The World Savings Day also known as World Thrift Day was established on October 31st,1924, during the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks) in Milano, Italy.
The Italian Professor Filippo Ravizza declared this day the “International Saving Day” on the last day of the congress. This day was created to increase public awareness on the importance of saving for modern economies and individuals since it is very important in the global economy and individual development.
The main idea was to encourage people to save their money in the banks and not their homes.
Christopher Asiimwe, a financial expert, notes that the last statistics scope indicated that a number of Ugandans don’t have bank accounts, an indication that the saving culture is still low.
Tildah Nabanjja, a certified financial Literacy trainer, notes that there should be enough sensitization to teach people the importance of saving and what to do with their money after saving it. She adds that people should learn spending modes and avoid wasting money.
How to save
Asiimwe says that every person has the capacity to save with the little they earn.
“Even if you earn 2000 shillings, you can choose to save 500shilling and spend the rest, with time that money will accumulate and you do something useful for yourself,” he adds.
Since saving will mean keeping one coin by one and you can’t run to the bank each time you get a coin or note, you will need a small box where you collect all your money which can be transferred to the bank when it accumulates. Some of the tools to use are piggy banks, local wooden boxes.
In most banks, age is not limited and one can start saving from 1 day to 18 years. While at the bank, you are not charged on any cost if you are to save, free banking and no monthly cost is charged. Therefore, if you are to open up a saving account, make sure it has such offers.
Issac Mubiru, a SAACO head in Namungona notes that small SACCOs can help one save, this money is accumulated and one receives a big sum of money that will do something important.
“The problem is that people run away after receiving money which makes other members lose the morale of saving. For this reason we keep engulfed in poverty,” says Mubiru.
He further explains thus, “others keep money in the house and when it accumulates, their family members steal it. Small SACCOs at village level help everyone to save because in most cases saving starts with as little as 2000 shillings, an amount everyone can afford.”
Why you need to save
Asiimwe adds that you need to look out for genuine financial institutions to save your money.
He also notes that saving should start from the earliest stage possible so that a child can grow knowing that it is part of life and useful for future investments.
Mubiru notes that saving helps you accumulate money that you can use in future to start up a business, it also gives you money discipline and an option of keeping it other than spending it on useless things.
Ruth Komujuni, a teacher and Motivational speaker notes that saving is not meant for only adults but children as well. She says parents should encourage their children to save and teach them the different ways of saving.
“This can start from the money you give them as pocket money, show them that they can spend little and save a bit of the amount. Open for them a bank account and walk with them to the bank incase their piggy banks are full to show them that the bank is a safe place to keep their money,” she adds.
She explains that saving teaches children ownership of money and by the time they grow up, they will are well accustomed with money and how to handle it since it’s something they have grown up with. She adds that it also teaches them the currency and value of money because they will learn the weight each note carries.
Benefits of saving
Asiimwe notes that saving will sustain you at the times when you are old and cannot work anymore. He says that investing the money is a good idea especially if the interest offered by the banks where you save is too low.
Nabanjja adds that saving is an avenue for steady growth and development in personal finances. She adds that it helps one have value for their money. She advises that people should reduce the borrowing and work within their means to have a reasonable financial scheme.
“Saving will help you achieve your short, medium and long-term needs without straining with loans,” she says adding that it also helps you create an emergency fund in case of an abrupt need in the future.
Gross domestic savings (% of GDP) in Uganda was reported at 15.46 % in 2016, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators.