I’m a 30-year-old talent and learning specialist, driven to develop others in the professional space. My family is my greatest passion and I enjoy expressing myself creatively through my blog, Modern Zulu Mom. My main financial goals are attaining worthy assets, providing an exceptional education for my children and retiring very comfortably one day.

What are your most pertinent monthly expenses?

  • Savings and policies
  • Nanny’s salary for my children
  • Groceries
  • Petrol and school transport
  • Cellphone bill

What does a day in your spending habits look like?
I’m fortunate enough to have a lunch allowance at work which helps my daily spending. Some days, I run late from work and miss time to do dinner prep, so I do a quick mid-week grocery stop. I also treat my son to a tuck-shop allowance on a Friday.

What does a week in your spending habits look like?
I do a big grocery shop once a month and top up every Sunday for fresh items like bread, fruit and vegetables; I’m quite disciplined about using a shopping list. I spend R150 on my son’s tutor and R700 goes to petrol. Once a month, I’ll use my bank rewards to fill up.

How do you plan for unexpected expenses?
I try to plan ahead for the months that will need big financial commitments so that I don’t find myself in a compromised position. A few days before pay day, I review my budget and reflect on what’s coming in the following month, so that it’s top of mind before I start spending. For emergencies, I have a flexible savings account, which allows me to access my funds with three days’ notice.

What lessons are you teaching your children?
That they can’t have everything they ask for at the exact moment that they ask for it. I recently bought a bicycle for my son and, in the months before, I talked him through the process so that he was aware I was saving and budgeting for it.

What luxuries do you allow yourself every month?
My hair and lunches with my girlfriends are my ultimate luxuries. In exchange, I do my own nails at home.

What would you be willing to sacrifice financially in order to achieve your dreams?
Holidays and clothes shopping.

What are you unwilling to compromise on when it comes to where you spend your money?
My children’s education and my retirement savings.

How do your spending habits differ from your mom?
The obvious one would be that we have different priorities right now – I have a young, growing family and she has two adult daughters. What I have learnt from her is to plan in advance for big milestones, such as celebrations and university.

#REALLifeAdvice from Palesa Thloloe, financial adviser: Liberty
Thando is on the right path. She appreciates financial planning and has completed a comprehensive financial analysis. She’s also saving for a specific goal. Identifying your goals makes them more achievable. She should also consider the reality of death, disability and critical illness that hits when we least expect it and could derail our plans. Another important consideration is to start saving for retirement and take advantage of compound interest.

Liberty offers #RealLifeAdvice for women of all ages.