“Congratulations Maggie, you are pre-approved for a loan of up to R350 000 with XYZ Financial Services, subject to affordability.” Had I received this message 3 years ago, I would’ve jumped for joy, offered a sacrifice to the gods, and thank my ancestors for always having my back. But I’ve been there, done that, wore the t-shirt, and sold it on e-bay… I am not going back that route again.
Unfortunately, this is the world we live in today. One where we are encouraged to live beyond our means, appearing rich instead of being rich. A world where we go on expensive holidays, buy clothes we do not need, eat at expensive restaurants, and party like rock stars – all in the name flooding our counterparts’ social media timelines and making sure that the world knows that ‘I’m living my best life’. This toxic lifestyle and many other realities have left millions of South Africans in debt which they struggle to get out of. Fortunately for us, we had the opportunity to further explore this subject matter as part of Inception Book Club’s January 2018 read.
The book reviewed was published in 2011 and is titled From Debt to Riches – Steps to Financial Success by Phumelele Ndumo. I must say, this is a book I had never heard of and would not normally purchase if I saw it in a bookstore. Phumelele Ndumo is an author, financial advisor and a well-known speaker. She is passionate about sharing the knowledge which she has garnered over the years on being financially savvy and obtaining financial freedom.
From Debt to Riches is an easy-to-read guide. It will help one avoid getting into debt, help one get out of debt and stay out of debt. Phumelele Ndumo addresses the financial problems of ordinary South Africans who are battling with garnishee orders, admin orders, debt counselling, paying university fees, buying homes etc. She talks about finance issues in such a simple manner that you can read it anywhere – in fact, I read it in my car during my lunch breaks.
The review of this book was held at Absa Experience – The Zone Rosebank, enabling us to reach a wider audience than what we would normally do. This worked out perfectly as managing one’s finances is an essential educational message that needs to be communicated to the masses in the most pragmatic manner, free of jargon and complex financial concepts.
This review was facilitated by Tumi Sebopa, founder of Inception book club. She was joined by a panel of financial experts who were able and keen to answer questions from the audience as well as provide necessary insights and various options on how one can get out of the habit of accumulating unnecessary debt. Also part of the panel was the author Ms Phumelele Ndumo who provided us with more intimate insights on how the book came along coupled with her own experiences.
The cherry on top during this review was the pleasure and opportunity of learning first hand from various personal stories shared by members of the audience and financial experts in our midst. I still clearly remember the story of the lady who went from multiple debts, a situation so dire that she found herself moving back and living in a shack in Alexandra township, to now owning a beautiful home – all thanks to applying the guidance provided in this book.
Yes, some stories shared were success stories, but some were not-yet-there stories requiring guidance on a turn-around strategy.Most people have always thought that it is only high-income people who can end up financially independent. We’ve learned that it is not true! All of us can become financially independent, provided we are willing to have self-discipline and put into practice the simple suggestions that are in this book (and out there).It is doable, and it is achievable.
This book is for every South African who is in and who wants to avoid debt. It is for parents who have dreams of taking their children to university but battling with finances for that. It is for the young who are still starting out with their own finances. You might also want to buy it as a gift for that family member or close friend who uses you as a cash cow in hopes that he/she will get the messag
A book like From Debt to Riches is a good foundation to begin this life altering journey. It is practical, Phumelele Ndumo is pragmatic, and it provides one with relatable scenarios and easy exercises that all form part of the readers baby steps in right direction.