Celebrating Sending Money Home on International Day of Family Remittances

Every year on the 16th of June the International Day of Family Remittance is celebrated. The main objective of this day is to show the effect of remittance on families and their countries of origin.

What is Remittance?
This refers to money that is sent or transferred to another party. The term is derived from the word remit, which means to send back.
Remittance is not only limited to personal money but can also include business or service payments. One in seven people in the world is either sending or receiving money with an estimate of 800 million benefits from the remittance

How does Remittance Work?
Remittance services are usually used by migrants in need of a service that is focused on sending money with better exchange rates and implement the same security measures as traditional financial institutions. The sender usually goes to the office or use their online website or app to send money by filling their personal information and the beneficiary’s data. It usually takes minutes to complete.

Zimbabwe is one of the top five beneficiaries of remittances in Africa for the year 2019. Data provided by data.worldbank shows that in 2019 Zimbabwe received $1.8bn in remittance. Diaspora remittance aids the country in having much needed foreign currency for the importation of essential products and services while contributing to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

IFAD has stated that between 2015 and 2030 (the SDG timeframe), an estimated US$8.5 trillion will be sent by migrants back to their communities of origin in developing countries. Of that amount, more than US$2 billion will either be saved or invested. Zimbabweans abroad totaling over 3 million can aid in reducing poverty, hunger, and providing opportunities to quality education and economic growth.

How Zimbabweans are benefiting from remittance:
1. It allows the benefiting family to have access to better education, food, healthcare while improving their livelihood.
2. It improves our country’s per capita income and GDP
3. It provides peace of mind to the sender as they have knowledge of how the recipient is going to receive money and when.

It’s also important to note that in light of the global pandemic with more people not employed there is a slight decrease in money being sent home as the rate may not be as high pre-covid19. Remittances can be costly to send with the global average being seven percent of the amount sent and with that in mind as more and more families in Zimbabwe depend on remittance to survive we as Access Forex ensures that your loved ones can send money home at a favorable rate and paying out in USD cash guaranteed at all our registered agents in our growing network across the country

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Access Forex Donates Sanitary Wear through Feed a Million Initiative

Access Forex has committed to join the fight against period poverty, by donating 500 menstrual cups and 500 pads in hampers that have been distributed as part of the Feed a Million initiative. The organization, which provides remittance services for Zimbabweans in the UK and South Africa, strives to make a tangible impact on the communities in which it operates. As such, Access Forex has committed a seed of USD 200 000, towards a target fund of USD 1 million, to go towards child-headed homes, orphans and the elderly.

In Zimbabwe, the girl child in vulnerable communities fails to access Sanitary wear due to the high cost of sanitary wear and this leads to many young girls turning to unsafe alternatives. The government has also recognized the need to fight against period poverty, and taxes on menstrual products have been suspended since the 2017 budget. The use of menstrual cups has many benefits. They are medically safe and reusable for years, making them a cheaper and environmentally-friendly option. Menstrual cups are convenient to use, can be worn during all activities including sleeping and exercising, and they do not leak when used correctly. All these factors mean that one menstrual cup can make a positive impact on a girl or a woman’s life for several years.

Dr. George Chirwa, Director of Access Forex, shared the importance of providing menstrual cups alongside the UN-recommended food staples included in the hampers. “Vulnerable girls and women in our communities are further marginalized by period poverty, as they are unable to access menstrual hygiene tools and educations. By providing access to menstrual products, we are playing our part to help dismantle the hurdles that vulnerable girls and women face,” he stated. COVID-19, the subsequent lockdown and the impact on our local economy have impacted access to income, further exacerbating conditions for those already living in poverty. Access Forex will roll out the initiative first in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls before spreading out to provide food aid and sanitary products across the country.

The Feed a Million initiative is rolling out in partnership with Caritas Zimbabwe, an organization whose mandate includes integral human development, emergency relief, advocacy, peacebuilding, respect for human rights and support for proper stewardship of the planet’s environment and resources. Caritas Zimbabwe will not only distribute the menstrual cups but will also educate each recipient on the safe and proper use of the product. Marius Zibgwi, National Co-ordinator of Caritas Zimbabwe, also emphasized the importance of including the distribution of sanitary products as part of the initiative. “There are many issues that intersect to contribute to poverty. We seek to address hunger and poverty through our work, and this strong partnership with Access Forex will help us to work towards dismantling period poverty. By addressing access to sanitary products, we begin to address issues affecting girls’ and women’s participation in education and society as a whole,” he stated.

In this time of national crisis, Access Forex continues to challenge other corporates to join the fight to assist marginalized and vulnerable members of our communities. By collaborating with Access Forex and donating towards the USD1 million goal, local companies play their part in solving local challenges that face the country. The goal to #FeedAMillion is expected to grow beyond the COVID-19 crisis, and Access Forex will continue to implement initiatives to uplift Zimbabweans.

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Access Forex and Caritas Zimbabwe Join Hands to Feed a Million

Access Forex, an organisation providing remittance services for Zimbabweans in the UK and South Africa, has partnered with Caritas Zimbabwe as it rolls out its Feed a Million food aid initiative.
Founded in 1972 as the Commission for Social Services and Development (C.S.S.D), the agency is now known as Caritas Zimbabwe to identify itself with other Catholic charitable agencies throughout the whole world under Caritas Internationalis (CI) network of 162 Catholic relief aid, development and social service organisations working to build a better world, especially for the poor and oppressed. It operates under the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC.)

The initiative comes at a time of great need, as a slowing economy, COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown are impacting the country. Access Forex has committed a seed of USD200,000 towards a target fund of USD 1 million, and has created hampers containing UN-recommended food staples as well as sanitary products. Donations will begin in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls before rolling out in the rest of Zimbabwe.

Feed a Million donations will take place in line with government directives pertaining to COVID-19. Social distancing will be strictly adhered to in line with World Health Organisation, and a maximum of 50 people will be served at a time. For the additional safety of recipients, a medical officer will be present at each distribution site.

Dr George Chirwa, the Executive Director for Access Forex shared that Access Forex is making good progress towards its goal to #FeedAMillion. “Our initial distribution in Mbare and Epworth went extremely well and over the course of next week we will be in Bulawayo Mpopoma and Makokoba then we move to Chidobe in Victoria Falls.” he stated.

Marius Zibgwi, National Co-ordinator of Caritas Zimbabwe, also shared his vision for the impact for the Feed a Million initiative. “Access Forex is the first corporate to partner with us in this way. Our work is aiding those who are suffering from poverty and hunger, and this initiative will help us reach more people across the country. We hope that other corporates will also join in the effort to assist the most marginalised members of our communities.” he said.

Vulnerable people will be assisted through the Feed a Million Challenge, including child-headed homes, orphans and the elderly. As part of the initial donation, 2 500 individuals will receive hampers. Access Forex expects the Feed a Million initiative to grow into the future and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The organisation believes strong partnerships by local businesses will be critical for solving local problems. Through such times of national crisis, results are achieved when we pull together. Through collaboration, we can Feed a Million.

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Access Forex Launches Feed A Million Campaign

Access Forex has committed an initial USD 200 000 to assist the most vulnerable segments society and communities across Zimbabwe who is now reeling from the negative impact of drought and the global Coronavirus pandemic.
The recent drought, which has resulted in a food crisis in the country coupled with the economic slowdown, and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the resultant subsequent lockdown, have had debilitating effects on families and communities. Access Forex, an organization providing bureau de change and remittance services for Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, mainly in the UK and South Africa, has taken the move to compliments efforts by the government and various other humanitarian organizations to help mitigate the devastating negative impact of dry weather conditions, the pandemic and economic downturn.
In partnership with churches and NGO community, as well as government, Access Forex will provide food aid in the form of hampers to the vulnerable and needy in the society.
Since most Zimbabweans are currently unemployed and are largely surviving on informal sector activities, they have been badly exposed to this situation and need help to go through these times of adversity.
The intervention will begin in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls before being rolled out to the rest of Zimbabwe.
Dr. George Chirwa, Executive Director Access Forex, said during the launch of the initiative that Zimbabwe and must work together to help each other during these hard times.
“Access Forex is a Zimbabwean business and as such it has some corporate social responsibilities. We believe that local organizations and people can play a big role in resolving Zimbabwe’s current challenges. This is initiative is our small way as a responsible corporate to a citizen of supporting the ZWL100 million fund recently announced by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Hon. Prof. Mthuli Ncube. The government needs help form all of us to deal with these challenges,” he said.
Chirwa also challenged other corporate citizens, individuals, and Zimbabweans in the diaspora to join the effort, and contribute to the goal of committing USD 1 million to serve those in need and help improve their lives.
The initiative to serve the marginalized people has been launched as the COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping through the country, but will continue into the future in an effort to serve the needs of the underprivileged communities. Corporates have a responsibility to the people around them and should step up to help feed a million through their donations. Through such strong partnerships, vulnerable people across Zimbabwe will receive food aid as we try to mitigate the impact of these combined adversities. Together, we have the power to #FeedAMillion.

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Family planning: inclusive budgeting for a happy home

Whilst managing your finances is vital to creating wealth, implementing a savings-oriented budget should be a shared goal between you and your partner, and even your kids. There are sacrifices to be made; compromises that affect your standard of living as a family, and of course the huge rewards that come from realising your financial goals can and should be a happy shared experience.

This issue of the Access Finance Wealth Blog dives into the importance of talking about money with your family, and how to do so in a productive fashion that brings you closer together rather than creating conflict that can push you apart.

The first person to consider when planning a budget is your partner. Shared dreams and objectives will invariably improve your chances of creating wealth. Regardless of whether or not you are both working and regardless of your respective salaries, setting short term and long term goals that incentivise a saving culture at home and reward you as a unit will turn your saving journey into a more fun and satisfying experience that can even improve your relationship. Setting your own goals and forcing a savings regime on your spouse that hasn’t been devised in an open manner will alienate him or her, create conflict that can negatively affect your wealth, and if you do achieve financial security, it will be much less satisfying if it came about in a tense environment. Wealth creation is a long journey, and you need all hands on deck.

Knowing someone’s personal ambitions and financial background is part of the process of forming long term commitments. Maybe John Lennon was right – money can’t buy you love, but it is famous for ruining it! Knowing how much your partner earns is a small part of it – it’s also important to see how he or she spends their money, how they use credit and savings. Will you feel comfortable pooling your resources with someone who often eats at expensive restaurants beyond his means? Does her cost-cutting drive you insane? These are things you best discuss early on to reach a compromise. If you can’t see a way around it, be warned that many relationships meet their demise over money and a shared vision around finances is just as important to a long happy relationship as the more obvious ones such as the desire to have children, religious beliefs, and personal values.

Creating shared goals is a process of compromise. It’s a conversation that you should start as soon as possible, but definitely at the beginning of any budgeting and saving exercises. The best way to make it a positive experience is by listening to your partner first, asking their opinion and feelings, even when it concerns your personal financial decisions, which might not be closely tied to theirs yet.

“I want to own my own house one day. Does that sound good? What kind of place do you want to live in? What do you know about saving for a deposit?” – lay your dreams out there, but open it up for discussion. Chances are your partner also wants to achieve wealth, so start by creating a shared vision. Get their input every step of the way when creating a budget

“We’re spending too much. Where do you think we can cut costs?” – The shared dream is the easy part – the devil is in the detail. Conflict about money will most often arise from different spending priorities in day to day life. Make sure that cost-cutting measures are give and take – make sure that you both feel the pinch on personal luxuries when you are cutting back. Try and think of common ground for non-essential expenses. For example, allocate money for the occasional nice dinner out as a couple rather than new clothes for yourself.

Throughout the journey of financial cooperation, transparency is vital. Make sure that you both reveal all your debts, savings, and income. If you are using a financial adviser, be sure to go together. Divide the research into investment options and present your findings to each other as if in a boardroom. Set up regular financial meetings to check on all your accounts and see if you’re on track. Never go off budget without discussing it first! Breaking the rules can be a start gun for tit-for-tat spending that pulls you off course and negatively impacts your relationship. Agree to a reward system for hitting targets.

Oh, and don’t forget the kids! If both parents are comfortable and mature about money-talk, it will foster good financial sense into their children that will make them happier adults. Ask them what they would personally like to start saving money for, and help them get started with a simple wall chart of savings targets to reach their goal, no matter how small. Paying them for some of their chores will help them understand the journey you are on as a working man or woman better, and why they can’t always get what they want, when they want it.

If you are saving for a car or a house, get the kids excited about it too. Put pictures up of your dream house somewhere where everyone can see them, to act as positive reinforcement for them as they wonder why they aren’t allowed to drink all the milk in the fridge or to go to the movies every weekend. Make them feel a part of it, and keep them informed in a non-stressful manner, and you will have won the support of key allies on your long journey.
And remember, if you’re sending money home to Zimbabwe for any reason, Access Finance is here to help. Get your money home cheaply and instantly by clicking here.

Access Finance is a financial services company registered in Zimbabwe.

Access Finance
7th Floor, Finsure House, Cnr Sam Nujoma St
Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone: +263 4 253 661-3
Email: info@accessfinance.co.zw
Website: www.accessfinance.co.zw

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Find and keep good tenants for your investment property

In the last issue of the Access Wealth Blog we learned that 2018 could be the time to buy property in Zimbabwe. Most signs are pointing to the next decade bringing a significant firming of property prices on the back of better economic conditions, in particular the ability for buyers and sellers to access hard currency and move it between countries. With property being a reliable investment across the world, it is a common method for people to build wealth from.

A market analyst from a leading real estate agency in Harare warned, however, that rentals are generally delivering very low returns, with big suburban properties achieving just 1-2% return per annum, and high density housing a stronger 15-16%. The tough circumstances many potential renters are in means that non-payment of rent is common, and the laws surrounding the human right to shelter mean that evictions can be difficult and expensive.

Estate agents on the ground in Harare have described a short-sightedness in many would be landlords, who expect good tenants without themselves being good landlords. Here are some of the key considerations when trying to get, and keep, good rent paying tenants.

  1. Adjust your expectations.
    To avoid your property lying idle, lower your rent and get someone in rather than having a white horse sitting empty for months on end. It’s a renters market and will be for some time to come.
  2. Hold up your end of the deal.
    Keep your rates with the council paid. If rent includes internet, never miss payments to risk having it cut off. Make sure any staff that you are responsible for are paid on time. Keeping your affairs in order means that you are well within your rights to demand the same from your tenants. If tenants are hassled by debt collectors looking for you, it can irritate and cause concern.
  3. Make it work.
    Investing in your property is the only way to attract and keep good tenants. A borehole and water tank are expensive, but vital additions to attract well-to-do tenants. When viewing a house, missing lightbulbs and broken windows are a big turnoff for prospective tenants. If your house is furnished, make sure that the furniture is in working order. All broken fittings including plumbing and electrical should be repaired. If you show your house love, your tenants will too!
  4. Make it pretty.
    Spending a bit of money on improving the aesthetics of your home will yield a good return on investment. A fresh coat of paint, especially in living areas and the kitchen, will invariably bring cheer to a house. Mow the lawn, weed the driveway, rake up leaves and keep the hedges and bushes trimmed. You are selling a lifestyle to people who are looking to rent, try to fulfil their hopes.
  5. Top-line lessees require the biggest investment.
    If your property is near an embassy or the International School, you are more likely to attract diplomatic staff or NGO workers from overseas whose rent is guaranteed by their organisations. Security becomes a top concern in this case, and a wall with electric fence and gate are a must. A good borehole and a backup generator are also key. The services of a landscaper to get the most from your garden will improve your chances even further. Needless to say, the house should be immaculate and everything working therein. Consider investing in a few top end appliances such as a bigger, high quality stove and fridge. Quality should be emphasised rather than glitz – don’t fit your house out just to look opulent – subdued tones and reliable fittings and appliances will give you a better return on investment in the long run.

Access Finance can help you invest in property in Zimbabwe by offering secure, instant and cheap remittances into the country. Read more here.

Access Finance is a financial services company registered in Zimbabwe.

Access Finance
7th Floor, Finsure House, Cnr Sam Nujoma St
Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone: +263 4 253 661-3
Email: info@accessfinance.co.zw
Website: www.accessfinance.co.zw

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A window for property investment has opened in Zimbabwe

With the dramatic events in Zimbabwe in the month of November 2017, readers living in the diaspora will have renewed interest in the possibility of coming home, or at very least starting to invest for a future in their home country.

A market analyst for a leading real estate agency based in Harare is confident that there will be a good window for investing in property in 2018.

“If even some of what people are expecting happen in Zimbabwe happens, property prices are set to firm in coming years. If the optimistic view is realised, then investing in property now may even yield good to excellent returns in the short and medium term. It would take a totally unexpected and massive disaster to see prices dip below where they are today.”

Currently property prices are down over a lack of demand stemming from the unstable financial environment, specifically access to hard currency. It has resulted in buyers who are earning money outside the country being able to buy properties for up to 30% below asking prices – making the investment by Diaspora in land or housing even more tempting for now.

“We have already seen a spike in interest from diasporans looking to set themselves up here. The cost of building has skyrocketed in recent months, so most people are looking to buy up and running properties, or vacant land to cash in on in the medium to long term, or after building prices come down.”
The analyst believes that if the economy recovers in the medium term, the window for investment for` middle class families might close.

“In Kenya when the economy took off prices skyrocketed. Property prices in Kenya today are so high that ordinary families can only dream of owning their own home. My instinct says that we could be facing such a situation in Zimbabwe within a decade.”

Foreign owned retail franchises including SPAR, PicknPay and Food Lovers’ Market, who have struggled to pay their foreign suppliers for their imported goods in recent months are reported to have been snapping up property in Zimbabwe with a view to obtaining the land where their goods are produced, staff housing for management, and of course more outlets for their chains, all at low prices. Rather than fearing this development, the analyst encourages Zimbabweans to seize the day and invest as far ahead of the possible surge in prices driven to a large degree by this kind of foreign investment.

He warns however that investments are not likely to yield money in the short term, with rentals in Zimbabwe being among the lowest in Africa at the moment.

“Finding good, paying tenants is extremely difficult. The law favours the lessee in Zimbabwe, and evictions over non-payment are difficult and expensive,” he said. The analyst recommends partnering with a professional and well-known rentals agency that can both manage tenants and the upkeep of the property.

“Yes, you have to pay for the service, but most of our rentals are owned by clients who have had their fingers burned badly in the past.”

The analyst says that rentals of big, luxurious suburban houses will yield the lowest returns of just 2-3% per annum, whereas smaller, cheaper homes, including houses in Harare’s high density areas are treating owners with up to 15-16% returns per annum.

“Buying flats, town houses, and garden flats that are part of a well run complex is a very good investment. These are yielding better returns, are popular with Harare’s urban professional who actually pay their rent, and best of all, they are part of associations that share communal burdens such as security, borehole maintenance, and landscaping costs. Big old houses with rambling gardens are a headache to manage, even for an agent, but especially for an owner living overseas.”

As has been the case with other cities including Johannesburg where apartments in the formerly unappealing Hillbrow area for example have become very desirable, urban renewal is both inevitable and hugely rewarding for investors who risked their money in formerly run down or dangerous neighbourhoods.

“If I was looking to invest anywhere in the world, Zimbabwe would be high on the list of places to research right now. Apart from getting a foot in the door in case the market gets out of hand later on, I think Zimbabweans in the diaspora that invest in property here are very likely to see a good return when rentals firm up, and sales pick up again,” said the analyst.

In our next issue we will look at how you can improve your chances of finding good tenants for your rental property in the most cost effective way.

If you are looking to buy property in Zimbabwe, Access Finance will help you send the money home to pay for it. Use our amazing remittance services to get property sellers to sit up when you start negotiating, and ensure you get the best price and best return from your investment as you take this big step towards achieving your financial dreams.

Access Finance is a financial services company registered in Zimbabwe.

Access Finance
7th Floor, Finsure House, Cnr Sam Nujoma St
Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone: +263 4 253 661-3
Email: info@accessfinance.co.zw
Website: www.accessfinance.co.zw

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Insight: Where Zimbabweans can save more money

Economists have conservatively pegged migration out of Zimbabwe at 30% of the population. That’s just under 5 million people! That said, accurate figures are impossible given the weak statistical data available from within Zimbabwe, as well as the fact that so many expatriates are undocumented in their destination countries.

With the exception of the huge number rushing to South Africa, a significant percentage of Zimbabwean expats qualify as skilled workers, or professionals. And they are working wonders indeed, with figures as high as $18 billion dollars annually being earned by Zimbabweans outside the borders. Of this, approximately $3 billion is remitted – and though remittances are not counted as part of GDP, the role this income plays in boosting GDP activities at home is vital. At a household level, this money is all too often a critical lifeline for struggling families back home.

This issue of the Access Wealth Blog looks at which countries are likely to afford Zimbabweans abroad the best opportunity to send money home – which countries on average have the most favourable income potential, and lower costs of living? Visa and logistical issues are set aside.

The below table includes data on the number of Zimbabwean expatriates in some of the top destinations, as well as the average disposable income for each country, after tax. The third column looks at the cost of living in these nations, based on a middle class lifestyle. Although the income data is fairly reliable, migration data is much less so. These figures represent best possible estimates from embassies and research centres from the listed countries.

Country Number Zimbabwean Expatriates Average national income less tax (USD) Cost of Living Indicator
South Africa 3,500,000 1,400 46.45
United Kingdom 400,000 2,960 76.02
United States 100,000+ 3,258 77.23
Australia 20,000 3,780 85.96

It is expected that where prices are high, so too will be average wages and vice versa. Countries of a similar development status or in the same region also tend to have similar stats around income and cost of living. To see where you might be able to enjoy more savings, we can divide the national average income by the cost of living indicator and compare countries in this way. In the above group, Australia comes out on top, offering about 50% more mileage on the average salary than in South Africa. The USA is close behind at 40%, with the United Kingdom in third at about 30% better savings potential than South Africa.

Though interesting, making use of averages and indicators tells us little of the reality of life in these countries and the diversity of the lived experience of Zimbabwean expats therein. In particular, the cost of living indices run by global research tanks such as Numbeo, detail the cost of living for middle class people. There is little doubt that many Zimbabweans across the world are earning far less than the average for the country they are in, but saving, investing, or remitting far above what these indices would suggest is possible. This comes about through stringent budgeting and saving.

Access Finance can help you get your money home cheaply and instantly. Your friends or family can collect US Dollars in cash in Harare the minute your order is placed. Send as little as $100. Find out more here.

Access Finance is a financial services company registered in Zimbabwe.

Access Finance
7th Floor, Finsure House, Cnr Sam Nujoma St
Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone: +263 4 253 661-3
Email: info@accessfinance.co.zw
Website: www.accessfinance.co.zw

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Personal Budgeting Part 1 – To create wealth, you must first start to count

Some words of comfort: This issue of the Access Wealth Blog is not about scrimping and saving and living like a pauper. You work hard, and must enjoy life. However, by getting to grips with your spending you will enjoy more utility for your money. You will plan and achieve your short and long term goals, which might include a luxury holiday, a new phone, and should include a comfortable retirement.

Even if you’re rolling in it, financial advisors everywhere will encourage you to record your expenses as though you are short on money. Whether you are keeping receipts and logging them into a spreadsheet, or using an app on your phone to track your expenses in real time (see the next issue for advice on this), a full picture of your costs is a vital first step to take if you are going to create wealth in the long term.

Once you’ve established how best to record your expenses, it’s time to plan your spending. The most widely recommended ratio is the 30:20:50 plan. It breaks your income up into the three broadest categories of expenditure: Housing (30%); Savings and Debts (20%) and Everything Else (50%).


Hopefully, if you are like most Zimbabweans, you have not accumulated too much debt. The average American household has a whopping $16,000 of credit card debt – a situation created by a strong credit culture in the country. Zimbabweans by contrast have never had sustained access to large loans, department store credit, or car financing plans, and wholesale borrowing is low. “We eat what we kill,” one might say. However, where credit is available, it can be leveraged to form part of a smart wealth creation strategy. This will be discussed in future blogs.

On the accommodation front, housing prices are extremely varied across the world but 30% of your income is the absolute most you should pay on a mortgage, with rentals hopefully falling below this figure. If you have lots of debt, cheaper accommodation is a good way to get back in the black.

Where things a bit more complicated is the 50% of your income allocated to your flexible spending. Good record keeping in this category will make or break your financial plans. Within this category you should create your own sub groups such as food, transport, groceries, school fees etc. Here is where a personal budget will really start to fit your individual situation, with single people allocating a higher percentage to entertainment than breadwinners for large families for example.

If you’ve never run a personal budget, start the journey to financial control by listing all your expenses very specifically. Maybe record all your day to day expenses for a week or two to act as a guideline, and then weigh your actual expenditure against the recommended 30:20:50 ratio.

Many people who don’t normally run personal budgets will not know that their Other Expenses category is much higher than the recommended 50%, eating away into savings and debt repayment. It might be time to trim some of your luxury items. More on how to save money in future issues.

For now, just make a start with an expenses log. Getting good at this is a process, not an event. Just seeing the high totals spent on ‘small’ items might prompt you to change your habits and only buy indulgences that are budgeted for. Put a coloured card in your wallet to remind you to keep notes as you pay for stuff. Take photos of your receipts to record later. Or use an app. But the first step is to diligently start recording and push yourself to do so until it’s second nature. How you spend your money is up to you, but knowing how you are spending it will almost always change your priorities.

One aspect that Zimbabweans abroad have to factor in on top of this is sending money home. Be it investments, family support, or maybe just a gift, you have to work out which part of 30:20:50 to list them under. The good news is that Access Finance can help you get as little as $100 home securely and instantly in US dollars. Check out our locations and fees here.

Get in touch with your questions or suggestions via ___________.

Access Finance is a financial services company registered in Zimbabwe.

Access Finance
7th Floor, Finsure House, Cnr Sam Nujoma St
Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone: +263 4 253 661-3
Email: info@accessfinance.co.zw
Website: www.accessfinance.co.zw

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