Leaving home

Leaving home 2
Leaving home Photo by Dovile Ramoskaite on Unsplash
Leaving home Photo by Dovile Ramoskaite on Unsplash

Leaving home

I am leaving home for a few days. I have the privilege of going to work in a kitchen at a 5-star luxury resort for a few days.

Now leaving home for 3 days shouldn’t be a problem when I have 2 teenage children and 2 adult children, my husband and a domestic worker, but it is.

Here are the problems with leaving home, even if it is only for a few days.

My adult children work, my son leaves at 6 in the morning and often comes home late at night. As a rule, if it isn’t meat he won’t cook it, so even though he can cook he is often too tired after his day to do much of anything.

My older daughter also has a full day job, she can at least make simple meals that don’t require a recipe. She is a creative person and recipes are just not her forte.

Meals can often be hit and miss. More hits than misses, thankfully.

My two younger daughters are old enough to cook but my middle daughter is severely ADHD and is far too easily distracted to be allowed near the gas stove unsupervised to do anything more than boil the kettle.

Even then I am often grateful for the whistle of the kettle when it boils, to remind her (and her father- he is quite possibly A.D.D ) that they have something on the stove.

My husband works a very demanding day and it would be unfair to expect him to cook after a full day’s work.

That leaves my domestic worker, who would happily help with the cooking. There are two problems with this. The first is that her repertoire consists of eggs and pasta and toasted sandwiches, all of which she does really well and with love to feed her ‘babies’. The second issue is that she leaves at 5 and most of my household only gets home after 6.

This means that food needs to be reheated and reheating will often dry out the food or overcook it. It also gives the ants invading my house a place to eat.

We cannot even drop a crumb without there being a mass collection of ants around it.

The next issue which is easily solved but a little costly is the school run for my younger girls. I have to pay someone to do the school lifts.

Lastly the health issue. My two younger girls are on medication that they need to take consistently, twice a day.

Putting the medication into pill sorters is not the problem, it’s getting them to remember to take the medication in the rush before school and in the evenings at bedtime.

To solve these problems I planned, I have cooked and frozen 3 dinners for when I am away, toasted sandwiches and pasta for lunch and reminders on their phones to take the medication.

Alarm clock Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash
Setting reminders Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

I will also be phoning in their reminders, and I have hidden a morning dose in their school bags, just in case.

Homework for my middle daughter is also an issue, with her ADHD and her being a typical teenager, with access to TV, Smartphones and Netflix, homework is often forgotten and nagging is introduced (by me).

My younger daughter is more responsible with her homework but still suffers from being a teenager and Social Media often more interesting than Life Science. This usually requires a little nudging on my part to get her back to homework.

So while leaving home is planned for, I will still worry that everyone remembers to eat, shower, take meds, do homework etc.

Meal Plan Template
Plans are an easy way to keep your home running smoothly

Having routines in place, calendars up, meal plan and schedules visible to the family should go along way to making sure I have peace of mind when I leave for a few days. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/good-mornings-and-good-nights/

How do you manage your home life, do you have schedules in place for smooth running?

20 tips to a morning routine

Routine Chaos
20 tips to a morning routine 3
Housekeeping Routine

Having a set routine will not do away with this altogether but it should reduce the morning mayhem significantly.

I have previously written about creating a daily routine for children http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/good-mornings-and-good-nights/ and thought it was time to focus on the parents. I have thought about this carefully and even ‘mostly’ tested it myself during these summer holidays.

The routine has been made to cover parents who have domestic help and those that don’t; this includes parents who work outside the home.

The use of the word parent instead of mom is deliberate, this is because I know that there are fathers out there who are raising children on their own, it is not only the moms. There are also those lucky families where both mom and dad are involved in the morning routine.

Here are 20 tips for creating a successful morning routine for parents

  1. Decide on an appropriate time to wake up

It is recommended that adults between the ages of 18-65 require 7-9 hours’ sleep a night. Truthfully I don’t think I get anywhere near that, except on Friday, when I get my 9 hours and maybe Saturday night if I am lucky.

By the time I have finished doing what needs to be done for my blog and business and managed to have a little time to speak to my husband it is usually midnight. Then I get up between 5 am and 6 am. My husband and son both leave the house at around 6 am, my son for work and my husband for synagogue.

Did you know that South Africa is one of the earliest rising countries in the world?

2. Get moving

I am not big on exercise, so going to the gym isn’t likely to happen anytime in the near future.

Exercise is an important part of self-care. I do a few exercises from my biokintisist that can be done on the bed and then there are a few old tips I remember reading about many, many years ago in a ‘Reader’s Digest’ magazine. 

Moving up and down, from flat feet onto my toes, in repetition while I wait for the kettle to boil, or swinging my arms out at the side while walking between rooms are two of the exercises that I do.


Have your shower in peace and quiet before the household is awake. If you shower at night then you just need to wash your face and hands in the morning.

4.Get dressed.

Once you are dressed, it gives you a sense of purpose, staying in your PJ’s can make you feel like going back to bed.


Whatever centres you for the day, now is your time. Take time to meditate, read your bible, do your morning prayers or just have that cup of tea or coffee.

5.Hair and makeup

Doing your hair and makeup is such a simple thing. Whether or not you wear full makeup or just some lip gloss it can often lift your mood.

I don’t wear makeup often but I do know that most of us look a little brighter with a touch of colour. Wrapping my hair in my scarves can take me a while though, I am often all thumbs!

6.Lunch prep

I have actually stopped making school lunches because my two teenage girls don’t eat it.

The rule is now that if they want lunch for school they make it themselves. I can get away with this as they are nearly 16 & 18 respectively, definitely old enough to pack lunch for themselves, they are also only at school till 1:30. My husband and son will take leftovers from the night before and up until recently, my oldest daughter was at home for lunch. She will now also take leftovers.

7.Make breakfast

Make yourself a decent breakfast and eat it in peace.

This is also a good time to put out the cereal bowls and cereal for everyone else to have breakfast. Recently I saw a suggestion that we should pour the correct amount of cereal into each bowl to prevent children from pouring out too much and wasting it.

8. Take any medication you need

Whether they are vitamins or supplements or chronic medication a lot of them need to be taken with or after a meal.

9.Afternoon lunch or snack

I meal plan all our meals so lunch is already decided. All I need to do is any prep work so that my domestic can put it together for the girls, while I am at work. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-being-a-working-parent-and-meal-planning/

10.Dinner prep

Not only do I meal plan but I have recently started prepping for the week on a Sunday, it takes me about 2 hours. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/dinner-theme/

In the mornings I will take out anything that needs thawing and either put it on the counter if it is winter and cold or in the fridge if its summer and hot.

If you don’t meal plan this is a good time to think about what’s for dinner and ensure that you have all the ingredients.

11. Empty the dishwasher

With a large family like mine, a dishwasher is a necessity for me, not a luxury. Once the dishwasher is unloaded it is ready for the breakfast dishes, this means that even my domestic worker has one less chore to do. She definitely has more than enough to keep her busy.

12. Start the first load of washing

Getting a load of washing going is one way to stay on top of the laundry. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/dirty-laundry/

For those that go off to work, I recommend a small collapsible laundry stand that can be opened in the bathroom or kitchen and your washing can dry safely while you are at work. 

Once again if you have domestic help, then the washing is ready for hanging and there will be time for ironing too.

13. Tidy up

Tidying up before you go to bed is better for some as it means waking up to less mess, but this isn’t always possible. 

The morning may suit others better as you have more energy to put away the bits and pieces left out the night before.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ynnzh2yrmfe9whi/2020%20housekeeping%20Calendar%20%282%29.pdf?dl=0On the monthly cleaning calendar I have broken down the housekeeping chores into a routine and clutter is listed as one of the daily tasks.

This doesn’t mean you should be doing all the work, tidying up after playing is a chore that every child should learn to do.

14. Check your calendar/diary/bullet journal

Keeping a calendar easily accessible is a great way not to miss out on important events. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/family-calendar-2/

15. Collect everything that needs to leave the house when you do

To reduce the chances of something getting left behind, take your bag and the lunches you have made to the door through which you will leave your home. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/the-launch/

Wherever your entrance/exit is, I suggest setting up an area where the schoolbags and other relevant paraphernalia, keys, jackets, etc. are kept.

16. Now it is time to wake the rest of the family

Your peace and quiet is now at an end. It is time for the rest of the family to join the party.

With everyone following their own pre-determined routines and you monitoring, the need for you to stress should be at a minimum. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/routine-mornings/

If your routine is already done, it is one less thing to worry about.

17. Feed your family

Their bowls of cereal are ready and waiting. An almost fuss-free mealtime, we hope!

18. Help those that need assistance

Smaller children need assistance getting ready in the morning; older ones usually just need a little nagging nudging.

19. Load the dishwasher

Once breakfast is done, get the dishwasher loaded. Each family member gets to rinse their bowl and spoon and put it in the dishwasher.

20. Out the door

With one final check that everyone has everything they need it is time for the school run.

If this means you are off to work as well, then hopefully the morning routine will allow you to have a productive day.

If you are coming back home to housework then some of your daily chores are already either done or underway.

Don’t worry!  I won’t leave you hanging for the day!  A night routine is just as important as your morning routine!  Just read next week’s post!

Sheets to the wind

Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash

5 sheets to the wind is usually an expression used when someone is very drunk.  This is what I should have been when I read an article about how often you should wash your sheets. https://www.cnet.com/how-to/do-you-wash-your-sheets-enough-probably-not/

Changing your bed linen weekly is something I assumed happened in every home, apparently not!

Photo by Nicole Honeywill / Sincerely Media on Unsplash
How often do you change your sheets?
How often do you change your sheets

The recommendation is once every 2 weeks! Weekly if you sweat a lot. In the article, which surveyed American households in 2017, found that 44% of the people surveyed only washed their sheets once a month.


The nurse in me wanted to vomit, the mother in me thought about how much water and detergent we would save.

How often do we wash our sheets?

The good news was that my own little survey in 2 Facebook groups showed that the majority of those who answered the survey, changed and washed their sheets weekly or at minimum every 2 weeks.

Nurse wins. Each day we shed thousands of skin cells; we lose hair and secrete oils into our bedding even after a shower.

This feeds millions of dust mites which are more often than not the cause of allergies and other skin irritations.

Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash
Linen needs to be washed every two weeks

Washing your sheets every two weeks just doesn’t seem all that hygienic to me.

Pillows, duvets and mattresses

Yet while we diligently wash our sheets and pillowcases, how often do we wash our pillows and duvets?

What about the mattress, do you have a mattress protector on all the beds? I know most homes with little children have mattress protectors for those inevitable nappy leaks and night time accidents. Did you get rid of them when night time got dry?

It seems that South Africans are little cleaner than the rest of the world and the bedsheets are washed at least once a week. I don’t know if this is because so many homes have domestic workers or we just happen to be a more hygienic nation.

How often should you wash your sheets and other bedding? http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/washing-scheduled/

There seems to be no fixed rule, so here is my advice.

Comforters and bedspreads don’t come into direct contact with your skin; they are usually used to cover your bed. You could possibly wash them every 6 months or so. If you have pets that lie on your bed, then I would recommend washing these items every 3-4 months.

Sheets, personally every week for me is as long as you should wait, but the maximum is every two weeks. If you have been sick, then the bedding should be washed as soon as you are well.

The common cold and flu viruses are hardly little critters and are highly contagious, so washing your sheets in very hot water is the only way to prevent the spread of germs.

Pillow and mattress protectors should be washed monthly, if you don’t have protectors then you should wash your pillows at least every 4-6 months, and your mattress, which unless you have a steam cleaner can’t be washed, should be taken out and given an old fashioned airing at least once a year.

Dust mite

Duvets should also be washed every 4-6 months.

5 reasons why you should wash your linen regularly.

  1. Bad skin breakouts- if you are rigorous in your skin routine and yet still have breakouts or you are prone to skin infections, then the bacteria on your dirty pillowcase can be the cause.
  2. Asthma – the skin cells you lose during the night are feeding those dust mites, this can lead to increased asthmatic episodes when you breathe in all those dust mites
  3. Allergies – Dust mites and pet fur are a major cause of allergies, with human shedding enough skin to feed over a million dust mites and adding pets to the mix easily adds to the build-up.
  4. Infection- Viruses and bacteria can live outside the body for a while.  If you have been sick recently, then it is especially important to wash your linen to avoid reinfection.
  5. Eczema- Allergens and irritants found in unwashed sheets can be triggers for dry, itchy skin. If you are using heavy creams and ointments to treat skin disorders, these can transfer to your sheets as they aren’t always fully absorbed by the skin. Once again this can cause a build-up if your sheets aren’t regularly washed.

While washing and folding your bedding weekly may seem like a bit of a chore, there is nothing that beats going to bed at night with clean, crisp sheets.

Here is a link on how to wash pillows and duvets. http://thepillowreport.com/how-to-wash-down-pillows/

KOO beans Budget beaters

Koo beans
My wonderful KOO hamper

One of my favourite budget stretchers just got even better!

KOO Beans! I love adding beans to food to bulk it up and now I have even more recipes and ideas to try out.

By chance, I saw a post on SA mom blogs https://samomblogs.co.za/ about KOO hosting an event to launch their new range of beans.

I haven’t been online much and had decided to check in and see who was posting what. I am so glad I did.

I went off to the KOO experience, just expecting to be shown the new range and listen to a talk about the brand and their new KOO beans range of products.

I never even thought about the fact that the venue happened to be a cookery school. I just thought it would be a good opportunity to meet the faces behind some of the other mom bloggers that I have come to know online through their blogs and in various blogging groups.

KOO beans experience
I really need to pay more attention!

I did get to put faces to names; I even met new faces and have a few new blogs and vlogs to follow.

The experience is not something I would normally get to have.

Keeping kosher usually means that cooking experiences and demonstrations happen few and far between. Even when I see an event that interests me I usually don’t go because it’s either on a Saturday which is the Sabbath or it is on a day when I am working.

Besides, what is the point when I can’t taste anything? That is definitely going to change.

 The event was sponsored by KOO and hosted by Margy Vally of the Olive Branch Cookery School, in Fourways.

Margy of Olive Branch
Margy Vally of Olive Branch showing us how to make truffles0

The meet and greet experience I was expecting was actually an interactive cooking experience using the new KOO beans range.

We all got to participate in making part of the light lunch that was served, lots of fun and delicious smells going on in the kitchen.

KOO Beans

The recipes KOO supplied were very easy and it didn’t matter whether you had no cooking experience or were a seasoned pro.

The menu was obviously very Mexican since we were using beans.

Spicy Nachos with KOO bean dip, guacamole and sour cream -KOO Black beans in Mexican style sauce

KOO Mexican tortilla cups – using KOO Black beans in Mexican style sauce

KOO Mixed bean and salsa salad- using KOO baked beans in tomato sauce, KOO Black beans in Mexican style sauce and, of course, KOO Whole Kernel corn

KOO chicken quesadillas and sweet corn salsa- using KOO Baked beans in Barbeque flavoured sauce

KOO Fiesta chicken burritos – using KOO black beans in brine

KOO Albondigas- using KOO baked beans in Chili Wors flavoured sauce

KOO Black Bean Chocolate Fudge Balls- KOO Black beans in brine, I cannot wait to make these!

I am so inspired and even though my meal plan for November is all drawn up and the shopping is done for the month, I actually have 99% of the ingredients in my pantry, plus we were given a very nice hamper. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/recipes/basic-mince-recipe/

This means changing the menu won’t cost me anything!

KOO beans Budget beaters 4
Black bean truffle

I think I just might try the KOO black bean Chocolate Fudge Balls first!

Beans are a staple ingredient in making food stretch; reducing the grocery bills and ensuring the family all get enough protein and fibre in their diet.

Where did the money go?

Where did the money go?
Photo by Sabine Peters on Unsplash

Do you ever ask yourself, ‘where did the money go?’ In the morning you went to the ATM and drew a fair amount of cash and then opened your wallet at the end of the day to realise there is nothing left?

Where did the money go?

Where did the money go? It goes so quickly when you don’t consciously plan what to do with your cash.

If you are used to using a card for everything then money loses its significance. If you are consciously budgeting your cash, using either envelope budgeting or one of many budgeting apps then you will probably know where the money went.

envelope budgeting
Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

How do you make your money last longer? It’s the small changes that make the biggest difference.

how much money did you throw away?

When you get that little piece of paper on your till slip that says R5 off your next purchase, what do you do with it?

In the past you were able to give it to the car guards but now it has to be used with the card. So do you keep it and use it on your next shop or do you think, ‘It’s only R 5’ and throw it away?

Snap n Save app can be used at many stores

Are you aware of coupons in South Africa? The R1.25 that you get in your wallet from snapNsave when you buy butter or margarine, the R11 off your dove shampoo on Wuhu deals, the 15% off on the NoName frozen veg, the R 6 you get off when buying chips and pretzels at Woolworths if you use the loyalty card and coupons all add up.http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/how-to-coupon-in-south-africa/

In fact at the time of writing this blog post, buying butter from Woolworths would save me R8 and get me R1.25 in my pocket to use at a later date. Buying bread using Wuhu deals and snapNsave would get me R1.80 off the loaf of bread and R 1.25 into my pocket.

Here’s what would happen to my grocery bill if I used the apps and loyalty cards. I haven’t added vitality or bank rewards like ebucks into the equation.http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/more-month-than-money/

I have used PnP prices for everything except the butter as with my WW discount it is less than the NoName butter.

Product Cost SmartShopper WW loyalty Wuhu deals SnapNsave
Blue ribbon bread R13.99     1.8 R1.25
Nulaid eggs 18’s 49.00       R1.25
NoName milk 2l 24.99       R1.25
WW butter 500gm 69.98   R8   R1.25
Oaties cereal R43.37       R5
Lancewood cheese spread R54.00+/-       R10
Fry’s butternut balls R49.99       R2.5
Baby marrow punnet R19.99 R3.10      
Frozen mixed veg NoName R 24.99 R3.5      

Shopping list:

Total without discounts = R350.30

Total with Instore discounts = R330.90

Cashback into SnapNsave wallet = R22.50 (this money goes into the app and can be withdrawn and used anywhere)

You took R19.40 off your grocery bill and you earned R22.5 in one shop. Imagine if you could do this every week/month.

Now, where did the money go? Even if you only got this amount off and back each month, within 12 months you will have reduced your grocery bill by R232.80 and will have saved R 270.

Bread is always on Wuhu deals but it limits you to 4 white and 4 brown loaves per month. SnapnSave also always have bread on, you get cashback on one loaf per week.

Smart shopper and Woolworths are partially based on what your usual shopping is and what they want you to buy.

If you start to use the coupon apps properly you won’t have to ask ‘where did the money go’, you will know it went into your pocket!

Coupons are a great way to save money

Do you use coupons? Did you even know that South Africa had such a thing? Would you prefer physical coupons or are you happy with the apps? Join the group, learn more about saving, share your experiences https://www.facebook.com/groups/iamdebtfree/

Do you know?

Do you know what it costs?

‘Do you know how much you spend each week/month?’

This is one of the first questions I ask potential clients during the 20-minute free discovery call.

It is important to me that when a client comes to me to learn how to reduce their household bills, they understand how much help they need.

I don’t want a client to book 6 sessions when they only need one, the same as I don’t want a client to think they only need one when in reality they may need 6 sessions. Maybe attending the workshop would be better. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/workshop/

Do you know how much you give away?

Do you know what it cost?
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I then ask them to write down what they think they spend and then for the next two to four weeks I ask that they keep every till slip and also keep track of any money they give to car guards and beggars.

For the most part, the reality of what you spend bears very little resemblance to the truth.

We think we know, based on how often you go to the store to buy groceries but what about the hidden costs? The car guards, the petrol to and from the stores every day, the items we buy on impulse while walking around the stores.

Hidden spending

The food that goes off and needs to be thrown away, counts as double. This is because you paid for it when you bought it and then threw it in the dustbin when it wasn’t used.

As I have said previously, I am not a financial expert or advisor. I can’t help you with investments, medical aid or insurance advice. I can help you with your household budget.

For a family of 4, my high-end estimate is R 3000 per person per month; this is including toiletries and household cleaning products. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/10-tips-help-save-when-shopping/

This is a large amount but it is more than 70% of South Africans are living on each month. It takes into account buying your groceries at the more expensive stores and not making use of loyalty points, digital coupons and rewards programs. Do you know what you are spending?

Most people in the middle to upper-income groups can bring their household bills down by at least 5% per month.

Start with small habits, like never shopping when you are hungry, using a shopping list and doing your best to stick to it.

If you are a daily shopper, begin by going only every second day, until eventually you only go to the store weekly. Start meal planning and only buying what you need.

Try shopping at a mall or hypermarket where you can do all your shopping under one roof; this way you only pay a car guard once and reduce the amount of petrol you use.

Give this method a try and see what happens. Join the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/iamdebtfree/ and share your experience.

Your money relationship is affecting your budget

Your money relationship is affecting your budget 6
Your money relationship starts early in life
Photo by Diane Helentjaris on Unsplash

Your money relationship begins as a child, which is a sentiment I read about in Suzie Orman’s book ‘9 Steps to Financial Freedom’ and again in Phumelele Ndumo’s book ‘from Debt to Riches’.

This is something I believe to be true; however, they are not always fixed. As a child, I learned that you don’t buy something if you don’t have the money for it. It worked for me for a very long time and I did really well as a student monitoring my spending.

A good Money Relationship

I didn’t earn a lot, I had to pay board and lodging and medical aid as part of my nursing training. It was compulsory in the 1980s for student nurses to live in Residence.
I also owned a second-hand car that needed petrol; I had 3 clothing store accounts too. Somehow I never ran short even though I went out at least twice a week with friends.
Once I qualified, I moved into an apartment and then a cottage, and still, I could make ends meet.

Getting into debt

After I got married, my husband and I had to go through 5 years of fertility treatment and that is where I lost control of my financial savvy!

The treatment is expensive and most of it is not covered by medical aid. You pay a lot of money, often for little or no return and the value of things got lost.

I went from comfortable on a tiny nurse’s salary to struggling on two incomes. Four children later and I am still struggling to get back my fiscal mojo.

Identifying your money relationship

So how do you identify what kind of relationship you have and when it started? Ms Orman suggests we look at our childhood gifts and upbringing.
Were you given money as gifts and if so what did you do with it? Were you allowed to spend it as you wished or were you told to put it away for that elusive rainy day?

Think back to your youth and focus on how your parents discussed money and dealt with their money.

This is where it all started.

In the 1800s and earlier, money was never discussed in public and often not in private either as it was considered vulgar and uncouth. The head of the family was in charge of any and all financial decisions. The lady of the house was then given an allowance to run the household. The discussion
of money was a taboo subject, a habit that has sadly continued for many into this day and age.

Don’t be embarrassed

Parents are embarrassed to tell their children that something is just not affordable!
I was listening to a radio program recently, where the question was posed, “if your child asked you for something because their friend has one, would you go out and get it for them?”
Two of my children were in the car with me and they thought it outrageous that according to the presenter the answer in a discussion by another radio team, was that 51% of people would.

He then asked listeners to call in and answer the question. I was totally shocked at how many of the women who called in said they would.

The reasons varied from not wanting their children to feel different, to avoid their child being bullied for not having the latest ‘it’ thing, to saying that their parents couldn’t afford it and, still as adults, resenting


My 17-year-old daughter made an extremely adult observation. She said that it was no wonder so many young people feel ‘entitled’, because, their parents never said ‘NO’.
I feel my job as a parent is to teach financial awareness and responsibility is being heard, it may not be being followed as she spends money as soon as she gets it but the understanding is there.

So before you sit down to pay someone to help you get out of debt, have a look at your habits, see where they were developed and identify your triggers.

There is no shame in getting help, the shame is if you have identified your weaker areas and do nothing to change them.

A financial advisor is just that, they can give you advice but they can’t change your money relationship. That is up to you.

Join the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/iamdebtfree/ where I post tips I learn about getting out of debt.

Credit ratings and your debt

Credit ratings
Keep your Credit ratings up
Over 8 million South Africans are in bad debt

Credit ratings

Your credit ratings are based on how well you pay your debt! Paying your instalments on time, and in full, increases your credit rating. At the same time though, having no debt decreases your credit rating.

So how do you maintain a good credit rating when you don’t want to have any debt? Unfortunately, there is no way to do this without having at least one debt.

Personal case story

Many years ago (approximately 25 years) before the children were born, I had paid off my Edgars account in full. Then my husband needed a new suit. Off we went to Edgars because I had enough credit on my account for a suit. We found the suit he liked and that fitted him and went to pay.

The suit was a little over the credit limit on my card. I wasn’t worried, because I (erroneously) thought since I didn’t owe anything on my account this wouldn’t be an issue.

You have to owe money to borrow money!

That’s when I discovered you have to owe money to borrow more money. I had to pay in because I hadn’t used my account within the four months in which the balance was zero and they weren’t able to allow me to go over my limit!

I haven’t been out of debt since! On the other hand, my credit rating is great!

So how do you have debt for your credit rating without getting into debt?
I have learned about a few different ways to do this. Obviously, the best way is through a home loan as this is something you must pay every month or risk losing the roof over your head, it also has a lower interest rate than other debt.

A home loan is a good debt to have.

That being said, not everyone can own a house/apartment but it should come before owning a car. You also need a positive credit ratings to apply for a bond!

Below are some bad but sometimes necessary debts.

The next one up is the car. Once again not everyone can afford a car and, without credit ratings, getting the loan for the car purchase is almost impossible.

Your other option is a credit card. The catch with the credit card is that you get deeper into debt and the interest rate is quite high if you don’t pay the balance in full each month.

To apply for a credit card the bank or lending institution wants 3 months’ payslips to determine your credit limit.

Getting credit when you are self-employed

Those who are self-employed, or an independent contractor, this may prove a little difficult. There are a lot of hoops to jump through but it can be done.

To use a credit card to create positive credit ratings requires careful discipline with your spending, as most credit cards come with at least R5000 as a credit limit. It is easy to pay the instalments on R5000, but not so easy to pay the full balance.

The balance must be paid in full each month or interest is charged and that R5000 will take a few extra months to pay and land up costing almost twice what the original purchase was.

For me, choosing a clothing store card is possibly the best way to go if you are unable to do the credit card thing but need to develop a credit rating.
Some of the stores offer 6 months interest-free or 12 months with interest.

I would choose a card that is linked to many different stores. Also, turn down any credit limit increases you are offered.

Pay on time and in full

The better your payment history the more likely this is to happen.
In my opinion, we should not use credit or store cards for anything. We should be paying cash or using a debit card when making a purchase. The exception being a house or a car and even then, try paying them off as soon as possible.

Please remember this is my personal opinion and advice. I am not a financial expert but I know what it is like to live with debt and how it causes stress in your relationships and on your health.http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/10-things-about-budgets-and-debt/

This article is written from my own personal experience and research, having been to a debt consolidation company, paying off a huge personal debt, owning multiple credit cards and being in great financial difficulty!

Your aim is for your debt to give you positive credit ratings.

Feel free to join the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/iamdebtfree/ where I will post tips as I learn them and sometimes budget and other financial worksheets as I discover them. The aim of the group is to help myself and other South Africans get out of debt and stay that way.

Are Your Fearless?

Fearless or Fearful?

Fear of money, of poverty and fear of success all prevent you from achieving financial freedom
Fear of money, of poverty and fear of success all prevent you from achieving financial freedom

In part 3 of this Road to financial freedom series, we will look at facing your money fears and changing them to positive statements.

The truth is that we do need money to survive but we don’t need it to live. We spend our money on fixing things that are broken but we don’t fix the broken budget.

You have been busy identifying your money memories, now it is time to identify your money fears.

What do you fear?

What are money fears? Money fears are things that you are afraid will or won’t happen with the money you earn, such as, whether or not you will be able to pay the bills or your rent/bond.

It is worrying, about job loss, about whether you will be able to retire comfortably.  Can you afford your kids schooling from crèche all the way to university and extra murals? Can you pay the doctor’s bills and all the rest?

These are the reason’s most of us work and, for some, it is the reason for staying in hated jobs. That’s called surviving, not living.


Over the last 8 months my passion became getting my life sorted and, along the way, something made it change a little and I fell in love with the idea of helping South Africans live better lives, not by helping them become rich, but by helping people find out about living and not just surviving.

Your best life

Oprah Winfrey had a series on her show about living your best life. She spoke about doing what you are passionate about. Now that is great if what you are passionate about is something you can build on while you are working at your earning job. This is what I am doing now!  By day I work for an orthopedic surgeon and at night and over the weekends I work on this blog. Some, like my cousin in America, was able to quit her job and start her very successful cooking blog.  www.4plates2table.com.

What’s your passion?

Your passions can change; my passion for more than 40 years has been nursing. I decided I wanted to be a nurse at the age of 5 and never changed my mind. It is who I am, not what I do, but with the changing of attitudes in today’s nurses, my passion for working in this field has faded.  I have a hobby I enjoy and use it to make money. I make and sell custom jewellery online. www.Etsy.com/Adiesdesigns. However,it is not my passion.

Jewellery is a hobby, but it is not my passion
Jewellery is a hobby, but it is not my passion

I don’t pretend to be an expert on finance.  We have been struggling to make ends meet for the last 17 years.

I am an average South African with the same worries that affect us all. I have so many ideas to accomplish my new goals that getting them down on paper has filled an entire 100 page notebook in less than 3 months. Putting these ideas into action will probably take me years.

The blog had a timeline, it was going to take a year to build my following and then another year before my first workshop or merchandising.  However, I am already one year ahead and have booked my first workshops on menu planning. My first product, a weekly magnetic menu board is available at certain stores in Johannesburg.

The first step to changing your fears about finance from negatives into positives is one the self-help guru’s all tout, over and over.  Make positive affirmation statements.

Sounds corny and it takes a bit of getting used to, but the more you do it, the better it works.

Are you rich?

There is a saying in Judaism from a book called Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers), “who is a rich man, the man who is happy with his lot”. Look at people, whether they are wealthy, middle of the road or poor.  In general, not a single one is actually happy. Why? Because they feel that there is more out there or that what they have is not enough. They are not being greedy, they are simply giving in to their fears.

In Suze Orman’s book the “9 steps to financial freedom”, she talks about how she was earning all this money and yet still living like someone who had no money! She lived in fear of losing her job (she worked on commission), she felt she didn’t deserve to earn so much. Once she changed her attitude, she actually started making more money.

I started my affirmations after reading her book a second time, with a 15 year gap between readings. At first I felt like an idiot. I told no one about it, but one of my affirmations that I say every morning to myself, is “I make a difference”.

It is a statement that I have always applied to my profession and used to say over and over to my students when I was teaching nursing but was not something I applied in my own life. As a nurse I knew I made a difference but not as a tutor, or a mother, or a person, with a meaningful contribution to society.

Be kind

I was recently told of a difference I made to someone’s life by an apparent act of kindness, which to me was not kindness; it was the logical action to take. I don’t even remember doing this but to the other person, I made a difference. I don’t feel so stupid saying my affirmations anymore.

The more feedback I get from people on the positive impact that this blog is having and the more this mantra is affirmed by others, the more passionate I become about the changes that can happen if just one person does something.  Just read the book “Pay it forward” by Catherine Ryan Hyde, or get the video, if you need proof.

Start off with one affirmation statement.  Your aim is to have three statements by then end of the month. The affirmation statements should not be self-limiting.  ‘I am enough’, not,’ I will be enough’, they must be in the present tense. Every morning and every evening, in front of the mirror, say your affirmations out loud to yourself. Throughout your day, keep saying it to yourself, write it on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror, dressing table mirror, the fridge door, by your desk, make it your screen saver, tape the message to your steering wheel.

A contract with yourself

Lastly, write yourself a contract. Something small, but in line with your ultimate goal which you set in part one.   http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/index.php/2015/09/06/are-you-on-the-road/ . If your goal was that you wanted to buy something and you needed to save up for it, write a contract: “I will put away at least R1 every day”.

This is an unlimited statement, it is not a fixed amount you are putting away. What about ‘I will do at least 15 pushups per day’, or ‘I will not check my phone more than once and hour’?

Your contract and your goal must be reasonable and quantifiable to be achievable. Don’t set yourself up to fail, start with the barest minimum that you know you will be able to accomplish, you can always amend the contract with yourself as needed.

For moms of newborns who are demand feeding, how about this contract, “I will put on real clothes every morning”?

“They say don’t believe your own hype, but if you don’t why would anyone else?  To be great you have to believe you can do great things.”Charley Johnson

Pesach 2019

Pesach 2019 7
Matzo, bread of our affliction

Pesach, a word that often brings tears to Jewish households everywhere. Not only tears for the story of Pesach but also tears at the thought of all that needs to be done.

I know we are still two months away but Pesach is an expensive endeavour to do properly and for those starting out it can be quite daunting. Starting early can reduce the stress a lot.

Pesach 2019 8
I have managed to earn enough points for a shopping voucher

During the year I build my Pesach fund by using WUHU deals and SNAPnSAVE as much as possible. Usually by the time Pesach comes around I have a few hundred rand saved and shopping vouchers from my points on WUHU.

Eezee coupons
Phone app from Checkers

I am one of those lucky people who have a separate kitchen, so when I see something on special that I will be able to use during Pesach I buy it and put it away.

Please check with your Rabbi for items that may be used during Pesach without the hechsher.

I have a little gas stove for Pesach so as soon as the week is over I fill it up. It is one less thing to worry about for the next year.

I am also able to store my spices in the small freezer to use again, without needing to buy more.

Last year a lot of supermarkets put the previous years stock on sale for amazing prices and I stocked up. I am watching carefully for this year.

One of the ways is to buy early and store is to use a trommel (trunk) that can be used to store your purchases. Air tight containers to keep spices fresh in your normal freezer are a good idea if you have the space.

Expiry dates are often just when the manufacturers no longer guarantee the quality of their product. To read more about this go to my article http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/how-old-is-it-2/

I always have a list at the end of each Pesach of things I would like for the next one. The wish list doesn’t always get fulfilled but I sometimes manage to get one or two items.

One day I would like to go on one of those Pesach retreats where I wouldn’t have to worry about, cleaning or preparing for the Seder’s. After 25 years of hosting Seders though I am not sure I would know what to do with myself!

Are you ready for Pesach 5779?