Palesa Lengolo: Have a positive and healthy relationship with your finances

Palesa Lengolo is the founder of Palengo Holdings and an investor. She is also a Certified Associate of the Institute of Bankers CAIB (SA) and a member of SA Institute of Business Accountants (SAIBA). She has over nine years experience in financial services, accounting, investments and banking. Palesa has been featured on CNBC Africa tv show “Personal Finance” as a financial educator, on the radio (YFM/Cliffcentral) talking investing and saving, on print media like BusinessDay/Moneyweb and she is a guest writer on StokvelVoice magazine, just to name a few. In this interview, she talks about her money habits.

In this economic climate, have you downsized your lifestyle at all? 

Yes, I did, I had to.

Out of all your responsibilities (bills, groceries, etc), what do you find to be the most expensive nowadays? 

Groceries, food has become really expensive.

How did your childhood influence your attitude towards money? 

My mother used to give me money but she was very strict about how to use it. She would give me a lump sum for a certain period and I had to manage it without running out before the period expires. For example, every Monday I would get R10 for the entire week. She expected me to use that R10 for the week without running out and left it to me(to manage, without asking her for more. This helped me a lot when it comes to spending my money.

How do you define financial independence?

Being financially literate, financially comfortable and able to meet my financial responsibilities.

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

Investing in shares. I can make more out of investing in shares in 10 years than I can out of my home in 20 years. Of course, this is debatable, we would have to look deeply into the numbers.

Do you save for retirement and why? 

Yes through my retirement/pension fund and other forms. I don't want to depend on my children or government.

Why do you think so many of us get into such unnecessary debt so easily? 

Pressure to keep up, not living within our means, not budgeting accordingly and not being able to control/manage our finances.

Have you ever been broke and how did you deal with it?

Yes. I learned to manage my money better and found another stream of income.

Do you have a budget and why is budgeting important? 

Yes, always. Budgeting helps you to see where your money is going and how you can control it.

How do you deal with financial setbacks when they happen? 

I have an emergency fund which I tap into for when 'life happens'. I consistently have to top it up.

Have there been times where you’ve experienced money blocks or conflicting feelings about money? And how do you deal with that? 

Yes, especially when money just runs out unexpectedly! I  always try to be positive about money, that money is in abundance and for all of us.

Do you invest and why do you think investing is so important to securing a solid financial future? 

I am a 'hectic' investor. When you invest your money, it means that instead of spending all of it  - you're putting it in a vehicle that will make you more money. You are making investments that will generate more cash for you in the future. This will ensure that you have a secure and a solid financial future.

What's your advice to women who want to start investing but are overwhelmed?

You don't have to be an investment guru or have a lot of money to start. Get guidance so you don't get overwhelmed and this will also help you to gain investing confidence to JUST START. It's not complicated as it used to be.

What do you splurge on? 

Data and cosmetics.

What was the last item you regret buying?

An expensive wig which I still haven't worn.

What one financial mistake has taught you the biggest lesson? 

Paying for my studies by credit has set me back a lot hence I dislike credit/debt so much.

Do you have rules for lending money to family and friends? 

Yes. Their ability to pay back the money within a short period of time. I also lend to those I trust and those who are in real need.

Do you have favourite go-to methods for earning extra income? 

Dividends from investments. Being paid for being an introducing agent, selling stuff  I don't need and being paid for research/doing surveys/contributing my knowledge. These are some of my favourite ways.

Why do you think it's important for women especially to stay up to date on financial news?

This will help them be more financially savvy as they'll understand how the news affects their pockets.

What do you say to women who feel overwhelmed by their finances?

Have a positive and healthy relationship with your finances, start with simple financial management techniques like tracking where your money goes and take it from there.

You can follow Pales on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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