As hard as it may seem, middle-income consumers can still save by making easy changes in how they manage their money.
This is according to FNB Retail’s Money Management unit which looked at the savings potential among the bank’s customers.
Doret Jooste, Chief Executive of Money Management in FNB Retail said, “Rising fuel, food and electricity costs and unchanged interest rates are some of the factors that continue to place significant financial pressure on people’s’ income. Families are still heavily reliant on unsecured debt to get through each month and find it hard to even think about saving. However, looking at our middle-income clients we found that by making a few small changes in financial or spending behaviour they can actually free up a significant amount of cash every month.”
How could you save?
Calculations* were based on these four simple ways you can save money:
Use your rewards
Free rewards programmes can give great value to customers. For example, customers can pay in eBucks for their in-store purchases at eBucks partners like Checkers, Checkers Hyper, Engen or Dis-Chem. This means you can pay for daily necessities like groceries, fuel and toiletries with eBucks. Unlike most rewards programmes, eBucks has no membership fee and you earn rewards simply by using your bank account.
The ‘Earn more eBucks’ tips available on the FNB App can help you maximise your eBucks to supplement your income further. The new ‘Pay in eBucks’ functionality available on the App also includes using your eBucks to pay or part-pay for recent in-store purchases at FNB eBucks partners
Manage your data/airtime spend
Telco services such as data and airtime is a big spending item for most people. Most telco providers do offer special deals now and then and it’s important to take full advantage of these if you can generate some savings.
FNB customers who use FNB Connect can benefit from free data, voice minutes and SMSes every month, by holding a qualifying FNB cheque account. Gold cheque account customers for example could save on average R109 a month on airtime/data expenses by using the free FNB Connect offer
Bank smarter and reduce banking fees
There are numerous ways to bank smarter to reduce bank fees. For instance, using digital banking channels like an APP, self-service ATM or cellphone banking for bank statements, doing payments or checking transaction history is cheaper than going into a branch. You can also save significant amounts by making withdrawals from your own bank’s ATMs and FNB customers can use Shoprite and Checkers to withdraw cash while shopping, at a fraction of the cost.
Consolidate debt to pay a lower interest rate
Consolidating your debt (e.g. clothing account, furniture accounts, micro loans, etc.) into a single loan with lower interest will not only save you on monthly admin fees and help to simplify and ‘declutter’ your debt, but also result in you paying less interest over the term of your loan.
These savings can make a big difference in how much you pay every month towards your credit payments. Also, for your nearly paid off loans, start saving that monthly installment in a savings account once you’ve paid off the loan or use that amount to make extra payments toward your other debt.
Jooste said, “Implementing these simple changes in your financial behaviour could give you the necessary room to save for a better life. The biggest challenge for South Africans is that money management is not sufficiently taught at school or at home. Unfortunately, poor financial literacy is then passed on from one generation to the next and we can see it in our customers’ money management behaviour”.
“We are committed to making a change in these statistics by helping our clients change the way they manage their money and in turn enable them and their families to have a better life. These small tweaks to financial behaviour can result in significant changes over the long-term and is some of the first steps we are helping our clients to take on the journey,” concluded Jooste.
FNB encourages customers to make use of nav» Money on the FNB APP to set and track Savings Goals. Customers can choose a goal to save for, get a recommended personalised savings solution with the ability to track progress over time.