Let’s take it back a little, Savings Month is more than just a hashtag or buzz. Everyone was pumped up about it but above the hype, it was to raise awareness. Let’s break it down.
[Background] What is Savings Month?
Savings Month is a campaign by the South African Savings Institute (SASI) to raise savings awareness nationally in July annually, and the main objective of the campaign is to bring together financial experts to provide insights on savings through the #waystosave financial education initiative that:
- Promotes debate around key aspects of saving
- Raise awareness of the benefits of short, medium and long term planning
- Build relationships with key partners to leverage future opportunities
- Get consumers to move from ennui into action
SASI CEO Gerald Mwandiambira said that in 2021, the focus is on driving awareness around how savings knowledge must be understood and accessible in more South African languages. Everyone can find ways to save in their own language.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.“ ~ Nelson Mandela
Now more than ever – amid the pandemic, it’s critical to be money smart. Report by the SARB Financial Stability Review shows improvement in household savings, but also shows we can save when under pressure. It is important to also note that South Africa still has one of the lowest Household Savings Ratios in the world.
In our increasingly tough economic environment we need to find ways to save and avoid the credit trap. We looked at saving by cutting costs on our blog on How To Cut Costs In Your Business, now let’s look at how you can use your money wisely to improve your overall financial health.
5 steps to improve your financial health:
1️⃣ Attach yourself to a savings goal
Although it’s a good thing to have big goals/dreams, it’s always wise to break it down to smaller bits. It’s motivating as it doesn’t seem far fetched. Set small, medium and long term goals.
2️⃣ Draw a budget, including savings
It is said “A budget is telling you where your money goes instead of wondering where it went”. Now the question is, do you know where your money goes?
Just to add on popular advise that you to save at least 10% of your income towards your savings, we advise it is the first thing you do before spending.
3️⃣ Automate your savings
You can discuss this with your bank, or use apps invented to automatically deduct money from your money – into your savings account every month. Apps like 22seven, Moneysmart, My Financial Life, and many more!
With FNB for instance, you can schedule recurring payments into any of your accounts like savings account, and even your credit card.
4️⃣ Track to improve your bad spending habits
There’s a method some/most people use to do this…where you print out your monthly statements to see where most of your money goes.
This does not only help you navigate where your money goes, but it also helps you see where are you WASTING your money. Like eating take aways a lot, or frequently purchasing airtime via cellphone banking when you can find a reasonable data plan that works for you.
5️⃣ Live within your means
There’s nothing more important than this. You may be earning the same salary with your colleagues, but your responsibilities may not be the same and therefore you can’t spend the same… like buying lunch from the cafeteria everyday, or going out for drinks every Friday night.
It’s important to focus on your budget and financial goals, don’t go where the wind blows or your money will finish just like that. Focus.
We hope these help you in some way, we would love to hear how you save money and stay committed.