Thanks for dropping by Safe Investing South Africa. I am on a journey to build wealth my way. For any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.

26 Feb 2020


Personal finance is one of the areas that have always been considered gender neutral. But, is it? The gender gap in economic opportunity is not closing quick enough. This means that women must work more than twice as hard as men to acquire similar amounts of wealth. According to the United Nations, 90 percent of women income is invested back into their families, compared with 35 percent for men.

We are working with 10% of our income to improve on our lives and secure better future for ourselves and the next generation. This is despite the fact that money issues impact more on women than they do on men. For starters, women on average live longer than men. The average life expectancy at birth stands at 67 years for males and 71.1 years for females. It makes sense for women to take financial planning and management much more seriously than men do.

Secondly, women have a shorter work life and are likely to take breaks throughout their work life. Maternity leave for one easily costs up to six months’ worth of income per child. Raising a child could mean extending the work break by another three years or permanently. What this means is that, women need to start building wealth very early in their lives by saving a higher portion of their income to provide for the time off work. Negotiation skills are also needed to get more flexibility at the current workplace to earn income during these breaks. It is important for women to constantly contribute to their retirement plans.

Married women tend to rely on their spouses for financial support. In cases of a separation or divorce, they are forced to start taking full control of their lives and in most cases their children too. It is a hard way to learn. Financial planning is a practical skill that needs to be sharpened throughout one's life.

Most single parents are mothers. Primary caregivers of children in single parent households are most likely to be women. Often, single mothers must manage with no financial support from the fathers of their children. When the law forces men to provide for their children, it is often inadequate financial support for the needs of the children. Women’s personal finance empowerment is never overrated.

Women earn lower income compared to men. Earning low income means lower contributions to pension and retirement funds. This is extremely limiting, especially when it comes to wealth building. One needs to make money in order to save money. As women, we need to start saving way early in our lives and save a larger portion of our income.

Not only are we earning less and spending more on our households, but we're also investing less than men do. The gender investment gap is a reality.

Finally, women need to up their game when it comes to claiming what they deserve. Negotiation skills are key to bridge the existing gap in salaries. They also need to pay themselves first through savings and investments. There is a need for intentionality in building wealth.

Author Mbini Kutta, a businesswoman and real estate investor. The article first appeared in an offline publication The Apple of His Eye.

8 Jul 2019


Another interesting weekend chat with a blog reader and Facebook follower, Ms B about property investing for beginners. This reader has an impressive kind of discipline. I like having chats with young investors.
Hi Mbini,
I have been following your blog and Facebook posts about real estate on your timeline and on Facebook groups. I was hoping you could advise. I just sold one of my properties expecting a return of R80,000. The property was financed by the bank.
I do have another property, which I bought for cash for R650,000. I also have some cash loan and credit card debt which amounts to R90,000.
I drive an old small car with 260,000 km mileage. The car needs to be replaced but I'm not sure of the route I should take when buying a car. I know I will have to settle my debt first.
Is there a way that my paid up property can assist in acquiring more real estate investments?
Thank you.
Ms B
property investing for beginners
I get a lot of questions related to property investing for beginners. I hope that unpacking the reader's situation will empower more readers. I posed a few questions to Ms B to get more clarity on her current financial situation.
Mbini: Do you plan to acquire more investment property or different kinds of investments?
Ms B: Yes, I want to invest in more property. I will be settling R60,000 of the debt by the end of next month. You may also advise otherwise.
I'm very worried about Ms B's R90,000 personal loan and credit card debt. This is very expensive debt. I would prefer the property debt to credit card debt. The interest rate one is charged by banks on the credit card debt and personal loan is quite high. It is advisable to pay up the debt as Ms B already plans to.

Coming to the paid up property. If this paid up property worth R650,000 is a rental unit, I would have preferred to owe on it instead. Property debt is a much cheaper debt. Interest rates on property are much more competitive than on the credit card. 

The other important factor to consider is the debt's tax efficiency. Interest on the homeloan attracts the tax deduction. This is one of the biggest benefits of investment property. The main aim is to minimize tax liability. To keep the overall taxation low, an investment property with some debt on it is more desirable.
Finally, if I were in Ms B's shoes, I would work on accessing money from my existing property and settle my personal loan and credit card debt, if at all possible. Accessing cash from a property can be done by refinancing the paid up property. The cash would then be used settle the debt and towards investing in the second investment property. It is very important to make sure that the interest rate one is charged  on the new homeloan is competitive. Even better, one must make sure that the new mortgage is an access bond facility, to ensure that cash is easily accessible in future. 
Ms B: Let me think about it, do more research and get back to you with more questions. I like your thinking, thank you. My challenge is always trying to play it safe.
Mbini: I can see that. Playing safe in investing does not always work. All the best.
We will be posting more on property investing for beginners in future, especially given the current poor economic climate. 

Feel free to email your questions through our contact page. I trust that you have started with the savings challenge. We have four steps and groups. 1. Debt pay-up, 2. Emergency Fund, 3. Other Savings Accounts, and 4. Investments. Please do keep moving. Start slow but do not stop. For daily motivation like us on Facebook, Twitter and/ or Instagram.

30 Jun 2019


My first month of goal setting did not go very well. A month is too long for one to remember their goals apparently. I was supposed to check my list every Sunday. I did not. Oh well. The personal finance goal review for June goes...
Personal Finance Goal Review

NET WORTH: I will have to check the values of all my investments and real estate debt, add determine the net worth. ROUGHLY DONE


OTHER SAVINGS: 32 days notice account. I  was supposed to top this up. NOT DONE


REAL ESTATE: I am only doing repairs to and cleaning up the property that will have new occupants mid-June. DONE

STOCKS AND DIVIDENDS: Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), invest. NOT DONE

INCOME: Improve on online income. NOT DONE

Family:  Travel sometime in June for a short family holiday. DONE
Personal Improvement: I need to study more. I commit to competing 2 chapters this month. NOT DONE
I will also walk more this month to get close to my 10,000 steps per day. NOT DONE
I will also get back to a strict Keto diet with some intermittent fasting thrown in for good measure. NOT DONE
Social: I will meet a friend or associate for coffee every two weeks. PARTLY DONE

Please help rate the performance on my June personal finance goals. All my energy, time and money was consumed by the property cleanup. I never knew that a boundary wall costs that much. I spent a lot of money on unplanned expenses. 
Did you have your own goals dotted down? Let us know if you are up for the challenge in July.

Feel free to email your questions through our contact page. I trust that you have started with the savings challenge. We have four steps and groups. 1. Debt pay-up, 2. Emergency Fund, 3. Other Savings Accounts, and 4. Investments. Please do keep moving. Start slow but do not stop. For daily motivation like us on Facebook, Twitter and/ or Instagram.

28 Jun 2019


I had an interesting question and answer session with one of my readers. Her questions were on developing a saving and investing strategy to raise funds in a short period of time.
Hi Mbini
I'm always inspired by your posts. I have learnt that it is possible to pay property within the record time. I currently have two properties that are paid up. I paid up my last property in just 12 months. The price was not so bad.
I am now strained from that transaction and paying up the property. As a result I am currently a tenant, renting with an intention to buy. After twelve months of saving I am hoping to have raised enough capital as part payment. I am in a position to save between R200,000 and R300,000 monthly for the next twelve months. Do you have advice on saving options?
I hope this makes sense and thanks for your time.
Ms S
saving and investing strategy
Before we look at the saving and investing strategy for Ms S, I have to state how impressed I am with her discipline. She has done very well.

Twelve months is a short time for long term type investments like stocks or shares. Stocks are high return over a long term. One might even lose some of the money in the short term. I would personally work on preserving my capital by saving the in fixed deposit accounts monthly. Every month I would just start a new fixed deposit account. I would also look at the highest interest money market accounts including the notice accounts. The interest is not going to be as good as the returns in other investment vehicles, but given the time factor, this seems to be the best that one can do.
Where do I start with the search. I can even split this between savings and long term investments.
If you are keeping some by investing in a long term product, I would consider the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). I am assuming that you are not very familiar with the stock investments. You might need to have a managed kind of investment process. I think you will find a nice ETF product with high returns.

For the short term like 12 months, check your bank's highest return on investment products. That will be on the bank's website. I wish you the very best. Please let me know how it goes.

Please feel free to email your questions through our contact page. I trust that you have started with the savings challenge. We have four steps and groups. 1. Debt pay-up, 2. Emergency Fund, 3. Other Savings Accounts, and 4. Investments. Please do keep moving. Start slow but do not stop. For daily motivation like us on Facebook, Twitter and/ or Instagram.

25 Jun 2019


We are looking at one more good interest bearing emergency fund account. You may refer to Capitec's Global One account in the previous post. Again, I confirm that we are not paid by below mentioned service providers to provide this information.

Our Twitter handle @SafeInvestingSA asked a question:
"Do all banks have an interest bearing 24-hour or 1 day notice account that requires an initial investment amount of below R1000. Our #SavingCommunitySA needs that or similar for individuals."
interest bearing emergency fund account
Nedbank was one other bank that responded as follows:
"We have various Investment accounts with different offerings and minimum Investment amounts. Click on the link for more info on our account: xxx  :)".
We have looked at the Nedbank money market accounts and came up with the one that is most suited to the Emergency Fund. JustInvest account is our interest bearing emergency fund account of choice. One may start very slow as the minimum investment amount is only R500. This makes it ideal for the new savers.

This is the only one day or 24 hour notice account that we know of. I find the notice account with only one day notice fascinating. One day notice is long enough to ensure one sleeps on the decision to withdraw funds, whilst it is short enough to take care of an emergency.

One can use their debit account for monthly stop orders into this money market account. A great idea to ensure that one pays themselves first. This account earns interest from 4% at the time of publication of this article. The higher the balance the higher the interest earned. JustInvest also attracts no monthly fees. The interest on the balance at the tie of publication is:
Below R2,500 interest is at 4%; R2,500 – R24,999 at 5,25%; R25,000 – R49,999 at 5,75%; R50,000 – R99,999 at 6,2%; R100,000 – R249,999 at 6,3%; R250,000 – R499,999 at 6,35%; R500,000 ­– R999,999 at 6,4% and R1 million and above at 6,5%
For our emergency savings of R5,000 to R10,000 our interest bearing emergency fund account earns about 5%. This is not a bad interest on only one day notice.

I trust that you have started with the savings challenge. We have four steps and groups. 1. Debt pay-up, 2. Emergency Fund, 3. Other Savings Accounts, and 4. Investments. Please do keep moving. Start slow but do not stop. For daily motivation like us on FacebookTwitter and/ or Instagram.


Our quest for good interest bearing emergency fund account lead us to the social media platforms. We are also analysing the Nedbank JustInvest account in the next post. Let me confirm that we are not paid by below mentioned service providers to provide the information below.

Our Twitter handle @SafeInvestingSA asked a question:
"Do all banks have an interest bearing 24-hour or 1 day notice account that requires an initial investment amount of below R1000. Our #SavingCommunitySA needs that or similar for individuals."

Only two of the four banks responded. Capitec responded
"We have a savings plan as an addition to our Global One savings account however there is no 1 day notice. You can get the funds immediately in emergencies".
Having checked the Global One account we agree that it is indeed a good interest bearing emergency fund account. At the point of writing this article Global One would get one a transaction account and four free savings plans. This works much better if you are the Capitec client as this is linked to the debit or credit card.

Most importantly for us is that this account earns from 5% interest per year on the balances. This is again at the time the article was first published. This is obviously adjusted with changes in the South African interest rates. The account earns 5% for R0 – R24,999 balance, 5.4% for R25 000 – R99 999 and 5.65 for R100 000 and above. Remember that we mostly save R5,000 to R10,000 in our interest bearing emergency fund account. 5% is not a bad interest on an account that has money readily available.

Lets get to the catch. One needs R25 minimum balance and a monthly administration fee of R5. But this is for the main account which you use for your daily banking activities. Hence the savings plan account itself is marketed as free. One may then link the four free savings plans to their main debit account.

I trust that you have started with the savings challenge. We have four steps and groups. 1. Debt pay-up, 2. Emergency Fund, 3. Other Savings Accounts, and 4. Investments. Please do keep moving. Start slow but do not stop. For daily motivation like us on Facebook, Twitter and/ or Instagram.

11 Jun 2019


Driven by the love for good food, hospitality industry and art, Zama Mbane (Zama May) gives hope to women from disadvantaged backgrounds. Be sure to follow Mfazana_the_chef on Instagram. You will never regret it.
interview with entrepreneur Zama Mbane
Who is Zama May? What drives Zama?
My name is Zama Mbane (nee' May) I was born in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. I am the eldest of two girls.  My younger sister passed on in 2015. I am married with two boys aged 20 and 16. My husband was born in the villages of Hogsback eTyume. We currently stay between Tyume and Umhlanga Rocks in KwaZulu Natal.

We heard the interesting story behind the name, Mfazana.
The name Mfazana_the_chef comes from a Xhosa phrase given to women who are married to Xhosa men by mostly older women in the community and the man’s extended family. I was also called “mfazana”, which never sat well with me. I decided to put a spin on it by using it so often that it was no longer offensive to me and everyone used it as my name. The same community women who gave me the name are not pleased because I embraced it, they are back to calling me Nwabisa which is the name they gave me when I got married.

Please give a brief summary of your business.
I love the hospitality industry; I love traveling and I love good food even more. I started off by offering my cooking services to family and friends at no fee. I would even use my money to do grocery shopping for their events for them to taste my dishes and at times, for them to try different dishes for events.  I am driven by the love of cooking, the love of the hospitality industry and the love of being a food artist. I decided to develop my cooking skills by enrolling at Capsicum Culinary Studio for a diploma in professional cookery program.
interview with entrepreneur Zama May
My business concept includes cooking as a private chef for functions, offering cooking classes to groups of people, offering one on one cooking lessons and opening pop up restaurants.

What inspired your niche of choice?
As alluded in the introduction, I love cooking and good food. That is where my inspiration comes from.  Cooking is not a job or a chore for me, it is a passion.

Is this your first business venture?
Yes it is.

Has your previous work or education prepared you adequately for your kind of business?
Not at all. This is my very first venture into the hospitality industry.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your business? 
Hospitality industry is very diverse with most people lacking understanding and exposure to it in the Eastern Cape. I am proud to be making my mark in my province of birth. Locals know where to get a chef that prepares gourmet meals in Alice and Hogsback.
Mfazana also prepares traditional meals with the same love and passion. I am also proud to be influential to the youth in the Eastern Cape. I receive emails and text messages from young people who enquire about my line of business and I give advice where I can. This gives so much hope to people in the rural settings. I am happy to be the one who brings the quality that the locals had accepted to be reserved for the cities. My plan is to inspire women from disadvantaged backgrounds. Kuyenzeka xa uzimisele “passion makes everything possible”.

What is your strategy to survive business trying times?
I am keeping my business as simple as possible. I am not going for high overheads in order for my business to grow and become sustainable.  I am building reserves that will help in keeping the business afloat during tough times. The plan is to leave a legacy and generational wealth for my children and their children.

What are some of the mistakes you now wish you could have avoided? And what did you learn from such mistakes?
My first mistake was mixing my business with friendship and offering my services for free. People never value what they get for free. I have since taken the professional approach whereby everyone is expected to make bookings for my services through the channels that everyone uses.

If you were not running Mfazana, what would you be doing?
If I wasn't doing this, I would be traveling, as alluded above, I love this whole industry including the travel or touring part of it.

Any advice to someone just starting out?
A business feasibility study and good business plan are important. Believe in yourself, face your fears, have a vision and act.

What is next for Zama? 
I am in the process of opening a restaurant in the Eastern Cape.

Inspirational quote
“Tackle life one dish at a time; ndiwagawula ndiwarhuqa” Zama Mbane

Final thoughts
Opportunities don’t just happen you create them yourself.

Zama Mbane shares her dishes on her Instagram page Mfazana_the_chef.
You may also contact her for bookings at 064 538 4316

Let us learn from your Entrepreneurship or Career journey in order to grow and be better versions of ourselves. Let us support your hustle. Get featured on Safe Investing SA today.
Email Mbini at:


The four groups of our daily, weekly and monthly saving challenge that readers have joined as part of our Saving Community SA drive. I will quickly go through each of the four groups for readers to choose the suitable account for their savings and investment needs.
weekly and monthly saving challenge
Group One: Paying up Debt
If you are in this group, please go check our previous posts on paying debt up.  Dealing with debt is nice and short whilst the more practical one with examples is at If I had debt. These posts will help you structure your own journey out of debt. They are worth your time, OK I'm blowing my own horn. Our next challenge will be on paying mortgage/ homeloan in 10 years or less. It is not that hard. I have done it and so have some of my friends.

Group Two: Building an Emergency Fund
A lot of people dislike the term Emergency Fund. Please call it whatever you fancy. Just build the fund. For the emergency fund accounts again please check out the recent post on choosing the emergency fund account. If not sure of the best option, please enquire with your bank. As stated previously, I use a 24 hour notice account for this purpose. There is always an account suitable for this. Just avoid saving in an account that earns no interest. I have shown the interest that I earn in that particular post. Please check it out. A number of people keep R10,000 in that particular account. Some people keep more and some keep less. I need at least this amount because of my various financial commitments.
Remember that you may start building on this whilst you are paying your debt up. You might need to take part of the amount you are committing to fast tracking your debt payment and save it as your emergency fund.

Group Three: Other Savings
A job is such an enabling tool. I am reminded by this post that, when I had a job, I had a "car savings" account. This is where I saved to buy my next car. I also used my homeloan access bond to save for various projects. I would typically save for a down payment/ deposit on a property, a new car, children's school fees, vacations, renovations, etc. Now that we are all getting debt-free, we need this category of savings for us to get in the habit of saving before we spend.

This is a more medium term type of savings. It makes sense to use a higher interest earning account compared to the emergency fund account. For this particular group, you might need to consider the longer term notice accounts like 32 days notice or the highest interest money market account that your bank offers. I use the 32 days notice account. I keep about twice (or more) the emergency fund amount in this account. I prefer to keep most of my savings in the homeloan access bonds. The reason for this is that, my homeloans typically have a higher interest than the interest I earn from the savings accounts. It helps reduce the interest that I pay on my mortgage, but is also accessible if I happen to need funds. It is also not an easy decision for me to withdraw from an access bond. I have touched on this a little in the post: Best Savings Accounts.
Please choose wisely and ask questions where you need assistance. Use Facebook or the contact us page.

Group Four: Stocks, Shares or Exchange Traded Funds
I get a whole lot of emails on Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). I am very passionate which attracts your amazing questions. I have a post that can assist readers understand this better. Please check out this post: Exchange Traded Funds. Take my word for it, they are the best money growing tool for new investors. My teenage son uses them and so does my husband. You might never use any other tool to invest in stocks or shares. I will write a post on how you register and where you can register.

All the best with the challenge. Please do not give up. Start slow and keep moving. For motivation please like us on FacebookTwitter and/ or Instagram.

7 Jun 2019


This month we have an interview with entrepreneur Dudu Mofokeng. A business consultant, former CEO of Legaci Dry Cleaners and Laundry Services, speaker, strategist and facilitator who was crowned 2014 Sanlam Entrepreneur of the year.

interview with entrepreneur Dudu Mofokeng
Who is Dudu Mofokeng?
Dudu Mofokeng is a daughter of a domestic worker, a mother of 4, grandmother of 3 and above all a daughter of the most high. Dudu is driven by her pursuit of purpose and touching lives.

What is your strategy to survive business trying times?
Trying times in business are inevitable, but what you do before they hit becomes imperative. I have learned to live a mindful simple life especially when it comes to preserving my cents. That has been my strategy over the years.

Please share some of the mistakes you now wish you could have avoided. What did you learn from such mistakes?
Structuring business and family as one unit was my biggest mistake. I have since learnt:
- Never to hire a family member solely on the basis of them being a family member. Rather hire people based on the skills and expertise that the business needs.
- Most small business owners are not legally structured to be separable from their failed business ventures. When business fails it fails with the entrepreneur at a personal level, whilst this is not the case for big companies/ corporates.

How was the bankruptcy experience for you and how did you survive it?
It was an eye opening experience which I embraced and learned a great deal from. I think true entrepreneurship is about surviving such and not the glamour that is sold in the glossy magazines. My relationship with money and things was my source of strength in surviving it. Above all, the work I put before the hard times hit came in very handy.

Can you share your experience on handling savings and retirement planning with our community?
On savings I will use a simple example:
I used to have a phone contract that cost R2,000 per month. When hard times hit I simply downgraded my lifestyle. I no longer have a cellphone contract but structured my costs as follows: R50 per week, power hour every day which sums to R200 per month on talk time. R49 a month is for data which covers WhatsApp and other data needs.
I also take advantage of the free WiFi offered by most establishments. It is a no brainer.
On other lifestyle costs I went from paying bills of R24,000 per month to about R3,000 through lowering of expenses.
I do not really believe in the retirement products that are sold by financial companies because of my negative experience with them. My retirement plan is simply leading an inexpensive lifestyle now and forever!
I invest in assets that are easily convertible to cash and increase in value, like real estate and stocks; I keep an emergency fund; I look after my health for my retirement and have a health fund; I have fun and get engaged in activities involving others.

What’s next for Dudu?
Watch the space. I am building a Legaci! (legacy)

If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Work on your relationship with money and material things. Entrepreneurship is not as glamorized as published in glossy magazines. If your pain threshold is very low, step aside before things get worse. Learn to be kind to and love yourself in the entrepreneurship journey. Always remember that entrepreneurship is a continuous self improvement project.

Any final thoughts to share with Safe Investing SA community.
"We all have something to give to this world, don't be a bystander. You can only find the true you by giving yourself to others"

Dudu Mofokeng imparts great deal of knowledge through her blog: Dudu Mofokeng blog.

Let us learn from your Entrepreneurship or Career journey in order to grow and be better versions of ourselves. Let us support your hustle. Get featured on Safe Investing SA today. Email Mbini at:

3 Jun 2019


This post is mainly for our daily savings challenge members and readers who joined the monthly saving challenge. I thought I would easily compare various bank accounts that are better suited to emergency fund accounts. It seems it would take me forever to complete that kind of a task. I will just explain the account that I use for my own emergency funds. If your bank has a similar account, you might consider using it. If they have a better account, that is even better.
emergency fund accounts
Emergency fund accounts are meant for emergencies. No surprise there. There has to be a high level of liquidity in the account you choose with cash being available almost immediately. The account used has to earn interest. My bank has an account with both features. I use a 24 hour or one day notice account as my emergency fund account. You make a 24-hour notice to withdraw. It is very convenient for quick access to cash.

More on this money market account:
  • To open this particular account, one needs a minimum amount of R500. Hence, I thought most of our daily saving challenge members can use similar after keeping their two weeks savings of R560.
  • 5.25 percent interest (at the time of publishing) is not bad at all for the typical funds of between R2,500 and R25,000. I realise that most banks do not have good interest rates on savings and money market accounts. I have seen below 3 percent for accounts similar to the one that I use. 
  • Whenever I need funds, I make a notice a day before my withdrawal. It could be an evening before the day I need the funds. In this way it is not strictly applying the 24 hours waiting period.
  • I have not created a stop order for my funds to be transferred into this account, but this is possible and a good thing to do. This way one can automatically pay themselves first.
  • My emergency fund is capped at about R10,000. So, I will never get the 6.2 percent interest rate earned on a R50,000 balance. I am pleased with the 5.25 percent that I earn. 
  • It is important to choose an account with no monthly fees or commissions. Most of them do not. 
Please look at the features above and get an account from your bank that works in a similar fashion. Funds have to be available immediately or almost instantly. The account has to earn interest. Time value of money is a thing.
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