As a great place to save and Invest, Nedbank will be joining the Financial Services community in observing July National Savings Month launched on 28 June by The South African Savings Institute (SASI). SASI has been dedicated to developing a robust culture of saving in South Africa since 2001.
“According to South African Reserve Bank (SARB) figures, in the last 16 years we have seen a decline in our savings rate, reaching a record low of -2.70 in 2013. However, we are now seeing small increases off a very low base, with the Household Saving Rate in South Africa increasing to -0.30 percent in the first quarter of 2017 from -0.50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016,” says Prem Govender, SASI Chairperson.
Govender further highlights that we are starting to see an overall reduction in household debt.
“Recent improvements in the debt rate can be attributed to The National Credit Amendment Act 2016, which has imposed more stringent affordability requirements on borrowers, as well as a Nation that has simply used up all available credit.”
SASI proposed alternative savings methods including Automated Savings: Debit orders to Savings Accounts allow automated saving. You can set up debit orders Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA), 32 Day Notice Accounts and Unit Trust Accounts. Nedbank offers these products through debit order and these can be accessed through any full service Nedbank branch.
SASI also proposed the use of financial products as baby gifts. You can seed a child’s future savings by requesting baby gifts of cash to deposit into TFSA or a Nedbank 4Me account. This is the fun and clever way for you and your kids to be savvy with their money. It makes it super easy for parents to assist children to make the most of their money so that they can have a bright financial future. Nedbank 4me allows you and your children to keep a close eye when spending. They get a funky debit card which is just like cash, only safer. They can use it with a secret PIN to withdraw cash at ATM’s or Pick n Pay till points or to pay for all sorts of stuff.
Nedbank TFSA also allow parents to seed long term tax free saving. To further encourage children to save, the Nedbank Affinity programme can be linked to the Nedbank 4me account. By opening and saving with an Affinity-linked Nedbank 4me account, Nedbank makes a donation to a cause at no cost to the client.
During 2016, Nedbank invested over R39 million across four affinities namely; Sport, Green, Children’s and Arts Affinities. Since the inception of the Nedbank Affinity programme in 1990 the four affinities have contributed more than ZAR350 million to over 1 200 projects across their social and environmental development focus areas.
“As SASI said at the launch, willpower and commitment are one of the biggest barriers to saving. Nedbank believes in the use of all available and new technology to make saving as convenient and easy as possible. We offer a range of convenient investment solutions that come with no fees and commission insuring that your capital is guaranteed,” adds Vanesha Palani, Nedbank Head of Transactional Products and Investment.
“Most of us are currently experiencing varying levels of financial strain because of the ever increasing price of living but as an integral part of the South African society, Nedbank will continue to enlighten and enable our clients and prospective clients about the benefits of money well managed.”
We can all still work toward achieving our financial goals if we all take time to start today – by that we mean just start small today and save the little bit we have today towards achieving something greater,” said Palani.
Govender believes that we need to move away from negativity around South Africa’s savings rate to developing innovative savings alternatives and reinforcing positive savings behaviour.
“Every Savings Month we work with our partners, including the large financial institutions that play such an important role in sharing knowledge, to find ways to educate and empower South Africans to save more. The household savings agenda is a key national priority. We believe that South Africans can save and invest more domestically for the greater good of our economy. As we sit in a technical recession, it is a fact that domestic savings can be a driver of internal economic growth. There has never been a better time to save than now.”