Fi­nan­cial prob­lems

Finweek English Edition - - MONEY -

xcuse me, Gavin, can we talk?” My domestic worker, Mar­garet, was stand­ing in the door­way, eyes f i xed on the of t he out­stand­ing loan. Of course, Mar­garet had to pay an ex­tra monthly amount for this ad­di­tional ben­e­fit.

The to­tal re­pay­ment seemed ex­or­bi­tant. It meant that by the time Mar­garet had paid off the loan, she would have forked out nearly dou­ble the orig­i­nal cost of the hi-f i. I asked her if she re­alised this was the case, and she looked at me blankly.

I was not happy. So I im­me­di­ately set­tled the loan with the re­tailer, and en­tered into a zero-in­ter­est zero-fee loan agree­ment with Mar­garet to pay off the bal­ance. I would deduct a f ixed monthly amount from her salary un­til the loan was paid off. If we kept the same term as the orig­i­nal loan, then her monthly re­pay­ments would be half of what she was paying be­fore. Yes, half.

Mar­garet was over­joyed. Then I said to her: “Calm down. It’s all very well paying half of what you were paying be­fore. The ques­tion still re­mains – can you af­ford it?” Again, she looked at me blankly.

I tried again. “If you pay this new amount unt to me ev­ery month, h, will you have enough h money to live?”

She shook her r head. “What do you u mean?”

“I mean, i f you u had to write down n ever ything you spend your money on dur­ing the month, and then add it all up, will you have enough to cover it f rom your salar y af­ter you’ve paid me the loan re­pay­ment?”

“I don’t know,” she he said, scratch­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.