Kathryn spent years drowning in debt and as a result, she was blacklisted for eight years with no access to finance or credit. On a mission to clear her name, Kathryn dedicated herself to getting to grip with her finances and learning the do’s and don’ts.
Kathryn says that during her battle of being black listed, she paid off all her debt diligently over a four-year period (half the time that it took to make it). “I made a commitment to each creditor and paid as per my agreement. When I had extra disposable income it all went straight into paying off my debt” she says.
On her journey, she was amazed to see how many people were too going through the same thing. “In South Africa, there are more people with debt than with jobs. Our out of control spending habits and the ‘buy now, pay later’ habits have spiralled out of control,”
Realising that parents are the biggest influencers on kids and that these bad habits had been passed on through the generations, Kathryn made it her mission to not only educate herself, but to start engaging on the importance of teaching financial literacy to kids and speaking openly about finances in the household.
With a firm belief in the difference that raising money savvy kids could make, what started off as a passion project has evolved into a business and today MSK partners with various big corporates to develop custom financial literacy content – all developed by Kathryn’s full-service advertising agency, Main Multimedia.
Kathryn talks to some of the financial biggest lessons that she has learned as an entrepreneur:
- Make sure to have a separate bank account for your VAT. SARS wants their money on time and if you don’t pay they take money out of your business bank account
- Never empty the bank accounts. Debit orders and payments are always going off. Bouncing debits and payments gives you a poor financial credit score so getting finance when you need it becomes impossible
- Don’t use your business account as your personal bank account. Pay yourself a salary and budget properly. Using business cash to supplement your over spending leaves less money for legit business expenses
- Always use a book keeper to ask for money. Asking for money from clients’ ruins relationships
- Make sure you are very clear about your credit terms with your customers.
After a long financial journey, Kathryn says that she does believe that banks are actively trying to be better for entrepreneurs. “I foresee a lot more support and understanding for our ventures in the next few years.”
Kathryn shares five financial tips for entrepreneurs in SA:
- Keep an updated budget that you review and amend on a monthly basis. This way you always know the situation you are in and how much money you need to make to break even or make a profit
- Always pay the tax man
- Cash flow management is extremely important. Billing out quickly and money in on time is essential
- Contracts with clients around payment terms are necessary.