Empowerment Zone with Miranda Lusiba
Weekly Column: 01 June 2021 (Youth Month)
For immediate release
#BasicFinancialLiteracy: The importance of a savings culture at a young age
I know that asking most of our youth to save – especially those that come from previously disadvantaged communities is a tough ask.
However, because June is youth month, I felt that it was important to touch on this topic. COVID has since last year shown a number of families flames, with parents losing their jobs as well as assets; to the extent that some households are struggling to even pay for the basic necessities, such as food, transport to name a few.
These days every cent that anyone has counts, however I still do feel that even in the midst of how tough things are, as parents we have a duty to encourage our kids to save a potion of their pocket monies; so that we can help the next generation not make the same mistakes we made with money at our young age and well into our adulthood.
When I was growing up, because we hardly ever had pocket money to carry with us to school because of circumstances at home; we instead used to take lunch boxes with us. Having money that we called ours in our hands felt like Christmas in the middle of the year, so the first thing that we did when we had it was to run to the nearest shop and buy sweets or any other kind of snack.
Children these days have privileges that we did not have in the past – snacks that include juices, chips, yoghurts to name a few are part of the grocery items that are bought regularly in some homes.
Because of this – I feel that it should be slightly easy for today’s kids to save a portion (20%) of their pocket money.
According to Trading Economics, the state of personal household savings in South Africa is below 1%, it is currently sitting at about 0.4%.
We are in this state because most of us were never taught the importance of saving from a young age and how to save. I know for a fact that all of us – both young and old – are looking to live what we call a ‘soft life’. We unfortunately have to work hard for it – it does not just come on its own without any effort.
So, to our youth, I would like to encourage all of you to start this savings culture because it will also have a positive impact on how you handle money in the future. Yes, moving to a savings culture will need a lot of discipline and sacrifice from all of you but take it from me, it will be worthwhile in the future.
If all of you start getting used to saving now, this will contribute positively to how you handle all your finances when you start working and earning a salary.
The discipline that you teach yourselves today will become a worthwhile habit that will take all of you well into your retirement years.
As a starting point, you can all check out these various bank savings accounts that pay the highest interest rates and they can be found here: https://financebriefly.com/south-african-savings-accounts-that-pay-the-highest-interest-rates
Miranda Lusiba is the Founding Director of Strangé Consulting – a boutique PR Agency specialising in Communications, Freelance Writing, Media Relations, Reputation Management and Media Training. #YouthMonth