Do I buy a house or save for lobola?
Luzuko asks: I have just paid off my car and now I must decide whether to buy a property or start saving for lobola and buy the house after I am married.
The problem is that I cannot afford both and I need to do one of the two. I am currently renting a flat at the moment.
Maya replies: Firstly, well done in paying off your car—getting rid of car debt will really benefit your ability to start building wealth.
In terms of your next financial goal, there is no right answer as it all depends on your time horizon.
If you have met someone and you know that you will be paying lobola in the next year or two for example, then you have a set time frame and you know how much money you need to save.
However, if you are just saving knowing that one day you plan on marrying, then perhaps consider the following strategy:
Start saving for the next few years until you have enough money to put down a 10% to 20% deposit on a home.
If by that stage you have met a woman and plan on getting married, you can discuss your future plans together including buying a home together.
As you are now two income earners you can join your resources to save for a deposit. You already have the money to pay the lobola and hopefully something left over for a deposit on a home.
If you still have no plans to marry, then buy your property and pay an additional amount into your bond every month.
When you need to pay lobola you will be able to draw down on the savings in your bond. If what you have saved does not cover the full lobola you can borrow against your bond which is the cheapest form of saving.
Just make sure you repay that “loan” quickly. If you just continue to pay the minimum bond repayment you will only pay the lobola off over 20 years which will become very expensive.
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