Finance: Where Angels Fear to Tread

Sep 2, 2014 Blog  Personal Finance

When RainFin first approached me to write this column it was a dark financial day in my life. We’ve all had those days (or months) where a few extra hidden expenses suddenly jump out of the woodwork (pro tip: get fake wood – wood work is expensive).

On this particular morning I was playing ‘hookie’ from my car mechanic. My car had been making a progressively more choked sound, almost clearing its throat animatedly to make me face facts that it needed a service. NEEDED a service. So I bit the admin bullet and made an appointment with a mechanic. I say ‘bit the admin bullet’ as the actual finding of a mechanic shop and then locating the most trustworthy person is serious admin. At that point I had failed to even consider the costs.

Fast forward to the night before the car appointment and I had insomnia. I was panicking about how much this service was going to cost. While I could afford some of what I predicted it would cost, what if it needed more? Did I let it clear out my current account – or would it be more responsible to put it on my credit card and pay it back over a few months? I’ve never put my credit card into the red – was this the day to start?

I swore I would only use that card to book flights and rental cars. Now, I could see I was only a couple of swipes away from having 10 cards across 8 banks and swiping R10 on each as hurl myself deeper into debt. I would soon be living out the worst of those “credit card abuse nightmares” we all saw on Oprah. Except there was no Oprah in my life to magically jump on the sofa and tell me she’d paid off all of my debts, and opened a wing of a library dedicated to understanding finance, and named it after me. Pfft! Oprah’s Angels. Might as well call it her Halo Network… wait.

My solution? Just not taking my car to the mechanic.

Now I don’t have to spend ANY money. Problem solved, right? Well. No. Now my problem is twofold, not only is my car slowly getting more and more emphysema-like but now I also have to find a NEW mechanic, because my name and make of car is pretty unique. I didn’t rock up for the last appointment, and I definitely can’t show my face there now. Not if I don’t want a detention slip. (I don’t know much about mechanics, but I’m assuming they work the same as school. Right?)

Now, whilst RainFin is not quite a wing of the library that Oprah opened in my honour, they’re kind of better. Firstly, you don’t have to leave the house to visit them. Score. Secondly they are basically a community of money savvy people who are there to help take the mystery out of finance. They even profess to have a network of lenders and borrowers, which means that you don’t need to swipe that credit card into the red, but rather use their platform to meet potential lenders. Basically giving the power back to the people. (that’s me, and you too. Unless you’re an internet bot. In which case, I will report you for spam – don’t leave a comment).

Look, I’ve just met RainFin too and I’m not going to launch on some fake marketing pitch for them. I’m sure they have an adequate team for that. All I will say is that what they are offering sounds rad. I’d encourage you to join me in checking them out. Because – for the sake of our cars, our looming dental emergencies or that college fund – It would be nice to understand how to make finance work for me, instead of just working to finance things. And if I can join a community that will not only make debt help accessible but also offer advice and guidance then I’m on board. No longer storing up money in case of a rainy day, but we can rather go singing in the Rain..Fin. (Yeh, ok – I’ll let myself out after that one.)

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