Credit card blues? Find out how I conquered mine

Dear Member

The end of the year is around the corner. Some people will be receiving bonuses. I hope you will use your bonus to settle your credit card debt, if it is too high and you have been living on borrowed money for too long. Can you imagine a life without a credit card?

After 7 years of conducting workshops in companies across the country, I am now convinced that the reason many people are struggling with high indebtedness especially high credit card debt is that they have credit cards yet they don’t know how the cards work. Below are just 6 questions that many delegates to my workshops cannot answer. You should answer these questions without even checking your statement. If you cannot answer these questions, it means you are playing a game without knowing the rules of the game. You are therefore bound to lose and be another casualty of high indebtedness.

Attempt to answer these questions without checking your credit card statement

1. What is the interest rate you are charged on your card?

2. What is the statement date for your credit card? How can you take advantage of your statement date?

3. What is the payment date on your card? What penalty do you pay if you miss the payment date?

4. What is the number of interest free days on your credit card? Do you know how to take advantage of interest free days on your card?

5. If you were to pay only the minimum balance due, how long would it take you to pay off your card? It could take you up to 20 months!

6. What does it mean if you are using your credit card to pay for your groceries? Where is the food by the time you pay off the debt? 🙂

Now check your statement, did you answer correctly? Your statement will not give you answers to all of these questions. Check page 24 of the book From Debt to Riches. This will give you 14 facts you must know about your credit card.

You should not accept a credit card without asking these questions. So if you don’t know the answers to the above questions, I bet you are paying unnecessary costs and interest on your card, you are the loser. I suggest you:

1. Read pages 28 to 31 of the book From Debt to Riches so you begin to understand your credit card & use it to your benefit

2. Visit your bank and ask them to explain all the questions above or

3. Cut up your credit card, pay off your debt and use your debit card

The more we understand about money, the better our chances of becoming financially independent are.

My Credit card story

I have had a credit card for about 15 years if my memory serves me well. I need it especially when I’m travelling to book flights, car hire, etc… I used to carry my card in my purse all the time. It was like I was just waiting for something to buy. Over the years, I have spent thousands of Rands and sometimes I couldn’t remember what I bought. I prided myself that I never paid a single cent in interest as I paid the full balance due on payment date. However, I knew I was sometimes spending money unnecessarily as it is just so easy to swipe a card. My 2013 resolution was I was now going to leave my card at home and only take it with me when I plan to use it or when I’m travelling. This was the best decision I made. My monthly balance due has gone from thousands of Rands to a couple of hundreds and sometimes zero and it only goes up when I have been travelling. I now use my card for the reasons I took it out for i.e. to make my travelling easier. I use my debit card for everything else and because I know that the bank balance reduces immediately when I swipe the debit card, I use it sparingly. I hope you too will do what it takes to manage your credit card


What Australia is doing to encourage quick debt payment

Australian banks and other lenders are required to show the following information on customer statements:

1. How long it will take you to pay off at the lowest instalment

2. How much you would have to pay per month if you wanted to pay off the outstanding balance in 12 months.

I’m sure if our statements were to show us similar information, many people would use their credit cards sparingly or decide to do without one

I hope South African banks and other credit card providers will follow suit and show the above critical information especially on credit cards.


Were you able to answer the 6 questions above? Do you understand your credit card? What are you going to do about it?

Please send me your answers to these questions at


Do you want to buy a signed copy of the book From Debt to Riches? It will be on sale at GIBS on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 at 18:00


. To invite Phume to address your employees, please drop her an email

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Warm regards



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