How would you like to have less debt? Angelo Knoop from Goodwood in the Western Cape was lucky enough to win our recent Facebook competition. As a first time winner, he was ecstatic to hear that My Credit Check decided to pay R5 000 towards his debt and immediately got to work deciding how to best spend his prize money. We’ve asked him a few questions about his prize, what it’s like to be a father of two, and how he handles his credit reputation.
Congratulations, Angelo! How are you feeling?
I am so happy about this prize! It’s awesome! This is the first time I have won something and I really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. The prize has definitely relieved some financial strain. I can now settle my personal credit card, which will allow me to have more money available to spend on things that are much needed.
How is this prize better than having won cash?
If I got the money in cash I would have probably spent it on something I hadn’t budgeted for, like a new laptop.
Tell us a bit more about yourself?
I am currently in my final year studying for a BCom Degree (part time) at the University of the Western Cape. I am also permanently employed as Admin Manager at a logistics company (Siyabonwa Logistix CC). I enjoy the outdoors and love Rugby and I am married for two years now.
As a father of two, how do you find balancing the financial statements every month? What are some of the biggest challenges?
I have learned to take control of my financial situation. Every month, I look at how much money our household receives and how much money we spend. I normally start by listing income from all sources. Then I list my fixed expenses (rent, electricity, school fees, loans, car payments etc.). After that, I list the expenses that vary — like groceries, entertainment, and clothing. I create a budget every month and I always strive to stick to it. And I include all my expenses – even those that seem insignificant, because this is helpful to identify unnecessary expenses.
When did you first apply for credit and why?
I first applied for credit approximately 9 years ago (in 2005 I think). I needed a good credit history, so that I could get a cell phone contract, so I opened a retail account to build my credit reputation.
What will you do differently about your debt now that some of it has been paid?
I can now use the money I was going to pay off my credit card to pay off other debt faster!
What is your message to other people who want to settle their debt?
I was in a huge financial crisis about five years ago when I was retrenched. Many people face a financial crisis at some point in their lives and the lesson I learned from this is to always pay your main financial responsibilities (accounts, loans etc.) on time. The best thing that has worked for me is to make arrangements with my credit providers in order to avoid falling behind and to be disciplined in repaying my debt regardless of temptations and obstacles preventing me from doing so.