Financial journalists and money experts, Maya Fisher-French and Mapalo Makhu, share their insider tips to getting your finances in shape, and Capitec’s free financial education platform, Live Better Academy, gives you the tools to apply it all.

This year we’ve all learned just how quickly life can change and how important it is to be prepared, especially when it comes to planning your financial future. The Insider SA chatted with two of South Africa’s leading finance experts and co-hosts of the My Money, My Lifestyle podcast, Maya Fisher-French and Mapalo Makhu. They shared their expertise on how to navigate through these difficult times.

Personal finance coach and author, Mapalo Makhu.

Award-winning personal finance coach and author of You’re Not Broke, You’re Pre-Rich, Mapalo Makhu reflects on the curveball Covid-19 threw into 2020. Some people have lost their jobs and almost everyone’s income has been impacted negatively. However, Mapalo sees the upside to the situation too. “I think Covid-19 has brought a new consciousness and awareness around our personal finances. People have started to ask the right questions: What facilities do I have with my bank? Where is my money going? And what are my goals for my money?”

Mapalo joined Maya’s podcast as a co-host at the beginning of 2019. My Money, My Lifestyle dives into the reality of your day-to-day finances and how to practically make better decisions with your money. As a personal finance journalist and author of Money Questions? Answered!, Maya shares her starting point to getting her money right. “It starts with understanding where your money goes to every month and that begins with a budget. Once you have a handle on that, you have a much better idea about what you can do with your money”.

Finance expert and host of the the My Money, My Lifestyle podcast, Maya Fisher-French.

Maya’s practical exercise suggestion is to write down what you think you spend and on what each month. Once that’s complete, compare it with your latest three month bank statement to see what you’re really spending your money on each month. You may find a surprising shock – but one that may jolt you to understand why you’re not reaching your financial goals.

The value of financial education is something both Maya and Mapalo are passionate about. Understanding money empowers people to build their futures. That’s why Capitec has launched the Live Better Academy, a free online learning platform that teaches the fundamentals of money management.

Project Lead for the Live Better Academy, Sarah Bassett, tells us more about the heart behind the Live Better Academy, sharing, “We really believe that having foundational concepts and understanding how you can get the most out of your money empowers people to make decisions in their own best interest and also gives people protection”.

The Live Better Academy is a web-based platform that offers four free online courses. These courses are comprised of bite-sized modules that will give people the tools and concepts to help them take charge of their financial lives and build financial health.

The Live Better Academy is available to anyone with an email address. All you need is access to a smartphone, tablet, or a PC. The courses are free and it only needs around 60MB of data to complete the entire series.

For Capitec service consultant, Bongiwe Ngubane from Pinetown, learning the basics of money management through the Live Better Academy has changed her life forever.

Bongiwe shares how she practically applied what she learnt through the Live Better Academy. “Everything is so simplified that you’ll see that your dreams are possible if you just follow the principles”. Through the modules, Bongiwe was inspired to make small changes that have positively added up. “Every day that I don’t buy lunch, I take that money that I would’ve spent and transfer it into paying my debt. I’m also buying more shares, I’m saving towards my kids’ future, and I’m also saving for that dream vacation I’ve always wanted to go on”.

“What I really hope we see coming out of Covid is that people continue to be focused on their money and the importance of managing it” says Maya. “I hope everyone takes these new, positive habits into the future and they manage their money better”. And now, with Capitec, all of these ‘new normals’ have become that much easier.

Learn how to take control of your financial future with Capitec and the Live Better Academy. Sign up and start building your financial health today. For more information visit