I know that asking most of our youth to save – especially those who come from previously disadvantaged communities, is a tough ask.
However, because June is Youth Month, I felt it was important to touch on this topic. Covid has, since last year, shown a number of families in flames, with parents losing their jobs and assets, to the extent that some households are struggling to even pay for the basic necessities such as food and transport to name only two.
These days every cent anyone has counts. However, I still feel that even in the midst of this tough situation, parents have a duty to encourage their children to save a portion of their pocket money so that we can help the next generation not make the same mistakes we made with money at a young age and well into adulthood.
When I was growing up, because we hardly ever had pocket money to take to school because of circumstances at home, we 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 we did when we had it was to run to the nearest shop and buy sweets or another kind of snack.
Children these days have privileges we did not have in the past – snacks, juices, chips, yoghurts to name a few – are part of the grocery items bought regularly in some homes.
Because of this I feel it should be slightly easier for today’s children 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 at about 0.4%.
We are in this state because most of us were never taught the importance of saving from a young age, or how to save. I know all of us – both young and old – are hoping 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.
To the youth, I 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, but take it from me, it will be worthwhile in the future.
If you start getting used to saving now, this will contribute positively to the way you handle your finances when you start working and earning a salary.
The discipline you learn today will become a worthwhile habit that will take you well into your retirement years.
As a starting point, you can 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
For more info, contact me on: C: +27 (0) 68 029 8760 (Voice-Calls); C: +27 (0) 78 675 1297 (WhatsApp) E: firstname.lastname@example.org AND Ora4117@gmail.com