There are a million ways to use R14 million, some wiser than others. Just ask Twitter who came up with some creative suggestions on how to spend that cash after it emerged that Walter Sisulu University (WSU) student Sibongile Mani, who accidentally received R14.1 million on her student card, had blown R818 000 in 73 days.
She threw parties, splurged on cakes and R1 400 bottles of whisky. She bought air tickets, designer clothing and a R3 000 16-inch Peruvian weave, and hooked her friends up with iPhone 7s.
Her gogo Nombulelo Mani will never let her live it down. The 69-year-old who raised Mani, and still lives in a dilapidated house, with no water or electricity, in Queenstown, said she was disappointed that her granddaughter hadn’t at least built her a house with the money.
And we have to agree, with that kind of money, who wouldn’t score their struggling parents a house, a car, or maybe medical aid?
The money Mani splurged was part of R25-million designated to support 18 000 WSU students. On Tuesday, Mani was mobbed by angry students at a Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) press conference who demanded she pay back the money.
WATCH: R14-Million student Sibongile Mani mobbed by students at WSU demanding she #PayBackTheMoney
— Phil Mphela (@PhilMphela) September 5, 2017
Now we can get on our high horses and say she was selfish, but the truth is we all wish it was us with the sudden cash windfall.
If #NSFAS accidentally deposited that 14 million into my account
My first reaction would be:👏👏👏😂😂😂 : pic.twitter.com/wLkymbZobR
— Views (@aCameraShyGuy2) August 30, 2017
Folk on Twitter had some ideas on how they’d have spent the cash.
— Precious (@Precious_plt) August 30, 2017
We have to admit, buying a death certificate and disappearing into the sunset with a couple of millions sounds like a good idea.
— Phumelele Ameh (@SucceedN) August 30, 2017
Disappearing into outer space doesn’t sound too awful either. Aliens, what’s good?
So girl gets 14 Million from NSFAS and she doesn’t update her wardrobe and book a flight to Mars? Pathetic. pic.twitter.com/JOOZogVZqa
— VINNY LIPA (@JustMarvin_) August 29, 2017
But seriously, if one were to suddenly come into a large sum of money (by legal means of course) what would be the smart thing to do? We asked CEO of the South African Savings Institute Gerald Mwandiambira for some financial advice.
The first step, Mwandiambira said, is to “take a time out, do not tell all of [your] friends and enjoy the money.” Which sounds reasonable. You don’t need friends coming out of the woodwork expecting high-priced whiskey, weaves and iPhones.
The next and most important step is to consult a financial planner. “Sit down with a financial planner, get a plan in place and set your goals and those will determine where you put the money,” he told The Daily Vox.
Consulting with a financial planner at your bank is free y’all, so you have no excuses.
One of the options they might give you is to open a tax free savings account which offers high interest rates or high returns while still giving you access to the money in the future.
Mwandiambira said there are many variables that determine where you should put your money. For young people, the most important variable is flexibility. Being young means you might need the money in the future, so you want to avoid long-term commitments which don’t allow access to the money at all, such as retirement annuity.
However, if the amount is very large (like say R14 million…), you can invest part of it for your retirement, and keep the rest where you can have more immediate access.
If you ever come into a large sum of money – whether it’s a gift from a family member or a payout from an investment policy – do best and make it grow because we also need to learn how to create generational wealth.