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‘CIVIL SERVANT TAKES HOME E123.14 PER MONTH’

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Sir,

It is very dangerous to give financial advice off-the-cuff. A financial expert should know that it is very dangerous to give financial advice off-the-cuff (‘Civil servant takes home E123.14 per month’, Times of Eswatini, Wednesday, January 22, 2020).


Well intended advice might just inadvertently mislead people. I’m sure the financial problems this civil servant is facing are deeper than what has been reported.
Hence, they require a specific solution - not just a simple one like the consolidation of the loans as suggested by the financial expert.
The inadequacy of the information provided in the article makes it very difficult to understand her problems and their sources.


Information


Without knowing the totality of the information it is not possible to give the best solution to *Bubu’s problems. While I totally symphathise with her for going through this terrible situation, I suspect that she owes more individuals or organisations than she has provided.

In other words, the problem goes beyond the loans she has with the two service providers and the rental arrears. For instance, she might be owing ‘shylocks’ and I suspect the details of these were not provided to the financial expert before she gave her advice.
To come up with the best solution/financial plan for her would require more information. She would need to share all the information with an independent financial planner.


For instance, for any independent financial planner to assist her, they would need to have all the information on her debts (i.e. balances of each loan, repayment period of each loan, instalment for each loan), bank statements of all her accounts including those for credit cards, information on the size of her family, ‘assets’ (I’m deliberately using this term loosely so that it includes all the things she owns that could be sold to raise money), school fees, bus fares for her and her children, rental, hire purchase agreements etc.


The best financial plan for her should not only be about clearing the debt it should also have components for saving and income generation. This means that she should seriously think about either running a small business on the side or providing her skills to those who can pay for them on weekends and/or after work. Lastly, I have bad and good news for Bubu.


The bad news is that it will not be easy for her to get out of this situation.


Planner


An independent financial planner can assist her in identifying her ‘assets’ and areas of expenditure that could be cut, structuring her debt etc, but the work to execute the plan would still rest on her.


It will require a lot of sacrifice and determination. The good news is that it is very possible to get out of this situation. But, as they say, the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. So she should be prepared to work hard in executing the plan. I wish her the very best while she embarks on this journey.

Sifiso waka Mavuso
Makhwelela, Nhlangano

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