CALL it black tax or financial challenges, but most of us have bills that we struggle to pay or manage well.

Financial experts said these are obligations that have been a part of our parents’ lives and for generations.

“They can range from lobola to looking after your grandparents when your parents have passed on, or looking after a niece, nephew or grandchild, but it is important though to remember that you’re living your life,” said Lesego Mpete, an employee benefits consultant.

She said your extended family needs may be misaligned with yours.

“So be sure to consider your overall financial position, including your survival and safety money needs, before committing to funding family obligations”.

She said sometimes we need to revisit tradition in order to move forward and set a path for our children to prosper without guilt.

But how?

  • Discuss your responsibilities with the family dependents looking to you for funding. Have honest and open conversations about expectations and what is possible.
  • Manage expectations by making your intended contributions clear. Be specific in what you can afford.
  • Create a budget specifically for family. Don’t create false expectations around what you can provide for the family.
  • Have an honest and open conversation with your future partner around lobola expectations, and together set out a plan to manage your expectations.
  • Don’t be taken on an emotional guilt trip. Contribute only what you can.