Monthly Archives: January 2012

22seven vs moneysmart. Smarter..? Smartest..?

So there’s been a bit of an explosion on the social media lately as everyone applauds or laments this new money management platform: 22seven. Its awesomely funded launch has seen a huge buzz rise up from all the who’s who of the South African social media world.

It offers a great platform: Manage your money with budgets and tracking devices that helps you see what is going where and how and why. All the finicky things about finance that we don’t want to think about. I say YAY. Someone else can worry about numbers and stats, and tell us a personal summary so we can keep  lounging around eating sushi/bon-bons/cupcakes or vetkoek (in our underwear… depending on who you are).

But what’s the catch?

The obvious controversy is that 22seven has to link to your bank and all of your account details in order to track every time you swipe a card or make a payment. The banks have all been pretty clear that you violate their terms of insurance and protection if you give your details to a platform like 22seven and will therefore you will be covered nothing… NADA if you get phished online. You become liable.  Unlike our grandpas who wanted fish on their lines in the sea. The 2012 web is not the sea. It’s a place where the phish bite back. Im not saying that 22seven is a scam, or that they will even try to hack your details. But now all the hackers and darkest parts of Nigeria’s lottery-email spam factories have caught wind of this information. Do you really want to jeapordise your security? I panic the second I get tweeted a link…in case it’s a hack or spam attempt. Am I really going to put all my banking details onto a site that can access everything? I don’t even allow apps access to my Facebook info… No.

Seems like the universal answer is: no. (Unless the bank allowed it in their security policy)

Another Option:

Now that we are all interested and keen on the idea of an online money management platform. But hesitant about the implications, how about I remind you about a service that I blogged about a couple months ago: moneysmart.

Moneysmart is more established. And has all of the security of an FBI special agent. I know this because I was in their offices before they launched. Now I can’t speak for 22seven, and I’m sure they have good ideas and intentions too. I’m not going to be one of those fake bloggers who pretends to be completely objective. I will never advocate something I don’t believe in. So all i know is that when I saw all this buzz on 22seven I thought to myself… moneysmart IS secure. They DON’T ask for your secret details. So i wanted to tell you. moneysmart opted NOT to go for the “give us all your banking details and pin numbers” approach. Why? Because they didn’t WANT the client to be forced to jeopardise their security agreements with the bank. Yes the banks are all being sticky with 22seven… AND with moneysmart, and they could honestly make some adaptions and make life easier for these external platforms to help us better. But until they suck it up – the fact remains: moneysmart is the only financial platform in dialogue with SA’s top 5 financial institutes. read more here.

The implications are that moneysmart is slightly less user friendly in terms of ‘bells whistles and flash-plugins’ and you have to manually upload your bank CSV forms yourself (a rather tedious process initially, but it’s better than giving your pin and info over to the internet gods. In my opinion.) Here’s a column I wrote about HOW to upload your CSV. This way you have complete financial control of the information on this site. Which is what they aim at “Shift control” is their slogan. They don’t appear to have as big a marketing budget so the hype about them is less evident. But all I’m saying is: if you’re considering the responsible money approach. Know your options.

Control your decisions.

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Money: Stupid to Smart.

Random High-Fives

Now like most freelancers, I take a pretty big ‘Ostrich’ stance to my money. No, that doesn’t mean I wear feather boas and run about kicking people. I’m referring to that myth (that actually doesn’t ever happen) of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand to hide from bad things. Now since Scientists would have us believe that it’s NOT true, ostriches are mistakenly branded cowards when they are actually just putting their heads near to the ground in order to better purvey the horizon – thus being PRO-active. PRO-tective. SMART.

Perhaps we should adopt the TRUE ostrich style about our money, and put our heads down – survey the horizon and try to predict the trouble. Be money smart.

Yes, easier said than done. Money. Numbers…Gah. My head hurts already. Can we talk about nail-polish yet? All I know about money is that it apparently can’t buy you…

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Joy. It’s the little things. Every Day.

31st December 2011, midnight: filled with drunken recounts of Auld Lang Syne, yelled at the moon – where no one really knows the words anyway so are all just joined together in a collaborative group hug and shouting of ‘lahs’. Pops of fireworks and champagne bottles, awkward midnight kisses with strangers trying to create some semblance of a ‘movie style’ romantic moment and of course the infamous, the insipid: Resolutions.

Now I should probably clarify that I was fast asleep at midnight on new years eve. Not in a bah-humbug, party pooper kinda way. (well, a little) But because we were camping at Rock the River (where I had performed stand-up comedy twice that day) and after dark in the wilderness, with no electronic lights or stimulation to keep me going (she says, convieniently neglecting the two huge rock stages and the reverberating dub-step tent) I get sleepy. I heard the yells of happy new year and fireworks and songs… (a tent’s wall’s are not exactly sound proof)… I smiled, I rolled over on the hard floor, and went back to sleep. (bah humbug)

I was later (unceremoniously) yanked from my tent by a fellow comedian, Christopher Steenkamp who literally picked me up at 3am, in my sleeping bag and plopped me in the circle of people chatting (moments before he himself passed out) So there I sat. Looking at the stars which are infinitely more milky out of the cities, counting satellites, imagining if the Mayans are right and getting that all too familiar feeling of “maybe we’re just an ant-hill” nothingness that most humans get when they stare at the big great yonder for too long.

Here I am. in 2012. With a stubborn hesitance to leave the greatest year of my adult life, 2011 behind. Whether we like it or not, the planets keep rotating and the calendar pages keep turning over.

I’ve looked into the Mayan thing, quite a lot. Just because knowledge is power. And ignorance is for Americans and all that…

Did you know, the Mayans celebrated every day. EVERY DAY. because they believed it played a purpose, a function. That every day had a role in the bigger scheme of things and the lessons you learned and challenges the planet and society faced were all part of the greater cosmic plan (that the infamous calendar-countdown factors into) Now I’m not going to lecture you on the Mayan things, and all they predicted in the past but it’s pretty fascinating stuff. Their calendar stars 16 BILLION years ago. Billion. With a ‘B’. Aka: with the Big Bang (that’s with a ‘B’ too.) Pretty intense stuff for a bunch of ‘jungle dwellers’ to know.

Now the concept of having a celebration EVERY day is great, but i think party hats and cake can get old. Wait. What am I saying? Party hats will NEVER get old… and cake? Cake is evidence that God even exists… Ok. So – eating cake every day will make us obese, and then we can’t wear the party hats coz the elastic won’t stretch around our three chins. Fine.

But, the concept of finding ONE thing to celebrate everyday. Little things. Joyful things. A moment when you stop and think: “life’s pretty rad” now that’s something we can do. Something I can do. It’s my belated new Year’s Resolution.

I discovered Joy. Frankly I had no choice.

I have created a little tab that I will update every day… I aim to lift my heart and everyone else’s with a ‘random high five’ to the Universe every day. To count blessings. Find Joy. and Be grateful.

And if you, reading this find moments you’d like to celebrate, I will make allowances for OTHER people’s ‘little things’ to go onto the list too.

Imagine how heartwarming it will be after a few weeks. To read awesome things. I know lists like this exist on lots of sites. But this one’s mine. And it’s for me. Because i need to count my blessings and remember to find joy. Coz so far, 2012 is not as awesome as 2011, but it will be.

So Far:

1. Riding in a convertible with good friends, on a warm summer night. Throwing your hands up like a rollercoaster and singing along to Barry White – My Everything. (Then seeing the laughter of car-guards, at you, as you drive past them.)

2. Taking my dog for a walk. Watching her as she succumbs to running and rolling in the tall grass. You could swear she was smiling.

3. Being able to say “i love you” to someone. And mean it.

4. Drinking Creme-Soda and lots of ice, out of a wine-glass in the heat-wave.

5. Eating Honey that was made from hives in my childhood neighbourhood. The nectar could have come from some of the flowers in my garden.

Go to the tab:

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