‘Take charge of your life by saving’

2012-07-04 11:44

 Johannesburg - Many South Africans still battle to manage their finances, the SA Savings Institute (Sasi) said on Wednesday.

"South Africans still count on the state or (a) neighbour to bail them out of their financial woes," Sasi chairperson Prem Govender said at the launch of Sasi's savings month campaign in Johannesburg.

She said South Africans need to take charge of their lives by saving.

"The current domestic economic situation with slow growth and inflation at the top of its band, has exposed South Africans' vulnerabilities in terms of their income, expenditure, savings and debt."

Household savings as a percentage of disposable income had fluctuated between 2.7% in 1991 and -0.2% in the first quarter of 2012.

"Debt servicing hit a high at 81% in 2008 and continued to remain this high. South Africa is also the third worst of all countries surveyed when it comes to speaking to our children about money," said Govender.

South Africa's gross saving rate was 20% of gross domestic product in 2011/12, compared to China's 54%, India's 34.7% and Russia's 24.7%.

Sasi has appointed July as savings month, with the theme of "Save Now".

*If you have any pressing savings questions, go to our Money Clinic and we will get an expert to answer them.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-07-04 12:00

    Excuse me - this government does not allow me to save. Every time i think i might have R10 extra to put away for a rainy day, the blasted government decides that an increase in petrol/groceries/or everyday living expenses need to be imposed. I think they do this just to see the public cry. When my salary increase is actually in line with inflation and the taxes that i pay are lower please feel free to ask me again.

      zambezi.river - 2012-07-05 10:46

      Is not the government that increases the price of groceries. We must compare what price the farmer gets to the the price in is shocking!

      gavin.hillyard - 2012-07-11 17:53

      If you don't save you will spend your retirement years constantly worrying about money. Don't delay start as soon as possible

  • wmutahi - 2012-07-04 12:53

    There is clearly no will from the government for a saving culture. One wonders why?, political manipulation via handouts, govt do this, govt do that for me?

  • stefan.coetzer.58 - 2012-07-04 12:54

    And so the jokes continue... We've opened a savings account for my son (attempting to teach him to save) and it cost him a few rands shy of R3300 to buy something of R3000 because of banking cost over a period of abouit 15 months. I have the bank statements to prove it. Cost money to bank it, cost money to make the withdrawal – even for a “kids account”. Lesson learned – if you have the money and can afford it, spend it, otherwise someone else will take it

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-07-04 13:33

    Is there someone out there that can tell me how you can save with the costs of goods ( low inflation hahahahaha) ? Then you get peanuts due to very low interest rates/you now pay tax on that weeny bit of money you get as interest and inbetween the bank rips you off. I you know that as a pensioner you can only get free banking at FNB if you leave R5000min in your cheque account WITHOUT earning a cent of interest ! Oh yes, and if you pay R97pm, irrespective if you use the account or not.Some of us have to keep an account open for the the Receiver to receive something small back every year. I mean...HOW CAN YOU SAVE ? WHO WANTS TO SAVE !!

      Palu - 2012-07-04 14:08

      hello peter time to open that account at Capitec. R4.50 monthly admin fee!!!

      Deon - 2012-07-04 14:46

      Gov. does give you a bit of discount on your tax if you save 15% ? of your disposable income in RA's. Rather save for your old day, who wants / who can live from a gov. pension?

      james.m.wood.773 - 2012-07-04 16:39

      @dean, you are quite correct they do give you some tax relief if you put it in an RA, but when that RA matures, after you have taken your cut, they get theirs from the interest the balance is still earning, no matter what you do, unless you keep it in cash, the government will find a way to tax it!

      gavin.hillyard - 2012-07-11 17:56

      You could have invested in a unitized Money Market fund with an assurer if the investment term was 3 years or less. The costs are negligible. For a longer term a unit trust fund is ideal as it is one of the few ways for the man in the street to get an above inflation rate of return but it is not a short term investment and cannot be treated like a bank account. Put it away and forget about it until it is needed.

  • appietrader - 2012-07-04 14:44

    For over 40 years saving is part of the budget, fore go nice things that was wanted! Now a 15% dividend tax makes one wonder was it worth it. Thinks when taking profit to move funds offshore.

      gavin.hillyard - 2012-07-11 18:04

      Yes the 15% dividends tax was a surprise and a slap in the face for many who invested in shares all their lives for the dividend stream to sustain them in retirement. I think it was a mistake but hey the govt needs money - a pity so much of these taxes are squandered. One only has to read the newspapers on a daily basis to hear about these escapades like the R36m Eskom spent on "staff functions" It is a disgrace and I think that someone should go to jail for it.

  • Deon - 2012-07-04 14:47

    Rather save too much than too little, it is not as if Gov. will look after us when we are old.

  • erick.mamba - 2012-07-04 14:48

    Political leaders need to adopt the saving culture first. Cutting down on unnecessary govt expenditure, that way they can give back some money to the citizens through tax reductions i.e dividend tax, and tax on interest income and capital gain..the exorbitant bank charges vs interest on deposits are also contributn towards low-saving rate

      norman.depluhm - 2012-07-04 16:53

      Erick bru you're onto something there! If everything cent the government spent was spent wisely, with no corruption, through correct tender procedures, for the correct market price, and without wasting on the lavish stuff they love so much, I think we could afford our power stations without IMF loans, road without tolling, hospitals that work instead of NHI, teachers and books for all the schools, etc etc etc etc...

  • erick.mamba - 2012-07-04 16:43

    Political leaders need to adopt the saving culture first. Cutting down on unnecessary govt expenditure, that way they can give back some money to the citizens through tax reductions i.e dividend tax, and tax on interest income and capital gain..the exorbitant bank charges vs interest on deposits are also contributn towards low-saving rate

  • Heloduster - 2012-07-04 17:22

    Saving in South Africa is futile, with the Government Thieves (tolls + Fuel levies )and the SA Banks with their exorbitant charges put any money you have offshore to see it grow NOT IN SA

  • rocky.bell.927 - 2012-07-05 07:30

    In the early 1930's, Afrikaners were "classified" to be the majority of the "poor white problem" in South Africa. During the Anglo Boer War, 27,000 women and children died in British concentration camps, due to malnutrition and sickness. Their farms were burned to the ground and their live stock desimated under the British, so called, "scorged earth policy". During the 30's the Afrikaners pulled their last resources together and established a savings fund. From then on the Afrikaners "flourished". Mines (Federale Volksbeleggings) Banks (Volkskas [ABSA] Trust bank etc) Motor industry (Toyota) and many many more. Moral of the story: SAVE and WORK HARD!

      rocky.bell.927 - 2012-07-05 10:13

      Thumbs down?????????

  • bennie.stander - 2012-07-07 23:13

    We all need to learn to save and manage our savings more effectively - check this report -

  • gavin.hillyard - 2012-07-11 17:59

    Bottom line is we all need to put away for retirement. Just because annuity income in retirement is taxed this is no reason not to save. How many of us could be comfortable on a govt pension of about R1 000 p.m.? An RA is an excellent retirement savings vehicle - just ask prof Matthew lester.

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