I’m always amazed at how, when I declare my intent to do or start something, the universe listens. This happened just recently, when I decided the time had come to make a concerted effort to monitor how and where I spend my hard earned cash.
Being a ‘creative’ type, I can’t say anything to do with finance excites me – I find it dead boring. I’m lucky in that I made a few good financial decision years ago, like investing in property at a young age, taking out an RA (my hubby’s financial advisor made me do it) and not accumulating any debt. But that’s as far as it goes. I also have a slight addiction when it comes to buying clothing and the quote below pretty much sums up my (past) attitude to money.
As an example (and I’m embarrassed to admit this), I couldn’t tell you how much I spend on food every month, or banking fees, clothing, or even petrol. Budget? Hahahah – what’s that?
About two days after pondering my lack of financial savvy, I received a mail from a PR company asking if I’d be interested in coming to a presentation and trying out a ‘money management’ app called 22seven. My first response was, “but I’m not a tech blogger and am sooo not up to speed on anything financial!” Their response was, “it’s people like you Candice, that 22seven are interested in helping.”
I took this as a sign and agreed to attend, along with a few other bloggers like Relax with Dax, We Are Awesome, Raising Men, Showtibzlove, Jozi Foodie Fix and Web Addict (these are all seriously cool blogs, I suggest you check them out when you have a moment). What piqued my interest is that I was told this app would help me SAVE money.
In a nutshell, 22seven is for people (and I’m quoting the company here) WHO HATE MAKING BUDGETS – Hello Candice!
It gives you the tools to manage and understand your money in a very easy way. 22seven was also recently acquired by Old Mutual and is absolutely FREE.
When I arrived at the 22seven offices for the briefing, I was amazed at just how flippin cool their space is! I would love to work in an environment like this, as I think it’s really conducive to creativity. Check it out in the pic’s below.
I mean, have you ever?
We were then introduced to the founder and CEO of 22seven, Christo Davel. Christo is a real eccentric character, with a sharp mind and passion for helping people like you and me manage our money better.
He’s often referred to as a ‘serial entrepreneur’ in the media. The online site Daily Maverick went so far as likening him to Steve Jobs (I kid you not!). I loved that he used words like ‘doff’ and ‘fok’ in his presentation. In his past life, Christo’s been a dentist, built an insurance brokerage, designed hotels and even launched South Africa’s first online bank – 20twenty. This man knows and understands money. I found this (old, it was written in 2012 and the app no longer costs money) BRILLIANT article about him on Daily Maverick – read it here.
Here’s how the 22seven app works:
You give it access to all your accounts (see YouTube video below regarding security), and it analyses your spending habits and categorises them into sections like groceries, car and bond payments, entertainment etc. While this sounds pretty basic, I was amazed to see exactly where all my money is going. In addition, it shows you your net value, as well as how much money you have, owe and can borrow. It updates every time you log in.
Once you’ve monitored your spending for a month or so, you’re able to set new budget targets.
Because I don’t have any banking apps on my mobile phone (I do all my online banking on my MacBook), I like that I’m able to see what money has been deposited – instantly. This is a bonus as a freelancer. I’ve only been using the app for a short time, so it’s still learning my ‘money rhythms’, but I’m finding it easy to navigate and pretty helpful.
Because I’ve only been using 22seven for just under two weeks, I’m still familiarising myself with it’s workings. But so far, so good. I’m keen to see how, down the line, it saves me money. I shall keep you upadted.
If you’re interested, download the 22seven app here