Wednesday 14 April 2021
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Deedee the Frugal Human

Dalene (Deedee) Stephanus is a 36 year old young Namibian lady, who like many of us, was drowning in debt. Taking the very bold step of telling her truth to the world, and on a very public platform, Deedee has decided to chronicle it all. Her goal is to be debt-free by 2022, to advocate for financial literacy in our country, to educate and to learn.

Deedee’s absolute dream is to have talks with people who are dealing with this hoping to change their perspectives and hopefully impact their lives positively.

“The main reason I went public was for to be accountable – to myself. I needed to have a driving force behind my lifestyle change. Also at one stage I realised that most of my friends were dealing with the same issue but everybody was too busy pretending to be ok,” says Deedee. Deedee felt that hiding behind her situation made her dishonest and that she was disappointing many people. This was her way of trying to redeem the person she was and to do right by the people she felt that she had wronged.

“I have a long way to go. I have hordes of people I still need to make it right by. But I have started and it’s liberating.”

Below are some of her online posts:

2 987 543.10.
“This is NOT just a number. This is my plan for the next 2 years. As an entrepreneur in my beautiful country I never thought at the age of 36 I’d be drowning in DEBT, running to court every other month, getting paralyzing phone calls from all kinds of people. I felt like such a failure. LADIES AND GENTELMAN I am going on a DEBTDIET. My mission is to inspire everybody dealing with the same issue to join me.

It’s not impossible. I will post my figure in my bio whether it grows or drops and use some proven technics to tackle this mountain. Transparency is key in this journey and so is hard work. I will work and sell and tackle for the next 24 months (they say that’s how long I will take) I am READY. Dave Ramsey said “you can’t tackle the mountain if you just sit there and look at it. You have to climb it.”

He also said: “sell everything until the kids think they are next.”

I love that one, its funny.
She continues “I will share all and everything I deal with until I’m out of this situation. And for our young black entrepreneurs; I am doing this for you.

Welcome to my life!
Two letters that make me uncomfortable to the core when it comes to finances. I’m still struggling with saying No to people wanting to loan money and No to people wanting to do things outside of my journey.

I grew up in a strict but loving home my grandmother was a power tower. (Like real power) but she never gave us the opportunity to express our feelings or at least mine (cause as you might know we all have a different version of how we grew up.

She would ask you a question and answer for you and then tell your what to say there after. Urgh! This really did something to me.

This sparking personality you guys now know and LOVE 🙂 is self-taught over the years. A lot of my grandmother in there too. But I fight it every cause it can come off aggressive. (What’s a story without a back story)? #author

But back to saying No when it comes to money. I think my worst challenge was being very casual about money and a lot of people aren’t. (I’m learning not to be) money is a serious issue. (Focus Dalene)

My point here is our introduction to money was very wonky, well most of us. And we have trouble saying No to loaning or fighting the urge to get a loan. And No I can’t do dinner, or no I can’t take that trip.

I feel like I was all over the place here too much I wanted to say and I had to squeeze it all in. Any who, we are all learning here. Me a little more cause wow am I under a telescope. Lol!”

I think shame is the number one reason we take that extra overdraft and the reason why we hide behind the mountain of debt for years and lifetimes even.

Shame has so many people involved. It’s your family (they brag about how well you are doing). It’s your friends (believe it or not they will be ashamed when you fail because apparently success is a squad thing) and most importantly YOU! The shame you carry the disappointment the beating up on yourself. It’s hard.

Right? My personal experience was a little different there was personal shame but if you know me you know I am rarely knocked completely down and if I am, I go down with my head high and heart strong. I have a high shame tolerance Lol! (Kidding; not kidding) I dealt with my shame through coping mechanism.
I told myself over and over “you will be fine” and “people don’t even care what you do”, “they won’t even notice.” But most of all and the reason for this post was the look in my mother’s eyes; (drove a dagger through my heart). We are the generation of university goers, money makers, car- and home owners in our early years.

My mother lived on a budget, every month she would write it and live by it. When my life started falling apart she was there. But she didn’t know how to explain when people asked her questions (people should really learn to mind). One day she asked me; will they come and arrest you? (She didn’t know a thing about debt and owing millions) neither did I, really. But I had never heard of anyone going to jail for debt (so that was my answer for her).

There is a shift in the way people look at you when you are “failing” a look of pity now add debt to it. BLEH!

If we don’t educate ourselves about financial management, debt management and just following a simple budget, how will we eradicate the shame that’s associate with money and debt? This post is dedicated to my 1.5m dynamite and ever present companion. My mother! One year later she says to me; “my kind jy is a sterk vrou, ek het nie gedink jy sal dit maak nie.”

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