01 April 2021 | Story Dr Nitha Ramnath | Photo Supplied
Back: Dr Nico Keyser (editor), Dr Ivan van der Merwe. Front: Minette Weideman (Portfolio Manager at Levevis Investment and Consulting Services), Melanie Ferreira (Business Development Manager at Allan Gray), Dr Cecile Duvenhage (editor) and Lizelle Jansen van Rensburg (Lecturer). Dr Jesse de Beer (Lecturer at University of Namibia) was absent.

Two lecturers from the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of the Free State (UFS) teamed up with alumni – who were once students in their department – to write a book on personal finance. This book is the latest hands-on application of the theory in practice.

“From the book it is evident how our alumni – who once were learners – became educators and contributed to teaching and learning,” says Dr Cecile Duvenhage, Lecturer in the Department of Economics and Finance, about the book Personal Finance. The desire to write this book stems from previous studies done by Dr Duvenhage and Dr Nico Keyser, Senior Lecturer, on the financial literacy levels among young adults. 

One such study was published in the Journal of Psychology in Africa (29(4):460-465). According to the study, young adults lack the basic understanding of financial aspects. Theory can be learned by heart, but the understanding and execution of well-informed financial decisions need to be addressed. Thus, the book was written in such a way that it is easy to understand, and with the aim of changing financial behaviour and attitude in a positive manner. The book provides useful websites and appendices for additional information and reading, and is aimed at the man on the street, researchers, and practitioners. 

Acording to the authors, during the writing of the book in 2020, new challenges arose, including the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on the financial market, and these aspects were included during the final stages and editing of this book. 

“Why personal finance? ‘Money makes the world go round’, the saying goes. Good financial decision making has a positive influence on overall well-being, allowing people to maximise their opportunities and lead more fulfilling lives. Personal finance teaches individuals financial skills so that they can manage their money better. The subject, Personal finance, is an interdisciplinary subject and encompasses many areas and core topics such as decision making, cash-flow management, savings, credit, debt, housing, and planning for the future.” 

Personal Finance (first edition) was published by Van Schaik Publishers and has been available from leading bookshops since the end of December 2020.  All chapters were critically reviewed by three (3) university lecturers and a qualified editorial panel.

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