Budgeting for a Better Future

Better Work’s worker training portfolio includes sessions teaching workers how to make the most of their money. One of our staff follows the progress of a worker in Lesotho.

I used to spend without considering my earnings. At the end of every month, I would go to the mall to buy KFC or Ocean Basket which are luxuries given what I earn and this would really hit my budget badly as even before the middle of the month I would be very broke.

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Mabosiu Mosae (34)

Mabosiu Mosae (34) has worked in Lesotho’s garment factories since 2006. She supports her elder sister and her niece on a salary of M1132.00 (about US$106) per month.

In April 2013, Mabosiu was trained in financial literacy by Better Work Lesotho. She was one of 121 workers from six factories who received the training which aims to help workers understand the importance of managing money and how to create and keep a budget.

“I never used to save money at all. I really didn’t have any future plans as it were not easy to think about saving let alone to be able to save, “she says.

“Before the training I just used my money without budgeting and I could hardly make ends meet.” says Mabosiu. “The money we earn is very little so you need to be cautious when spending it. The training course on financial literacy couldn’t have come at a better time.”

After the training

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As part of the training, Better Work Trainer, Ntate Chaolana gave Mabosiu and her colleagues a spending tracking booklet and shown how to use it. “I told myself that from that day onwards I would use it diligently.” she says. Immediately after the training, herself and a friend decided to start a saving scheme where they give one other M100.00 and alternate on a monthly basis.

After three months

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Mabosiu says she is continuing to monitor her spending. “The tracker has helped me to monitor what I spend my money on and then to review later and cut out unnecessary expenses” she says.

The Better Work Training on financial literacy has really helped me because I now budget for my money in an effective way. I have also stopped making unnecessary debts from loan sharks who make us pay up to 30 % interest for every M100.00 borrowed.

Making ends meet: Mabosiu’s Costs at a Glance

She earns M1132.00, (about US$106) per month
Mabosiu’s rent is M200.00 per month (about US$20)

My grocery list on a monthly basis is deodorant, Vaseline(petroleum jelly), toothpaste, bath soap, washing soap and 25 kg of maize meal, salt and cooking oil. On a daily basis I buy a quarter head of cabbage, tomatoes and onions to be cooked for dinner. Sometimes I buy a tray of eggs or meat.

After six months

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Mabosiu says budgeting has now become a habit for her.

“You know before I started budgeting I would even believe that my money had been stolen because I wasn’t keeping track of my spending. Now I write down every cent that I spend to ensure that I am still in line with my budget.” she says.

Mabosiu has also set up a small side business selling herbal tea bags for M10.00 each. She buys a box of tea and sells individual tea bags. “We learned from the financial literacy training that we should not rely on our salaries only. We should try to think of other ways to make income”.