Gofaone Nina Tladi
This year marks my 16th year in a relationship, more than half my life. It has been nothing but sweet, but as we all know, every couple goes through stuff. This relationship has been filled with sweet, happy-faced texts, long queues, long distance, heated arguments and even blasts on twitter. This relationship is with my bank. My mother chose my first bank, which I am still with. I doubt I will ever leave, but when I got my first job I decided to see what else was out there and after going on a few dates, I chose my current bank. It is never good to compare your past to your present, but I find myself doing it a lot; the 80/20 rule and all. My greatest desire is for these two banks of mine to join forces and make what I believe would be, the perfect bank.
The relationship with your bank is or will be the longest standing one in your life. The car, the salary, the house, the everyday transactions and the secrets our banks keep! We spend more of our lives in relationships with banks than not. Banks are taking quite a hit lately, with all the compliance requirements, KYC-know your client and anti-money laundering initiatives.
Social Media has been ablaze with furious clients and I live for the comments sections of these posts. Having exploded at my bank on social media, I could relate to the emotion in this comment and to the many other comments of dissatisfaction. Since I equate having a bank to being in a relationship, and also the fact that the bank is one’s partner in financial freedom it would serve me well to make this relationship work. I have seen that the grass is not always greener on the other side, plus I am also too lazy to submit my proof of residence to bank elsewhere, so I am committed to making this relationship work. Furthermore I would love to commit to one bank in the future, go all the way to platinum and I can’t do that if I still have a side bank. The following make for a good relationship with you bank Bae:
• Honesty: I trust you with my money please tell me what you will charge me and do away with the chained pens.
• Communication: this one is very important particularly to me as a woman; I need to be able to contact you and come freely with my concerns knowing you will address them. It is important that I do not rush to friends or strangers on the internet to discuss our issues. Let us keep it in the family and should the need arise to escalate the matters, let us to take it to the elders. In addition, the more I go to air our issues to the public the more others slide into my DMs. When there are challenges in a relationship bo “you deserve better” ba bantsi thata. Use social media to tell me more about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses – no one is perfect.
• Know Your Client: you know my birthdate, where I live and work , my number, how much I make, how much and who I owe and my preferences with respect to where I shop and what I buy. You know me better than most people, so use this to your advantage. A gift of two dozen white long stem roses when I clear all my debt in a fraction of the agreed time will be much appreciated. Gifts are one of my love languages.
• Growth: If I grow, so do you. Encourage me to better my financial status by creating tools to that effect-budgeting tool, spending tracker, tax calculator and workshops on saving and investing, don’t throw another loan in my face. If debt is the only thing keeping us together, then it is entrapment not a relationship. If I grow, and you are part of that growth
• Be consistent: I cannot stress this enough, consistency builds trust and lifelong relationships, my future family, relatives and clients are potential clients, so be consistent. You will make mistakes, apologise and keep going.
I know change does not happen overnight so in the interim, I will continue to scrutinize my bank statements to ensure we are on track with what we agreed and keeping my side bank close. But should there be another bank that steals my heart away, please let me go and take the time to introspect on how you could be a better bank to someone else. That other bank could be my financial soul mate.
PS: You don’t have to be a hero, you just have to be what most people aren’t, consistent.