How to leverage your pay slip and unlock opportunities to create wealth (Part 1)

By Tokiso TKay Nthebe

An idea that has been on my mind since leaving my corporate job in 2021 is how one can leverage their payslip to unlock opportunities, access debt and build wealth. With over a decade spent working in corporate Lesotho, I worked for a bank and asset management company, enjoying benefits that included preferential interest rates on loan facilities. I managed to buy property, travel and do many amazing things. Looking back to my tenure in corporate Lesotho, however, I wish I had done more with my pay slip to explore these opportunities. What I now realise since I transitioned from my corporate job to self-employment is the power of having a pay slip. 

The difference between working in a corporation versus being self-employed is that your pay slip can unlock opportunities much easier. There is a level of security that financial service providers have when you are employed compared to when you work for yourself. Sadly, many young professionals and employees overlook or underestimate the opportunities that come with having a pay slip. 

What can a pay slip do for you?

There are many opportunities that you can unlock which I discuss below. This list is, however, not exhaustive. 

  1. Start an investment fund.

If you are working for an organisation where you are employed permanently (or on contract) and earning an income, there are many available opportunities to start building wealth. For example, you can open an investment account with asset management companies. Say you have R1 000 or R2 000 or any amount you can afford; you can make transfers to your investment monthly and build your portfolio. Alternatively, you can use your income to buy shares on investment platforms or invest in private companies to earn dividends. The income earned can unlock many other opportunities. 

b) Access to credit

Your pay slip gives you access to opportunities such as credit. Understanding the difference between good and bad credit is important. Sadly, too many young people (me included), have made or continue to make the mistake of taking loans to spend or buy things that do not generate any income. Instead of using good debt, where you take a loan to buy something that will generate income, for instance, an ice machine, sowing machine or paying tuition fees to increase your skills, employability and earning potential, this is not often the case. What often happens is that young people take a lot to buy clothes on credit, go out with their family and friends or for alcohol consumption purposes. Those are examples of bad credit.

While working in corporate, I used credit to buy an ice machine and start a side hustle to generate and supplement my income. Many personal finance experts encourage us to increase our income streams, however, a mistake I encourage you to avoid is doing your side hustle during your main hustle’s time. This can jeopardise your career!

If you have a pay slip, apply for credit facilities and use the loan correctly. Like me, you can take a loan to buy machines (ice, sowing, lawnmowers etc) or anything that will help you to generate an extra income or start a business. Alternatively, you can also take a loan to go further your studies and increase your skills and employability. With new skills and experience, you can then negotiate for a higher salary or create better career opportunities. For creatives or content creators like me, you can take loans to buy camera equipment to create videos that can earn you an income or rent out the equipment to other creators and make money. 

While credit can be used as a strategy to build wealth, there are a few factors to consider and mistakes to avoid, which I discuss in part two of this blog. 

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