Credit Matters in the Media

The Daily Voice – Women, Children and Finances – Feb 2011

There is sometimes just such a continuous struggle to make ends meet,  that you have to wonder if you are ever going to get ahead. And with children growing up as quickly as they do, asking all the questions that they do, they also now become a factor in explaining your finances.

Kinders weet en praat alles!  My 12 year old son said to me recently,” Mommy, how old are you?” I went ahead and said “36! “ You had to see the look on his face as he said “ Oh my word! You do know its downhill for you from here! “ Now believe me, if children of this generation are not scared to delve into their mothers age, they surely think nothing about asking about money! Very often you say to yourself “Does this child not realise the pressure and strain I am under?” The answer is NO! Like  with sex, HIV and tolerance – if we don’t talk to our children about it, how are they supposed to know what’s happening?

I am not suggesting that children be told details about how much you earn and how much every expense is. But I do suggest the following:

  • Have a very conversation-like discussion about what the overall household financial situation is like
  • Make them aware of all the necessities that need to be seen to. Children do sometimes think that it “falls from thin air”
  • Be open and honest with them about whether any luxuries can be afforded this month,
  • If they want  a big ticket item and you cant immediately afford it, let them know that it might take a few months. This will stop them from asking about it ALL the time, and stop you blowing a gasket every time that they do!
  • Teach them the difference between a want and a need. This will stand them in good stead as adults who need to know the difference between a luxury and a necessity.
  • Teach them that its OK to talk about money.

Whether we like it or not, money is an important part of our lives. As wives, partners and mothers who already have so many things to deal with – its definitely better to take the bull by the horns with your finances, in every way

Moeshfieka Botha is Media and Communications manager of Credit Matters, the largest Debt Counselling firm in South Africa. She is also  a debt expert on Women24. For more information, visit, call 086 111 6197 or email her at