Howard in his own words

2018-03-25 13:56
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Howard shares the milestones achieved in the six-month Absa/City Press Money Makeover Competition

Being in the Competition for the last six months has helped me immensely to achieve the following:

I learnt to keep personal and business cash flows separate. I have used a spreadsheet to keep track of my personal income from my employer as well as household expenses. My business income and expenses are also clearly outlined in a spreadsheet. I also understand what a statement of liabilities is.

With my first incentive money we managed to get the Electrical Compliance Certificate for the buildings. This would never have happened if we were not in the competition. 

The biggest achievement was to present a good business plan to Absa which was approved and we were granted a R200 000 business loan at a very low interest rate, saving us up to R190 000 on interest over the 5-year term the personal loans would have run.

The second biggest achievement of being in the competition was to present to Absa Asset Finance our business cash flows, and based on that we qualified for a R70 000 Vehicle Finance after all other banks had declined our application. 

Being in the competition compelled us to be financially more disciplined and have an emergency fund.

When disaster struck in December last year and I lost 35% of my salary and the use of a company vehicle I wouldn't have survived without my financial adviser Elton Govender’s support and advice. I wouldn't have survived if it wasn't for the emergency fund. The car we bought cost R105 000 and we paid a deposit of R35 000 from our emergency fund, having saved R60 000 from the start of the competition.

The Absa business loan paid all loans we had before the competition leaving us with R4 000 to make up for the 35% I lost in the salary cut. We used this to buy food and pay school fees for our two kids. This would never have happened if we were not in the competition.

The business account we opened with Absa has allowed us to open a liquidity investment account and invest R25 000 at 6.25% with immediate access to our cash in case of an emergency. This is good as money in the emergency account will earn interest rather than sitting in a bank account being eroded by inflation. 

When I lost my job and all it's great benefits I seriously considered cancelling my retirement annuity but I'm very relieved that this was averted due to the low interest rate loans Absa granted us which improved our cash flow significantly and enabled us to keep our RA.

I've learnt valuable business lessons from Elton in the last six months I've been in the competition, including the two great ladies I met at Absa, namely innocentia at Absa business loans and Phophi at Absa assert finance, who have been fantastic. They quickly understood my business and cash flow which made working with them a pleasant experience.

I have confidence in my business and its future growth. I have a bank that fully understands how my business works and has shown confidence in my business by approving a loan. We have established a healthy partnership with Absa.

I now have a network and in the future I know which door to knock on when looking for finance to expand the business.

All this thanks to Absa/City Press Money Makeover Competition.

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