Now like most freelancers, I take a pretty big ‘Ostrich’ stance to my money. No, that doesn’t mean I wear feather boas and run about kicking people. I’m referring to that myth (that actually doesn’t ever happen) of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand to hide from bad things. Now since Scientists would have us believe that it’s NOT true, ostriches are mistakenly branded cowards when they are actually just putting their heads near to the ground in order to better purvey the horizon – thus being PRO-active. PRO-tective. SMART.
Perhaps we should adopt the TRUE ostrich style about our money, and put our heads down – survey the horizon and try to predict the trouble. Be money smart.
Yes, easier said than done. Money. Numbers…Gah. My head hurts already. Can we talk about nail-polish yet? All I know about money is that it apparently can’t buy you happiness. But it CAN pay for my internet connection, which is pretty much the same thing. And it buys me shoes. Shoes make me happy. So in conclusion: all I know about money, is wrong.
Good thing it doesn’t need to be up to me. There are some very smart, very generous people out there. People who have called me on-board to try out their new money-management website called *drumroll* ….. moneysmart.co.za
It’s basically a website that’s FREE and there to act as our own personal Private Banker. (Yes, I see your eyes glazing over – they kind of lost me there too. But bear with me.) It’s Money for Dummies. It’s also Money for Smart people. It’s an online community of accessible money talk.
You sign up, with a very simple ‘enter email’ interface. And then you have the option of linking your info via Facebook, Linkedin or Manually. It links to your bank account and helps you manage your budgets and goals with nifty little graphs and tricks like keeping tabs on all your transactions.
How safe is it? It’s apparently VERY secure. They threw big words like ‘FBI certificates’ and ‘most secure platform possible’ at me when I asked. Apparently it’s more secure than most banks online. But then again, they told me that Facebook is more secure than most online banks these days too. So while I’m feeling more secure about this whole moneysmart thing, I’m feeling more like taking all my money and hiding it under my bed for safe keeping. Like a fictional Ostrich might.
The Challenge: I have signed up to this website thingy. It launched this week in SA. It is for South Africans, to try and help us all be more responsible and to LIVE with our money, rather than just ‘survive’. I know nothing about my money. I am going to do what this website tells me, making budgets, trying to plan and map out things like goals, dreams and realities with spending.
The Process: I will be writing a weekly column on their website as the ‘Lifestyle’ section. You know in movies when they say ‘we need to try this out on the biggest idiot we can find, and if they can master it – then anyone can.’? I am feeling largely like their idiot guinea pig. (Hey, at least I’m not an Ostrich!)
The Outcome: According to the smart people behind the money of Money Smart. I will certainly come out with a better grasp of my finances. They have forums for asking questions. Smart technology that monitors your spending patterns and guides you with suggestions of how to use your budgets better. Weekly column updates from REAL money experts giving advice on Investments and other money terms that I don’t know yet. And we all know, knowledge is power. I like power.
This is not a shameless plug. I get nothing if you guys go and sign up. I am just hoping that I LEARN something by signing up myself. It all sounds very responsible and grown up and I think it’s high time people start taking control of their money – so I’d recommend this to everyone to do. We really have nothing to lose. It’s free. (To be honest, I’m not really sure WHAT they are gaining from us… and when I asked WHY they are making this website he started glowing and getting all philosophical about spreading wealth and paying it forward. A hippy genius, generous, financial guru? If i hadn’t seen it with my own eyes – I wouldn’t have believed it either.) *high five*
I’m all about spreading high-fives of awesome, and when I heard about this site. I genuinely got excited. It’s a recession, we are all struggling. We need this. The Economy needs this. America’s economy is even so bad that Angelina Jolie is gonna start adopting American kids now.
*Money filled hands High Five*