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Money etiquette rules to follow in 2021

By Opinion Time of article published Nov 20, 2020

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You know that uncomfortable situation where you loan a family member or friend money, and they promptly forget to pay you back? Or worse, your card gets declined for “insufficient funds”- in public?

If you’ve endured adulthood long enough, chances are you’ve experienced at least one awkward money moment. The good news is that in 2021 you need only follow the five money “rules” below to make things with cash more comfortable.

Normalise no lending

Some people don't lend money to friends and relatives, and they have their reasons for doing so. If you're against lending out money, make sure it won't have a bad effect on your budget and relationships. It's better to say "no" than to lose a friend because they can't give your money back. You don't have to justify yourself but, if you feel embarrassed, then you can say that you're saving up for something or that you're paying off some debt.

Normalise paying for the goods and services of friends’ businesses

One of the best ways to support the endeavours of friends and family is to pay full price if you want their product or service. If they offer a discount, that’s a different story - but don’t assume that you should have to pay less. Times are tough for everybody, and asking for a discount is really just inconsiderate. Be a good friend and pay full price - you would want them to do the same for you.

Normalise saying no to debt

South Africans are crippled by consumer debt. In her bestselling book ‘Manage Your Money Like A F*cking Grownup’, Sam Beckbessinger talks about how important it is to become “allergic” to debt. Debt, she argues, traps you in the past as you’re using today’s earnings to pay for yesterday’s expenditure. And considering our alarmingly high indebtedness, South Africans urgently need to start to normalise finding ways of rejecting debt and making more sound financial decisions.

Normalise alternatives that help you say no to debt

Rejecting debt outright is, of course, easier said than done. This is where rent-to-own offers a flexible and convenient alternative. The rental model, popularised locally by Teljoy, offers customers the option of renting on a month-to-month contract, eliminating the debt burden of an upfront credit purchase. It’s a model that offers access over ownership, together with far more flexibility than buying a product outright. Most significantly, it removes the risk and cost of debt from the equation.

Consider others’ financial situations when planning

If you know that your friend is paying off some credit or saving money for a vacation, don't insist on going to an expensive restaurant. It'd be better to ask them where they'd like to go so they don't end up having to pay more than they can afford or refuse to spend time with you. You could also offer to pay for lunch or dinner when going out and maybe arrange for them to pay when they’re financially stronger.

There’s enough stress in life already. Don’t let minor money issues add unnecessary tension to your life or relationships. A good place to start is by minding your money manners and normalising the thing that makes for better money management.

PERSONAL FINANCE

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