Bank Better, Live Better

aisha baker | how i learned to spend smarter

Aisha Baker grew up with 2 entrepreneur parents and money talk was common in their home. Spending wisely, however, was something she had to learn how to do.

Lifestyle blogger and influencer Aisha Baker started her blog, Baked Online, as a creative outlet during her first year as a marketing student at UCT in 2009. She was underwhelmed by subjects like economics and her blog became a creative outlet.

Two years later, Baked Online began attracting the attention of potential clients looking to advertise and, at 19, Aisha signed her first paid campaign.

Since then, Aisha has learned many valuable money lessons. But the one that taught her to spend smarter is simple: shop around and get a few quotes before deciding on the best deal. At the same time, she’s also learned that it’s important not to buy something immediately.

 

Aisha’s money journey

Both Aisha’s parents are entrepreneurs and money and finances were common topics around the Baker dinner table. “My parents would discuss money with myself and my brother from a very young age – what adults spent money on; how much it costs to raise us,” says Aisha.

Her first first-hand interaction with money came when she received some for Eid as a little girl. “I remember spending that money on important things like candy and Barbie dolls!” she recalls.

Aisha is married to professional South African cricketer, Wayne Parnell, and they have a son, Khalid, who is turning 2 soon. “My money responsibilities changed when I got married. It was the first time I left home and I soon realised money doesn’t go a long way unless you go a long way with money,” says Aisha.

She readily accepts that she is the spender in their home: “I enjoy the good life – nice things, good food. I still struggle with that, especially after Khalid was born and I just wanted to buy him nice things. I had to hold back from spending too much.”

 

3 ways to smarter spending

With money, comes responsibility. Overspending can happen quickly but there are simple ways to avoid falling into this trap:

 

  • Plan ahead - Budget, budget, budget! Budgeting will help you plan better. You’ll know how much money you have for essentials, such as bill payments, food or rent, and how much you have left to play around with for entertainment or splurges
  • Sleep on it - “I enjoy the good life such as nice things and good food. I still struggle with that, especially after my first child was born,” says Aisha. “I just wanted to buy him nice things, but I had to hold back on spending too much.” A good way to do this is by giving yourself 24 hours to sleep on it. By the morning you often will have forgotten about it or discovered that you have a similar pair of shoes in your cupboard. So, do you really need that pricy pair of boots? Probably not. Kids need new shoes because they’ve outgrown their favourite pair? That’s a necessity
  • Shop around - As Aisha says, it’s important to shop around for the best deal. Looking for a new handbag? Compare prices and think it over. Twice

 

Simplify spending. Live better.

Shopping for the best deal includes looking at things like bank charges. “In 2019, I moved to Capitec, which saved me a lot in bank charges,” Aisha says. With the Capitec app she can create different pockets inside her Global One solution. “I also now pay myself a small salary so I don’t dip into my business profits to buy something for myself or the kids.”

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