Money Talks: Chats every couple should have

Talking about money with your person is one of those conversations that can go downhill, crash, burn and make things awkward. Quickly. But it doesn’t have to go that way. Not sure where to start? Here are some Qs for thought…

SPENDING HABITS

Is your partner a big spender or a penny pincher? Neither is wrong, but if you’re complete opposites and you share costs, well, this could become a problem. Nip it in the bud by having a look at how you both spend by answering these questions. Remember to keep it fun and easy-breezy.

1. When we go out, what do you suggest as 3 activities?
2. What are the top 5 things you spend your money on?
3. If you got a briefcase of cash, how much would need to be in it for you to stop working for money?

SAVINGS CASH

Saving is one of those strange topics. There’s stashing cash for a short-term goal or investing for the future you. When chatting to your boo about this, find out how they feel about saving, what they’ve invested in and why. Not only will you get to know your partner better but you may learn a thing or two about investing. Now, when it comes to saving money together, read this.

MAKING MONEY

Being open and honest about money goals is important. You both need to be realistic. Think about it. Your partner might have a low-paying job, but it makes them happier than a kid with an ice-cream. Chat about your 5-year and 10-year plans so that you’re both on the same page with where you want to be one day. And if making mo’ money is important to you both, maybe think about increasing your ka’ching with a side gig.

Make mo’ money: The magic of the side gig

Let’s get real. From international trade wars to the simple fact that stuff is getting silly expensive while our salaries remain the same, it’s easy to feel the financial squeeze. But when times get tough, the tough get a side gig.

Get paid for your passion

This ain’t your typical 9 til 5. Your passion is something you love doing like drawing, baking or breakdancing. And it’s by sharing your side hustle with the world that’ll help you earn extra cash. The internet is bursting with success stories of people (like Sophia Amoruso) who turned their hobbies into a whole lot of zeros. Google it.

 

Spend your time teaching

If you fancy yourself a good teacher, get paid for it. Check out Tuta-me or Turtlejar tutors. These pretty cool platforms make it easy to find tutoring jobs. Better still, you can teach virtually or one-on-one.

 
 

Become a know-it-all

If you’re all kinds of crazy about your country, use it to become a tour guide. You can become an SA Specialist or a South African Travel expert through South African Tourism. And the best part? The courses are free! So, take a dive into our rich culture, heritage, and history and you could earn a pretty penny from it too.

Let’s talk charity: you’ll never become poor by giving. You’ll become richer

We recently celebrated Mandela’s birthday by spending 67 minutes of our time giving back. Can you remember how good you felt? Now imagine how blow-your-mind-amazing you’ll feel if you made helping people, animals, the planet your hobby. Sure, it’s easy to toss 5 bucks to the guy watching your car and think that’s charity, but giving back isn’t about giving away cash and stuff. Why? Because your time and effort are the greatest gifts you can give.

Pay it forward

Maybe you’re great with kids. So why not get involved at Hotel Hope? Maybe organisation is your thing. Then volunteering at The Homestead would be great. Take your skills, your passions – whatever you’ve learnt in life, and use them to help others. Charity is often confused with spending cash. And yeah, you can if you want to, but there are other ways you can give too. All it takes is a few hours a month to make a world of a difference in someone’s life.

 

Be the change

As a business that deals with dough, we often talk about saving. When you save, you’re growing something, but saving and growing isn’t limited to money (and trees). By getting behind NGOs that help communities, like Gift of the Givers, you’re helping to grow a better future for everyone. It takes time and constant compassion to see the effects of giving back, but as Tata once said, “It is in your hands, to make a better world for all who live in it.”

 
 

Invest your time

A couple of weeks ago, our team cleaned up an orphanage. We left dirty and tired, but with larger-than-life smiles. Afterwards, we all felt this overwhelming wave to keep helping and we realised the importance of keeping that spark alive. Nurture it, give of yourself and leave a lasting impact.

Money Goals: Yay for goals you’ll want to keep

It may be halfway through the year, but there’s still time to get your resolutions back on track. Never made any resolutions? No sweat, you can start now. And to help you make goals you’ll stick to, we’ve put together a little list.

Save up for a happy day

You’ve heard it before: set some money aside for a rainy day, but what about saving up for a sunny day instead? It’s much easier to put cash aside when you have something exciting to save up for. It could be a weekend away, those killer heels you’ve been eyeing or December vacay money. Once you’ve nailed being able to save for the fun stuff, stashing cash for the serious stuff is easy. You know, just in case.

 

Become a smart spender

Telling you not to spend your money is just silly. You’ve gotta eat don’t you? 😉 The trick is to get a little something back when you spend. Use your credit card at rewards partners or swipe your loyalty card. Go crazy. Try to spend at places where you’ll get the best bang for your buck. Use Virgin Money Spot to pay at stores and you’ll get cash back with every purchase.

 
 

Get onboard with a side hustle

What’s a side hustle? Glad you asked. You’ve got your normal 9-5 job, but your side hustle is something extra you do to make a bit more money. It seems to be the new buzz-word and millennials have learnt how to make it work for them. It’s easy enough. Find something you love, or you’re good at, and get people to pay you for it.

Love cooking? Sell ready-made dinners.

Secret hoarder? Sell your stuff online.

Love animals? Become a dog walker.

 

Got it? Good.

Millennials & their money: Hustlers or hopeless?

Yeah, we know what people say about millennials. They’re job-hopping, thrill-seeking, woke individuals that like to use “AF” at the end of every sentence. And when it comes to money, they’re accused of over-spending and under-saving. Well, there’s more to this generation than selfies and Insta-speak and how they handle their money is just the beginning.

they spend on…

Experience and self-improvement. Millennials are given a hard time when it comes to their money-management. Boo. In reality, they’re more careful with their cash than their parents were. So on-the-fly shopping isn’t really a thing any more.

 

they save on…

Travel and Education. Holidays and studies don’t pay for themselves. There’s planning and sacrificing that makes these dreams a reality. So yes, millennials def save, just not for the same things that their parents did. Buying a house and settling down isn’t at the top of the list but, hey, there’s time for that later.

 
 

they earn by…

Working and side-hustling. Gone are the days of having one job for a lifetime. Even working one job at a time is so last century. To go places today, you need to innovate. Just think about the billion-dollar world of influencer marketing. No one knows how to juggle jobs like Millennials – simply scroll through Insta and see the brilliance of the side hustle coming to life. Check out @hermaninthehood.

 
 

so, friends, what can we learn from millennials? lots, like:

• Become a smart spender. Fill your life with great memories and good times with great people. Forget filling your life with clutter that ends up in a box in the garage.

• Save for the things that’ll take you places, literally, like education and travel.

• Embrace the side hustle. Take your hobbies and passions and turn them into a job – it’s the Millennial thing to do after all.

Public holidays are cool, but what do they really cost you?

We all love public holidays – time with family and friends, sleeping in, doing a whole bunch of wonderful nothing… But as amazing as they are, public holidays can cost you time and money. Crazy, right?! Lucky for you, we’ve got some fixes to help you skip the post-holiday slump.

avoid the spending trap

Think about your day at work. You’re at your desk, deadlines are keeping you on your toes and out of your pockets (unless you’re online shopping, of course.) When it comes to public holidays, you suddenly have time to spare and need things to do. So, your banana-on-the-go breakfast becomes a lovely long brunch out. Your quick grocery shop becomes a shopping spree.
 
Our fix: Budget. Yes, we said the B-word. Deal with it 😉 Work out how much you’re willing to spend and stick to it. Yes, it may be tough, you might get tempted, but you’ll thank yourself, and us, later.

 

make a long weekend of it

What public holidays are the best? Any one that’s on a Friday or Monday. Why? Because you can head out of town for a bit of a breather. But before you pack your bags for a last-minute mission, check the price tag. A badly planned road trip can easily trip up your cash flow.
 
Our fix: It may feel like a hassle. Your friends will laugh. But booking your getaways at the beginning of the year will help you get the best bang for your buck… and then you’ll be the ones laughing.
 
 

do not let time run away from you

Just because it’s a public holiday, it doesn’t mean your work will magically get done for you. And nothing ruins a holiday like having to work or stressing about work.
 
Our fix: Leading up to a public holiday, manage your time and your workload so there’s no desperate dash to get things done. Yep, you may have to put in a little more effort, but if it means your time off is totally stress-free, it’s a no-brainer.

Virgin SA unites to help communities affected by heavy rains

Virgin SA companies are providing immediate relief to those affected by heavy rains in KZN and the Eastern Cape and the cyclones in Mozambique. Combined, these disasters have claimed well over 1000 lives, caused serious injuries and illnesses and many people are missing or displaced. We’ve partnered with Gift of the Givers to support these communities. We need your help to make a difference!

cash donations

You can make a cash donation through the Virgin Money Spot app. It couldn’t be easier to use. If you don’t have Virgin Money Spot installed on your phone, you can download it here. Once you have registered on the app and linked your bank account or 3D secure bank card, you’re all set to donate to Gift of the Givers.

1. Click on the red “spot” button inside the app. 

2. Select “pay a contact”.

3. Enter in the cell phone number 0741859378.

4. Enter in how much you want to donate. 

5. Click “pay” to make your donation. 

physical donations

You can drop off any non-perishable food, clothes, blankets, hygiene items and first aid kits at the Virgin Mobile head office in Fourways, Johannesburg. Collection points for these items have also been set up at 115 Virgin Active clubs across South Africa. You can find out which Virgin Active clubs have collection points here.

more about Virgin SA contributions

Gift of the Givers will be distributing the donations made at Virgin Active clubs to those that have been affected by the heavy rains and cyclones in Southern Africa. The cash donations made to Gift of the Givers through Virgin Money Spot will further help to support these communities whose homes and possessions have been destroyed.

If you’d like to read more about the relief efforts, you can find out more here.

 

 Make a difference. Make a donation.

Why you should think about alternative energy

The state of power seems to be a hot topic of conversation. One minute everything’s running smoothly and the next you’re without power for 4 hours at a time. Getting off the grid completely is costly, and it can take time. There are some initial changes that you can make around your house or business to ensure maximum success when you do take the plunge to look at alternative energy sources.

change your power guzzlers

Think about your lights and your appliances. Do you still buy incandescent light bulbs? If you do, you’re wasting a lot of power and your money. You should rather replace all your light bulbs with LED ones. They last far longer, and they draw less electricity when they’re in use. Next you should look at some of your appliances, like an oven and electric heaters. Both can be converted to gas. In the long run, it’ll be cheaper to use, and you won’t be as reliant on power. Making these changes also means that you won’t need to get as powerful alternative energy sources so you’ll save a pretty penny too.

consider your alternative energy options

Take the time to think about what you need from an alternative energy source. Are you wanting to be completely off the power grid? Do you want specific parts of your home or business to run on alternative energy? Or maybe you’re just looking for a way to keep things running during loadshedding? Whatever you’re after, you need to do a lot of research before you decide what you need as some alternative energy sources have a high upfront cost and others will have a consistent higher cost.

why should I choose alternative renewable energy

Let’s face the facts, power cuts are a reality and they can cause a lot of frustration and affect work that you need to get done. If you’re a business owner, a power outage could ruin your business or at least put you out of action for the duration of the outage. Even just being at home with no power can be enough to drive you mad – especially when you’re half way through your favourite show. Some alternative energy sources are also far better for the environment – think about solar panels. By installing solar panels you’re not only helping out mother nature, but you’re also taking some of your power needs into your own hands and not relying on the grid as much. Although installing solar panels does come at a high cost, once it’s installed properly there will only be the occasional maintenance cost. This makes it a cheaper long-term energy source than some other alternative energy sources.

Great! So how can I pay for it?

Installing solar panels can be an expensive business. For a small home, installing solar panels can cost upwards of R60 000 and this doesn’t include the installation of batteries. The good news is that a personal loan is a great way to get your hands on the cash needed to setup your solar panels. Virgin Money offers personal loans between R80 000 and R250 000. With the uncertainty around loadshedding, isn’t it time to think about using alternative energy sources and ones that are better for the environment too?

   

The state of power seems to be a hot topic of conversation. One minute everything’s running smoothly and the next you’re without power for 4 hours at a time. Getting off the grid completely is costly, and it can take time. There are some initial changes that you can make around your house or business to ensure maximum success when you do take the plunge to look at alternative energy sources.

change your power guzzlers

Think about your lights and your appliances. Do you still buy incandescent light bulbs? If you do, you’re wasting a lot of power and your money. You should rather replace all your light bulbs with LED ones. They last far longer, and they draw less electricity when they’re in use. Next you should look at some of your appliances, like an oven and electric heaters. Both can be converted to gas. In the long run, it’ll be cheaper to use, and you won’t be as reliant on power. Making these changes also means that you won’t need to get as powerful alternative energy sources so you’ll save a pretty penny too.

consider your alternative energy options

Take the time to think about what you need from an alternative energy source. Are you wanting to be completely off the power grid? Do you want specific parts of your home or business to run on alternative energy? Or maybe you’re just looking for a way to keep things running during loadshedding? Whatever you’re after, you need to do a lot of research before you decide what you need as some alternative energy sources have a high upfront cost and others will have a consistent higher cost.

why should I choose alternative renewable energy

Let’s face the facts, power cuts are a reality and they can cause a lot of frustration and affect work that you need to get done. If you’re a business owner, a power outage could ruin your business or at least put you out of action for the duration of the outage. Even just being at home with no power can be enough to drive you mad – especially when you’re half way through your favourite show. Some alternative energy sources are also far better for the environment – think about solar panels. By installing solar panels you’re not only helping out mother nature, but you’re also taking some of your power needs into your own hands and not relying on the grid as much. Although installing solar panels does come at a high cost, once it’s installed properly there will only be the occasional maintenance cost. This makes it a cheaper long-term energy source than some other alternative energy sources.

Great! So how can I pay for it?

Installing solar panels can be an expensive business. For a small home, installing solar panels can cost upwards of R60 000 and this doesn’t include the installation of batteries. The good news is that a personal loan is a great way to get your hands on the cash needed to setup your solar panels. Virgin Money offers personal loans between R80 000 and R250 000. With the uncertainty around loadshedding, isn’t it time to think about using alternative energy sources and ones that are better for the environment too?

 

How to keep your Virgin Money Spot account secure

We’re sure that safety and security is as important to you as it is to us. Yes, we can make sure that the information you give us is held under lock and key, not literally, but you get the point. But it’s up to you to make sure that you also keep all your details hush hush so that no one else can use your account. We’ve put together a few ways that you can make sure your Virgin Money Spot account is secure.

protect your spot pin

You need to treat your Spot pin like the best kept secret in town. How do you do that? Never ever share your pin with anyone – not even us. We all love and trust our family and friends, but when it comes to a pin, sharing is not caring. Your pin is there to protect your transactions so if you share your pin with someone and they manage to make a payment from your app, there isn’t anything that can be done to get that money back. Long story short – protect your pin.  

your pin cannot be too easy

When you create your Spot pin, don’t be that person that thinks “0000” is going to cut it – that’s way too easy. If someone tries to use your Virgin Money Spot app, a simple pin will probably be the first thing they try. To make sure you have a secure account, you should set a pin that no one will be able to guess – just make sure that you remember it though.

keep your details a secret

Your card and your bank account details are really important and you need to make sure that you keep this information to yourself. You shouldn’t share any of these details or your ID number over social media, especially as public comments. You don’t want people to get access to your information and use it, do you? No, so keep all your information secure, by keeping it private.

check your details

Securing your account also means making sure that you have added all the correct information to your Virgin Money Spot app. You should go back into your app and check that the following information is all right:  

1. Your name is as it appears in your ID book.

2. Your ID number is correct.

3. You have double-checked that you have entered in your bank card details correctly.

4. Your linked bank account details are right.

 

Having all the right information will mean that your account will stay active and you won’t accidentally cash out to the wrong bank account. You can go into Virgin Money Spot and check all your details here.