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No one is born bad at managing money - Q&A with finance bunny Nicolette Mashile

Titled 'What's Your Move? A Collection of Ordinary Financial Lessons', the book could've easily become another one of the many finance self-help books already out there - until it had to be completely rewritten to offer a different narrative.

Nicolette Mashile's first book 'What's Your Move?' Picture: Nicolette Mashile.

JOHANNESBURG - Most people who find themselves in a seemingly endless pit of bad debt, little disposable income and other common money problems can probably tell you how they got there in the first place - through making bad decisions.

However, no one is born being bad at managing money, according to financial guru, Nicolette Mashile, but instead, this happens through what we learn about money over a period of time.

Mashile, who is also a TV presenter, speaker and businesswoman, has penned her first book.

Titled What's Your Move? A Collection of Ordinary Financial Lessons, the book could've easily become another one of the many finance self-help books already out there - until it had to be completely rewritten to offer a different narrative.

Eyewitness News Lifestyle had a chat with Mashile to find out more.

Why did you decide to write this book?

I wrote the book to encourage more people to take their finances seriously and not be intimidated by money. Like anything, money and managing it is something anyone can learn.

I believe that no one is born being bad at money, but circumstances can lead us to believe we are.

Financial exclusion has been the biggest driver of this, perpetuated by the way financial education is traditionally taught. It is fear-based – “if you don’t save you will be poor” – this is wrong. We need to reinforce to people that they can learn how to manage their finances.

Once we have established this, we need to remind people that acquired knowledge stays that until it is put into action.

Like they say with weight management, it's 90% what you eat and 10% exercise. I believe that with money, it's 10% financial education and 90% what you do with it.

What’s Your Move? is a challenge to do better. A challenge to seek out financial knowledge, a challenge to build the confidence to make your financial moves.

Tell us about the process involved in writing the book.

Writing the book was a journey of discovery for me. It is not easy to write a book. I took the process for granted.

I started writing the book 18 months ago using a ghostwriter. I would narrate and she would write.

By August 2019 we were done with the book and I had sold the idea to publishers and they were liking the content.

Then I had the opportunity to go on a personal finance roadshow with one company and when I started talking to people about their money, I realised that I had written the book the same way everyone else approached a money book. I had in essence written a book that already existed.

It was a great book, but it wasn’t going to do what I hoped it would. So, last September I started from scratch. I re-wrote each chapter myself. I wanted my voice, my style of talking and to share my stories.

Money is so present in our lives that each move we make at some level directly or indirectly involves money. Many times while writing, I experienced imposter syndrome. I kept asking myself what qualifies me to write a book about money. Then it hit me! I, like anyone else, use money. I work for money, I spend money, so why not me? I have lived experiences with money which I can share with others.

Writing this book was a financial lesson in itself for me. I learned so much and I am grateful that South Africa gave me an opportunity to learn.

What are you hoping readers will take away from reading it?

I am hoping that readers take away that they are not bad at money. They can learn to manage their money well, plan for retirement, enjoy the fruits of their labour and put their money to work.

Where will it be available for purchase and are there any more books from you in store for readers in future?

The book is available for pre-order until 31 July from www.whatsyourmove.co.za

We will also have it distributed through the major book shops and independent book shops across South Africa. We have been getting requests from Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe so we will be going into book shops there too.

Lastly, we are also looking to have affiliate programmes where anyone looking to sell the book can contact us and we can explore.

I will be writing more money books. As lengthy as this book is, I feel there is more that still needs to be discussed.

I have only scraped the surface with this book.

I want to take each chapter and delve a little bit more into it. But also, my relationship with money is a progressive one. Five years from today I may have new experiences with money and may feel different about certain things. I would like to document that.