when you don’t have anything to show off with. To save yourself the stress rather live within your means and stop the competing business.
In short, avoiding financial entanglements requires being real with yourself, assessing your financial goals, and putting a plan in action.
If you have watched Gomora please do share with us the lessons you have learned from the series.
By Tarie Manyonga