Make that salary increase work for you

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Getting a salary raise is probably one of the best feelings in the world. However, it can also be a double-edged sword.

Sure, you’re going to make more money, but that feeling of financial well-being could also go to your head and lead to some poor financial decisions. The trick to getting a salary increase to really pay off is to make the right choices in the days, weeks, and months before and following it.

As from Saturday April 1, 2017 all government employees in Namibia including teachers, will be eligible for the 9 percent salary increase agreed between government and trade unions. This was announced by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Ericah Shafudah, in a memorandum sent to all government ministries, offices and agencies.

“Sanlam covers what is most important to you with the utmost care and helps you make the most of every hard-earned dollar, so you can look forward to living your best life possible. Because that’s what makes us Wealthsmiths (TM). Most civil servants already have plans for their increment and backpay,” noted Sanlam’s marketing and communications manager, Ilke Akwenye.

Akwenye added that Sanlam took the time to ask a few members of the public what they would do with their increment. One such civil servant looking forward to getting this windfall is Katrina Mbeeli, who said because this increment is money that she did not have before, she has decided to put part of it aside and save for a rainy day.

“I plan on opening a 32-day account and institute a stop order on my salary so that half of that amount is automatically transfered into it. I am glad that this increase, albeit small, will change my life. In the past I just worked for my expenses and bills.

“But now this increase will enable me to save some money. I am grateful to the government for this increment during these hard economic times and the hard financial times it is facing. The 9 percent increase will translate to more than N$1,000 of my salary,” said Mbeeli.

Hileni Shivute, employed by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, said she will use her increment to better provide for her children.

“Everything is very expensive now and my children have had to do without some things. I hope now I will be able to have extra money to give them a treat once in a while. “I want to save most if not all the money that will come with the increase. I am an avid money saver and I love saving money because you will never know what life has in store for you,” said Shivute.

Not even temptations of a good life have diverted Shivute from achieving her saving goals. She said her rigid saving discipline has earned her nicknames among members of her family but to her these are like water off a duck’s back.

“I don’t mind them calling me stingy, a miser, tight-fisted or Ms Goldfinger, because that will not change what I want to achieve and I wish they realise how hard this money is earned for them to appreciate why I do not waste it.

Akwenye added: “With an insight of how a few members of the public will make use of their increment, not everyone however has an appetite for saving or investing.
“Allow yourself to make that nine percent percent work for you, by keeping the following in mind: save and invest in vehicles such as Unit Trusts; contribute to an existing retirement account; establish an emergency fund.

“Think of a pay raise as an opportunity to prepare for less prosperous times. Pay off part of your debt. Reducing debt can clear the way for bigger-ticket purchases like a house or new car.

“Save for something fun in the future, such as a vacation, and don’t forget taxes. Those annoying taxes we all have to pay can leave you with a smaller windfall than you realised.”

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