Shaney Vijendranath: I save, I budget and I spoil myself on special occasions

by - August 14, 2016

Hi, I’m Shan Vijendranath is one of the most famous mommy bloggers in the country based in Johannesburg. She is a  mom to Kitana and Kiaan. Her blog - - is all about her journey through motherhood and the little bumps on the way. The aim of her blog is to share real stories, connect moms to amazing brands and get the conversation going.  I spoke to Shan about her money habits.

Are you feeling the impact of the rand? How?

Yes, I am feeling it. I've recently travelled to United states of America on a working holiday and it was extremely expensive! I ended up spending way more than I budgeted for the trip especially New York and Disney world. My husband is living in New York for the next 3 months because we busy working on a start-up and his rent costs more than our house bond here in Johannesburg.

What are you doing to remain positive about your family's financial well-being during these tough times?

Well, I think it is important to try and do lots more activities at home or around the neighborhood. I’ve been spending more time with family and friends – having play dates for the kids so they still get to go out and have fun. There’s so many free awesome events or activities you can do that keeps you in budget. Picnics is a great idea for a family day out that doesn’t really cost you much. I’ve been limiting our takeout’s and instead spending more time in the kitchen cooking and baking with my daughter. Family time helps me remain positive.

How did your childhood influence your attitude towards money?

My dad died when I was 8-years-old, after that a lot changed at home. My mom became the bread winner and I think after seeing the way she did things; I’ve learnt to appreciate the little things but I’ve also learnt make the most of each day. My mom always tried to give me the best with the little money she had. I don’t deprive myself of things but I also don’t shop in stores I know I can’t afford. I don’t care about big brands – it is all about what my pocket can afford. I save, I budget and I spoil myself on special occasions. For me, it’s extremely important to save for my kid’s future and education – unfortunately it is something my mom couldn’t afford to do for me.

How have you changed your spending, saving, etc., as a result of being a mother?

Well honestly, having two kids is costly! From nappies to formula – everything is pricey. My husband and I have a savings account for the kids. This money won’t be touched any time soon. We even got an education policy which I think is extremely important for any family. We try to save where we can but there’s just some expenses we can’t avoid but I’ve become more aware of sales now that I am a parent.

How do you define financial independence?

For me, financial independence is when I can travel around the world whenever I want to and not have to worry about limiting the activities and shopping I want to do.

If you have the choice between buying a home or investing in shares, which would you choose and why?

Definitely investing in shares because I know the reward would be big later on… especially for my kids and their kids.

When do you let yourself splurge, and why do you think it's important that people treat themselves from time to time?

On special occasions and holiday trips! Special occasions for us normally means at least once a month when something exciting happens in our business or when we want to celebrate life and be thankful for what we have. We used to hardly travel overseas because of budget restrictions but that has changed recently because of work.
Life is short, live each day like it’s your last – by that I mean eat what you want and travel when you can. There’s so much to see and do in the world! We can’t be saving all the time, sometimes we just need to celebrate and be thankful for what we have achieved thus far. We work hard so we should be allowed to play hard too. 😊

What's been your best and your worst decision about money?

Best decision was investing in my blog – it has grown a lot ever since we launched and because of this it has become my full time job.
Worst decision was not planning my last holiday properly – we could have avoided a lot of the expenses.

Do you have favourite tools for managing your finances?

Well, we use – this helps us see the profit and expenses for the business. Our accountant handles everything else.
For the household: I use excel spreadsheet monthly to summarize our grocery expenses and compare it to the previous month. I also use it to keep track of the bulk items we purchase every couple months.
There’s another app called spending on my iPhone – I can add, delete and keep track of expenses when I am travelling or shopping.

What are your rules for lending money to friends or family?

Honestly I believe in helping where I can and most of the time its giving without asking for it back but no one has asked me for money recently – haha! I guess it is a good thing. :) But when I did lend, they have always returned it on time even if I didn’t ask them too. I've never had a bad experience yet.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of financial advice, what would it be?

Save for holidays from the beginning of the year. Now that I started traveling, I don’t want to stop! I wish I created a separate savings account for travel expenses.

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