How to do things differently in Savings Month

By Janice Roberts

Ester Ochse_FNB

With Savings Month starting in a few days, the poor savings record of South Africans will once again be in the spotlight. Grappling with a lowly National Savings Rate of 15.4% of GDP, the country has been trying numerous ways to get more citizens to save or invest. In spite of the efforts, many people still find it hard to embrace a culture of saving.

If you are one those people, it’s time to start thinking and doing things differently, says Ester Ochse, Channel Head at FNB Financial Advisory. She says the key to success lies in saving or investing for a goal, to give you the extra motivation that usually lacks among most people.

“Savings Month is an ideal time to start exploring suitable solutions as financial services providers such banks will be showcasing their respective savings or investment vehicles. This will give people plenty of options to select a solution that is ideal for their needs.”

Ochse recommends the following thought process to help you can get started:

· Choose a goal you want to save or invest towards
· Think long-term, to allow your savings or investment portfolio to mature
· Decide how much you can afford to save or invest
· Choose the ideal savings or investment vehicle and consider speaking to a financial adviser for guidance
· Set savings or investment targets and evaluate your progress

Ochse explains that being goal-based will help you focus and serve as a source of encouragement. She says education and retirement are some of the major goals that people often save or invest for. However, people can also save or invest to instil a certain culture within their families, especially among children.

“One of the major incentives at the moment is that there are investment or savings vehicles where people pay little or no tax until their investment reaches a certain stage of maturity. It’s important to take advantage of such because SA citizens are among the most taxed in the world.

“When preparing your savings or investment plan, it is important to align it with your financial situation so you do not come under incredible pressure that could lead you to stop altogether. If you do not know how to get start, it is always worth consulting a financial adviser, to give you realistic guidance,” she says.


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