Just 20 Minutes Of Contact With Nature Lowers Stress Hormone Levels

What does the doctor prescribe for stress? A ‘nature pill’ consisting of 20 minutes of contact with nature, enough time for significant decreases in cortisol, the stress hormone. You likely know from experience that spending time outdoors and especially connected with nature lowers your stress. Scientifically, there have been dozens of studies that link spending time in nature with lowered stress levels. The breakthrough with this specific study is they…  Read more

Tax is an important weapon in clawing back ‘ill-gotten gains’

The level of corruption in South Africa, the complete lack of accountability and the ostensible lack of urgency in bringing offenders to book continues to irk honest law-abiding South Africans. However, an important weapon available to the state to recover some of the ill-gotten gains is tax, says Aneria Bouwer, tax partner at law firm Bowmans. She says income from “illegal activities” is still income and subject to income tax,…  Read more

Sars – Please protect me from yourself

In its 2019 financial report, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) announces itself as many things. It is the collector of all taxes, administrator of laws, facilitator of legitimate trade, the protector of our economy and society (not much protection is evident). It’s also the encourager of “fiscal citizenship” (I guess this refers to those who willingly rush to pay their taxes plus more), enlister of “new tax contributors” (presumably…  Read more

Rand races to 3-week high

The rand powered to a 3-week best on Friday as emerging market currencies were boosted by thawing trade tensions between United States and China. At 1545 GMT the rand was 1.91% firmer at R14.75, its best level since September 20, leading a rally of emerging market currencies sparked by US President Donald Trump’s comments that trade talks with Beijing were going well. China and the US are in the second…  Read more

15 Ways To Keep A Positive Mindset in Business

As someone who is self employed, I frequently face periods of doubt. I know that a positive mindset in business is of the utmost importance, but when my phone falls silent and my inbox remains empty, I sometimes think that all of my clients have moved onto someone else to fill their needs. Of course, this is never the case, as a day or two later I’m often inundated with…  Read more

Does marriage affect your credit rating?

Getting married will change your life in many ways. Putting the cap on the toothpaste. Trading in the convertible for a minibus. Making your relationship Facebook official. Your credit scores don’t suddenly merge. Even if your spouse has a negative credit history, it won’t initially affect your credit score in any way. So when does your spouse’s credit rating affect yours? The changes only come after you’re married, and you…  Read more

Can I get tax benefits from contributing to my kids’ RAs?

Anyone who contributes to a pension fund or retirement annuity (RA) is entitled to claim a deduction for tax purposes based on their contribution, subject to the limitations applicable at the time of the contribution. However, the fund or annuity must be in their name. So while you can contribute to an RA in the name of your child, you would be unable to claim a tax deduction on the…  Read more

9 Effortless Ways To Make Your Boss And Co-Workers Love You

Do you ever wonder what your manager really expects from you? Are you worried that you’re not living up to your expectations? How do your colleagues perceive you? Do you come across as a team player or a liability? Managers often have a bad reputation for being petty tyrants, demanding and possessing unrealistic expectations. Some are the embodiment of all of the horrible clichés, while other bosses are just more…  Read more

Interest-rate cut and low inflation could boost SA spending

The power of consumers is becoming the last best hope for emerging market investors as global recession risks rise. But even that’s starting to crack. Consumption makes up about 60% of gross domestic product across many developing economies, with Brazil and Mexico among those leaning hardest on households, data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show. “If the global economy really starts to slow down even further, domestic demand…  Read more

How to Motivate Yourself When You Don’t Have a Deadline

Deadlines are powerful forces in our work, signaling what’s most important, forcing focus, and driving tasks to completion. That’s why projects that don’t have a deadline can languish on your task list for weeks, months, or even years. Sometimes this happens because a project is ambiguous, boring, or messy. You naturally deprioritize it whenever possible, because working on it feels uncomfortable. But other times you don’t mean to avoid the…  Read more

Sars says printed tax clearance certificate will no longer be available

From Sars: The issuing of the printed Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) will be terminated after 25 October 2019, as we are fully implementing a more secure and electronic Tax Compliance Status (TCS) system. Since the implementation of the TCS system in 2015, we advised taxpayers that our goal was to terminate the use of the printed TCC, and would stop issuing TCCs at a future date. We have now reached…  Read more

Shake up your finances this spring

Some researchers trace the origin of spring cleaning to the Persian New Year, which falls on the first day of spring. Now known as the Iranian Nowruz (Iranian New Year,), the practice of Khāne-takānī – or spring cleaning – can literally be translated as ‘shaking the house’. Wherever the roots of spring cleaning lie, it starts with opening the doors and cleaning out the rubbish. Here’s how to shake up…  Read more

4 Mindfulness Tips to Start Reducing Stress In Your Life Today

hether it’s fleeting, in-the-moment stress or elevated, long-term stress, it’s important to find healthy techniques that allow your mind and body to unwind, relax and regroup. Having spent a decade in wealth management and now running my own business as an entrepreneur, I am no stranger to the fast-paced nature of the work world. Long hours, mounting demands and deadlines, high-pressure — you name it, I’ve felt it. And it wasn’t just taking a…  Read more

9 Things That Will Kill Your Career

There are so many things that can kill the careers of good, hard-working people. Honest mistakes often carry hard-hitting consequences. We usually only hear about the more egregious examples, such as when Yelp employee Talia Jane became an Internet sensation for writing a blistering post criticizing the company’s low pay and its CEO. To no one’s surprise, she quickly found herself out of a job. Most people don’t go down…  Read more

Department of small business development wants Treasury to clamp down on late payments

he department of small business development wants the budgets of various national and provincial departments that owe small and medium enterprises (SMEs) huge sums of money to be slashed to allow the Treasury to pay the affected businesses directly. Small business development minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said her department will be engaging with the Treasury “to top-slice” from the budgets of departments that fail to pay small businesses. While the national…  Read more

Rand firms as investors await next bout of weakness

South Africa’s rand was firmer early on Friday, adding to the previous session’s gains in a recovery driven mainly by investors covering their short positions in anticipation of sharper falls as local and global growth fears loom. At 0650 GMT the rand was 0.57% firmer at 15.19 per dollar compared with a close of 15.28 overnight in New York, bringing gains to more than 1.5% since Wednesday when the currency…  Read more

Beware Hiring a Car

Dear readers, If you are about to hire a car, stop yourself. Seriously. Stop now. Make alternative arrangements. Get a friend to pick you up from the airport. Use a ride hailing service. Make whatever plan you must but whatever you do, do not submit your card for payment and sign on the dotted line. If you can’t make alternative plans, educate yourself on the dangers that come with hiring…  Read more

Ten timeless money habits

Living within your means is not necessarily the same as ‘spending less than you earn’. There may be circumstances – such as paying for a tertiary education – where you need to spend money in order to increase your future earning potential. Similarly, in order to secure a job, you may be required to have your own transport, making it necessary to go into debt in order to secure an…  Read more

Rand firms as investors seek yield

The rand firmed early on Wednesday ahead of consumer inflation data, shaking off a growth downgrade by the International Monetary Fund and a bailout for power firm Eskom that could add pressure to the country’s finances. At 0650 GMT the rand was 0.25% firmer at 13.89 per dollar, reversing the previous session’s modest slide as the greenback rebounded on Tuesday. The IMF in its World Economic Update slashed its 2019…  Read more

Sarb cuts key interest rate, damps expectations for more

South Africa’s central bank shifted policy to help boost the economy and now the government must do its part to make the first interest-rate cut in more than a year more effective. That was the message from the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee after agreeing to lower the repurchase rate to 6.5% from 6.75%. It was the first time since the central bank starting giving the breakdown of the vote…  Read more

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