Where to begin? I have been thinking so much lately on how I can best say or phrase or even stress the importance of saving money today. This is something that I am becoming more and more conscious of with age and I feel that if I had known – back when I was still a teen – what I know now then perhaps I would better handle the situations that I sometimes find myself in when it comes to spending and saving money.

I have recently been tuning into 5FM Radio. This month they were tackling the issue of saving and helping to educate South Africans on the importance of putting money away. Learning to save money is something that many parents don’t take seriously. Yes, some buy piggy banks for their children and tell them to save their pocket money, but I don’t believe that the importance of saving is stressed enough.

The economy is constantly changing and prices are constantly rising, if you think you can survive on just your salary alone then I would really like to get your job! Saving for a future retirement plan should start at a young age because situations change and you never know if you will even make it to 65 with that job you currently have. So why wait until it is too late. Rather start to save now.

Money is something that you can never fully hold on to because of many reasons that are sometimes out of your control. And if all you have to depend on is your salary, then what will you do in case of physical disability that might force you to lose that job?

There are many ways that you can learn to make the money you earn work better for you. If saving is not one of your strengths, then I suggest you start investing your money so that you can let it grow over time and make yourself a profit in future. Buying shares is something that most people don’t get educated about and I think it is important to know, because that is something that has worked for generations and continues to work as a saving mechanism.

Also, joining a stokvel or starting one with your friends and family members can be a good way to save and make extra money. If you don’t want to depend on people in your stokvel, you can visit your bank as they do have stokvel facilities which will help you and your members to be more accountable in your saving schemes. If that doesn’t work for you, then ask your bank about their saving facilities like 32-day account or flexi deposit account. Even the Post Office has saving facilities that you can use to save your money monthly. The idea is for you to basically learn to save and start saving, so that you’re not left hanging when the time comes and you really need your money.

I also think that schools are a platform to actually offer the learners the knowledge of how to save money from a young age. I sometimes wonder what we are being taught in schools if you come out and still don’t know half of what is going on in the world around you. A school is an institution that is supposed to educate you and I think that if it is properly used by government, teachers and learners, then it can be a great empowering place to be.

It is very important that you search and look for ways to save and invest in your future. If you have children, teach them how to save from a young age.

I am still learning all these things because I never had the opportunity to do so before and I can’t believe how much I have missed out on. I think that institutions such as banks or loan services can be used to better benefit you if you know and understand them better. Don’t suffer in debt alone and feel like your world is ending because you will never be able to pay these places back. Go and speak to them and ask people around you and even do your own research on how to get out of debt instead of getting loans to pay off loans that you already have. Remember saving starts now and it’s that money that will be of great use later on, whether you start with R50, R100, it doesn’t matter because as time goes on your money increases.

I hope you have found this blog useful and it has sparked something in you to start saving your money. If you have started saving, share your ideas because it could change someone’s life.

Written by Phoebe Sibomana


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