A group of teachers recently underwent a finance literacy training at a workshop organized by Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) in Selebi Phikwe.
The workshop’s mandate was to capacitate a select group of teachers who would then become drivers of this empowerment by BOSETU.
In his presentation on Personal Financial Planning, BOSETU Executive Secretary, Othata Batsetswe reminded teachers that managing money is a delicate exercise that requires proper planning, and that each financial plan can be the difference between success and failure.
Batsetswe said just like a lot of government employees and many in the private sector, many teachers are swimming in debt.
“Statistics show that even 57% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product is debt,” he said.
“It is going to get worse for most civil servants with the recent 3% increment, because any salary increment that is not above 5% only increases tax,” Batsetswe said.
The BOSETU Executive Secretary however said teachers should take appropriate measures to efficiently use their money and lead a debt free life.
“Getting money is easy, the struggle is keeping it,” he said.
Batsetswe also said that most of financial problems teachers find themselves in are self inflicted.
He said a majority of teachers and indeed the rest of Botswana come from similar poor backgrounds.
“For most of us it takes forever to embrace where we come from. In December you’d rather book in at Majestic Five instead of going home,” he said.
Batsetswe advised against impulsive buying and urged teachers to create a budget and have an expenses diary.
“First you have to assess you financial status. You need to record your assets, liabilities and your net worth,” he said.
He further said it is vital for one to understand the nature of their expenses.
“You need to differentiate between regular vs occasional and fixed vs variable,” said Batsetswe further stressing the importance of having a basic financial plan.
He said financial goals are not static once set as different life events affect what financial goals one sets.
“They need to be developed and may even change over time,” he said.