'I told myself it's not my money, yet': This woman saved R23 400 in small change in a year | Fin24
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'I told myself it's not my money, yet': This woman saved R23 400 in small change in a year

Jan 04 2020 08:45
Lameez Omarjee

Sandisiwe Msomi, a BCom student, says she was inspired by her father to put small change away in order to save up for her studies.

The 21-year-old managed to save R23 400 over the course of a year, which she will now use to pay her registration fees as she embarks on her second year. 

Msomi told Fin24 by phone on Friday that she was previously a student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal but dropped out because she did not like her degree. She instead decided to pursue a degree in digital marketing at Vega School Durban. But studying at a private learning institution meant that her student fees would be much higher.

"It took a huge strain on my family and I wanted to do something to just to ease my parents' costs for my second year," Msomi told Fin24.

She took a leaf out of her dad's book and decided to set aside between R75 and R80 per day.

"If you put your mind to it, you can do it," Msomi said.

In a post from her Twitter account, she explained that she would have the cash converted into R5 coins. Msomi said her dad saves using coins, and so she mimicked him because it seemed "cool".

Msomi kept the money in a 10 litre container, behind a shoe box, so that it would be "out of sight and out of mind". That way, it prevented her from being tempted to use the money.

"One of my mottos was that no matter how tough it was financially, I told myself that the money is not mine, yet. It was something for 2020," Msomi said.

She got a boost in June, when she received R5000 for her birthday from her parents and her sister. "I told myself it must be a good sign. This must be a sign from God. So I saved a good portion of that money, about R2 000," Msomi recalled.

Not entitled

With the help of her parents and a friend they counted the money on New Year's Day. It took most of the day and they counted it a second time when they placed the money in bags, she said.

Msomi said the money will strictly be used for school. Her fees this year are about R92 000 and registration is R12 000 of that amount.

Of the savings journey, she said it made her feel that she was responsible enough to pay for her own fees.

"It is important to develop this mindset now and not to be entitled."

She said her parents taught her this mindset. The money her father works for is not meant to be splurged, Msomi said. 

"I do not ever want to feel entitled to my parents' money in any way. I want them to feel that what they give me is a good resource to sort of grow my own capital."

Msomi will be saving again in 2020, and the goal is bigger. She plans to raise R40 000, which will go towards her parents' home. She's already started saving this year, and says she has a job at her uncle's business which might help her boost her savings.

Wave of small-change savers

Msomi has also inspired a number of Twitter users to save using this method. When asked how she felt about it, she said it was motivating to know that she has inspired others.

While some Twitter uses commended Msomi for her achievement, others have also shared their savings stories using a similar method to hers. Some users have saved anything from over R3 000 to R6 000.

One user, Thabang Brown, also collected R5 coins over the past 12 months, and managed to save R2 570.

The DJ from Bloemfontein said he kept the R5 coins in a 5-litre container, which he glued shut to make sure he didn’t use the savings. He has since deposited the money in his savings account.

Brown said the amount he saved in 2019 was not a lot and his container was not even halfway full. He plans to save as much as R15 000 during 2020. So far he has already saved R50 in just the first three days of the year.

*Do you have a savings hack for 2020? Share it with us at editor@fin24.com with the subject line: Savings Hack

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