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Listen: Navigating the financial waters as a young graduate

by | Apr 5, 2024

Congratulations! You’ve tossed your graduation cap, landed your first job, and are ready to dive into the real world. But with the excitement of your first paycheque comes the daunting realisation of adult responsibilities: rent, groceries, car payments – and let’s not forget about retirement savings.

In this episode of the My Money, My Lifestyle podcast, Maya sits down with Kirsty Scully, a seasoned financial planner at Core Wealth, to discuss the ins and outs of managing money as a young graduate.

Kirsty’s insights reveal the harsh truth that what feels like a windfall is often barely enough to cover the basics.

Earning around R25 000 or R30 000 a month may sound like a lot, but once SARS takes its share, what’s left can feel like a pittance against the backdrop of living expenses.

Kirsty walks us through a typical budget, from the non-negotiables like rent and food to the often-overlooked costs like medical insurance and an emergency fund.

One of the most striking takeaways is how important it is for young graduates to plan for the future. Retirement may seem far away, but starting to save early can make a world of difference. Kirsty presents a sobering calculation: to retire comfortably, you must start stashing away thousands per month from the get-go.

But it’s not all about scrimping and saving. Kirsty offers practical advice on living arrangements that can ease financial strain. Shared living, for instance, can significantly reduce costs. And when it comes to that first car, buy what you need, not what you want, and consider saving so that you can pay cash for your next car.

The discussion also covers the realities of medical aid, the pitfalls of debt, and the wisdom of delaying home ownership until you’re truly ready.

Kirsty’s parting message is one of encouragement: salaries will grow, and in time, you will be able to afford more. But the habits you form when you are young – the discipline of budgeting, and the foresight to invest in your future – will set the foundation for financial success.

This episode is a must-listen for any young professional stepping into the world of financial independence. It’s a guide to making informed decisions, avoiding common traps, and understanding that while money might not buy happiness, it does buy choices – choices that can lead to a fulfilling and secure life.


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Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered


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