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Make every cent count this World Savings Day

31 October 2022 FNB

The importance of putting aside some money for your goals or emergencies cannot be over emphasised. World Savings Day encourages you to make every cent count as the festive season draws near.

World Savings Day started on 30 October 1924 and is aimed at encouraging people to adopt the habit of saving, while understanding the need to save for the future. This habit can be made practical – in a creative way – to help individuals, families or children get a grasp of the importance of starting to save at any age at any time.

Himal Parbhoo, CEO of FNB Cash Investments, says, "South Africa has consistently had a low savings culture, due to our culture of consumption and limited use of formal savings instruments. We would like to believe that most people see and understand the benefits of saving but tend to park it for a later stage in life when they have a better or bigger income. This challenge encourages us to help people adopt the discipline of a saving culture, which will help them in their future and with their short or long-term goals."

"Whilst many people save for their short-term goals, we also need to start channelling our minds to think of the future and our different long-term needs or goals such as savings towards buying a car, house, education, retirement, or planning on getting married."

Parbhoo shares different kinds of ways to activate the discipline of saving in the short-term:

• Money jar
This is an old school or traditional way of putting money aside, and South African’s have creatively adopted this way of saving using either 2 litre bottles or ice-cream containers. Calculate how much money you’ve saved once the bottles or containers are full. You can either deposit that money in a savings account or use it to purchase that one item you’ve always wanted.

• Chores
An interactive or creative way of including children and family into grasping the savings culture is by rewarding their good deeds. This discipline can be introduced to your children and family as a whole. Chores like tiding the room, cleaning the house, washing dishes, or washing the car can earn them anything from R10 - R50 based on your agreement with them. The main rule is letting them know that for every chore they get paid for, they need to save a certain percentage towards an item that they’ve been begging you to buy for them, such as a branded soccer or rugby ball, bicycle, roller blades, skateboard, PlayStation 5, or Xbox.

• Reduce spending through daily activities
It is worthwhile for individuals or families to look at where their daily or weekly spending goes to. Instead of buying lunch every day at work or school, encourage your family to make their own lunch, whether it's a delicious sandwich, or pack last night’s dinner with fruit and a bottle of water. With electricity reduction still upon us in different stages, you can invest in rechargeable solar lights or the classic paraffin lantern lamp lights which can help you save some money. If power outages hit on a weekend, a consideration is to have a braai instead of placing a takeaway delivery. Another idea to reduce spending and save a bit of money is to join or start a work lift club.

• Bank Your Change®
Save your spare change and, after a few months, see how much it comes up to. Bank Your Change® is a free feature linked to a savings account that allows all FNB customers with a transactional bank account to save a portion of their change when purchasing goods or services with their FNB debit card. This functionality rounds up each debit card purchase to the nearest Rand value chosen at activation and saves the difference into their linked FNB Savings Account, helping customers save for an emergency, going for a holiday, or celebrating a birthday or anniversary.

• Group savings
Group savings – also known as Stokvels in South Africa – are a genuine vehicle for saving as a collective with either family, friends colleagues or other acquaintances with same or similar financial goals. Many South Africans of all ages and income groups choose to start or join a stokvel as another way of saving in order to be disciplined while achieving a collective financial goal with other people. Starting or joining a stokvel with a group of trusted people will also help individuals go far with the savings journey, especially in the spirit of Ubuntu as South Africans. Stokvels are commonly known or used for burial or grocery society, but it has now evolved to people group savings for building or buying a property or a holiday.

"We strongly encourage people to save regularly and avoid taking unnecessary debt. We are passionate about helping people improve their ability to save and this is made possible by simplifying the process through our integrated customer-centric financial advice on our FNB App, online banking or at our branches," Parbhoo concludes.

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