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Look after your finances this festive season

Look after your finances this festive season

By Tracy Eagles
Chief Marketing Officer at FirstRand.

It is that time of the year when the holiday cheer takes hold, and many of ours are tempted to spend more than we should. In these hard times, however, all of us should guard against overspending.

Budgets may seem restrictive and not part of the festive picture you have for your holiday, but ultimately, they are tools to help us live better. Last year consumers in South Africa spent 26% more on their credit cards in December than any other month of the year – most of it on luxury goods and entertainment. “We should all ask ourselves the question – do I really need this, or do I want this and could I live without this for a while until the financials look better? Many of you know the saying – when in doubt, leave out – and this should possibly also apply to luxury and unnecessary purchases over the holiday period,” suggests Tracy Eagles, Chief Marketing Officer at FirstRand Namibia Limited.

6 ways to avoid overspending this holiday
1. Don’t leave money lying around (over and above what you’ve budgeted) in your bank account. Move any additional cash into your bond or savings account – that way you won’t accidently spend it and you can move it back when January comes knocking.

2. Avoid lengthy trips to the mall. Between all the specials and holiday jingles, it’s very easy to open your wallet. ‘Do your festive season shopping alone and stick to your list,’ suggests Eagles. This will give you less reason to be distracted from your task.

3. Limit convenience spending. The holidays throw us out of our normal routine. With a crowded house, activities to plan and social gatherings, ordering takeaways might seem like a good idea – but it’s not good for your waist or your wallet.

4. Rethink gifts. Presents should never be the reason you don’t stick to your budget or go into debt. Spend time thinking about how to give meaningful gifts rather than the latest and greatest which might cost a fortune. ‘If your child is set on an expensive toy, electronic device or item of clothing, rather than giving in and purchasing it, sit down with them and make a plan that they can work towards in the New Year,’ Eagles advises.

5. Self-gifting is easy to do over the holidays. Limit the ‘presents’ you buy for yourself while out shopping.

6. Ask guests to contribute a dish for social gatherings so you don’t end up footing the bill alone.

Remember there is a festive season every single year. If you realise that having fun doesn’t necessarily mean spending money you don’t have, you will be much better off financially in 2020.


About The Author

Guest Contributor

A Guest Contributor is any of a number of experts who contribute articles and columns under their own respective names. They are regarded as authorities in their disciplines, and their work is usually published with limited editing only. They may also contribute to other publications. - Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.