MOM; what lessons are you teaching your kids about money? Happy Mother’s day!

Dear Mother

Did you miss the interview I had with Steve B of Kaya FM on Thursday? If so, please click here to listen to it.

If you are not a mother, please forward to the mothers you love J

Have you ever asked yourself what lessons you are teaching your kids about money? It is funny that money is important yet no one teaches us how to manage our money. I’m sure many people would be better off today if our schools taught us about money. As for our parents, I have learnt as a mother that our kids don’t really follow what we teach them but rather they do what they see us do or don’t do. As an example, one lady told me that she is heavily indebted and cannot manage money because her mother, a nurse, was always in debt and she seems to be repeating the same mistakes her mother did.

My cousin works as a teacher in a township high school and she says she is amazed that some parents claim that they cannot afford to pay R300 a year in school fees yet the same parents buy Blackberries for their kids. I guess the lesson to the kids is a cell phone is more important than school fees. One of my friends is a teacher at a prestigious private school; I was shocked when she told me that some of the parents that drive Range Rovers, X6s and MLs do not pay school fees.  So the kids must be learning that an expensive car is more important than paying school fees. I looked at myself squarely and wondered what lesson I have taught my kids about money. I asked my daughter this question, she answered without any hesitation that I had taught her not to waste money and not to get into unnecessary debt when she starts working one day.

One lesson I wish we all teach our kids (and sometimes ourselves) about money is this; Do NOT use money or possessions to compete with anyone. Life is NOT a competition.

It is never too late to start teaching our kids about money

About 3 years ago, my nephew came to live with us. He had just finished his studies and didn’t have a car. I let him use my second small car to get to work. About a year later, he came back from work and told me he was ready to buy his car. I looked at him happily and asked him what car he was going to buy. He said Audi A3. I gave him a stern look and told him, you have no cat, no dog, no child, no wife, no home and you want to drive an A3 and park it in my garage?!!!” I was so worked up that he wanted to buy a car that was expensive for him when he didn’t have any investments or property in his name that I wrote one of the most beautiful articles I had ever written and posted it on the website and sent it to our subscribers, including him. [This article is now in the book under the Chapter – Is your car driving your destiny? please see page 75 to 80]. I received very positive feedback from many people who read this article and most were telling me they regretted buying big cars and wished they had read my article before buying. He came back from work the day I published the article and gave me a knowing look and smiled and said, “Aunty, I know that the Thabo you wrote about is me” Our discussion made me realise that like most young people and sadly even older people, he was earning money and didn’t know what to do with it. Within a week, I made him sign Satrix investment forms so he would automatically buy Satrix Divi shares monthly.

These days, he is the one that is telling me which shares to buy. He has been telling me for a while now that I must put some of my money in Satrix INDI because it is doing well. I visited ETFSA website and was pleasantly surprised to find out how well Satrix INDI is doing

Satrix INDI 25 ETF 19,26% performance over 5 years

Satrix INDI 25 ETF 26,44% performance over 3 years

Satrix INDI 25 ETF 30,57% performance over 2 years

Satrix INDI 25 ETF 38,28% performance over 1 year

The Satrix INDI provides access to the top 25 industrial shares, (manufacturing, construction, retail) on the JSE; measured by their market capitalisation.

Please see the last chapter in the book From Debt to Riches on buying ETF shares.

My nephew is now looking to buy his own townhouse and I am happy that his shares have grown over the years so he should be able to put a decent deposit for it. He is already buying home appliances in cash so he doesn’t have to buy all of the furniture at once when he moves out. He can buy his A3 one day when he is in his own townhouse. For now, the little car he finally bought is good for him and because he is driving an affordable car, he is able to buy shares monthly and buy the appliances in cash.

If you are not sure where to start to teach your kids about good money management skills, you can buy them a copy of my book From Debt to Riches. Depending on their age, they might find the following chapters interesting:

Chapter 2. Manage your debts (or they will manage you) – if they are already getting into too much useless debt

Chapter 5. Is your car driving your destiny? – to encourage them not to buy too expensive a car

Chapter 6. Your budget and what it says about you – to encourage them to budget and use their money wisely

Chapter 7. The best-kept secrets about saving – to encourage them to save and to save wisely

Chapter 10. Why I want you to own a home ASAP – to encourage them to buy property

Chapter 11. How to use your home to create wealth – so they will understand the bigger value of home ownership

Chapter 13. Will you be able to send your kids to varsity? – so they can start saving for tertiary fees if they are already parents

Chapter 15. Before you say “I do” – so they understand the different types of marriage contracts before they get married

Chapter 16. The beginner’s guide to the stock exchange – to encourage them to start buying shares instead of buying bling

We don’t have to repeat the mistakes our parents made. We can decide to start NOW to improve our financial lives and that of our children.

Invite me to talk to your youth

Our kids these days spend too much money on bling (blackberries, iPods, iPads, designer clothes, and sometimes even fancy cars that some of us buy for them). Unlike how most of us grew up, they don’t know:

  • How to wait for the things they want – they want it all and want it NOW
  • They don’t know the difference between wants and needs
  • Some truly think money grows on trees and make endless demands on us.
  • When we tell them we don’t have money, they tell us to use a credit card! Hhayi bo, they don’t even understand that we still have to pay and pay more later when we use a credit card
  • They think a dress for a matric dance is a wedding dress!
  • They don’t know how to spell the word budget
  • Some of us, without even realising it, sadly use money to make up for an absent father in the lives of our children
  • Some divorced parents use money to compete with each other and spoil the kids rotten

I can talk to your youth and make sure that they appreciate money and grow up to make wise money decisions.

One of the mistakes we need to guard against is to ensure that we don’t spoil our kids so much that they never grow up to be responsible adults and parents. I am sad to see kids who had everything when they were growing up and now that they are adults, they are not able to look after themselves. Some never even finish their studies. We must sometimes say NO to our kids even if we can afford to say YES so we don’t kill their urge to strive for themselves. If we spoil our kids too much, we might end up having to look after their kids (our grandchildren) as well. I’m sure that is not what we want.

Please write to me at and share with me what lessons you learnt from your parents about money and what lessons you are or you want to teach your own kids.

WHO SAID BLACKS DON’T READ? Some of your responses

It’s so not true that blacks don’t read.  Just look at the circulation figures for the Daily Sun. True, it’s not a book but give people something they’re interested in and they’ll read it.  Your book is a perfect example of that.

You’ve inspired me as one who also hopes to be published by next year (yikes!)

Best Regards,


Hawu, Blacks do read!

Congratulations on your best seller performance!!

I am sure you are writing again! Very encouraging indeed…

Dr Simo Lushaba

When are you going to write a book about investing for us?


Langa Zingitwa

You are doing a great job. I enjoyed reading your books. They are very informative and interesting

As I write this mail I don’t even know where my other copies are, because people borrowed them and they keep on saying they will bring them back after reading. I doubt if they still have the books maybe they also borrowed others. I then decided that the copies I am going to buy now no more borrowing

Keep up the good work

“May the Almighty Bless You Abundantly”

With kind regards
Sr. Tembi Mahlangu

I am glad I stumbled upon ThuthukaSA, I did not like reading in the past but that had nothing to do with my race. I believe reading is a choice and I even went to an extent of praying about books to read. I love investments and lots of books I read were from America.

I am glad that I will tap into a south African mind to address my day to day challenges. I am definitely getting the COPY!

I wish you the best in all that you do.

You are on my list of Top ten inspiring people, I hope you don’t mind!



Warm regards


From Debt to Riches

From Debt to Riches is now an SA Best Seller – we have sold 5168 copies as at end of March. It is available at Exclusives and CNA at R134 a copy

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