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Save for your children’s education and for your retirement.Do you want your money to grow and last longer? Then decide today to start saving NOW!

The year is still new. Maybe you made New Year’s resolutions, like many people do. Some make resolutions at the beginning of the year to lose weight or stop smoking, others to start studying or get a new job.

Usually we can’t keep all the promises we make to ourselves, but we can become money wise. We can promise ourselves to be more careful with our money and to start saving - not only for the year ahead, but for our future and the future of our children, advises the SA Savings Institute.

Do a budget

The first step to saving is to do a budget. Your budget is a record of all the money you earn in a month mattersand all the money you spend in that month. It will show you where you can spend a bit less or cut out things that you don’t really need so that you can save the money.

If you save something every month, you will see your savings grow. Soon you will be able to achieve your goals. Without goals you will never make your dreams come true.

Set goals

You can start by setting some goals for this year like paying off a loan or saving for your children’s education or a holiday.

You should also set goals for the future like saving for your old age. One of the most important reasons to save is for your children’s education. This year you will pay more than R2 000 if your child goes to a government high school. You will need money for school fees, uniforms, books and school trips.

Borrowing is expensive

If you do not save this money, you will have to borrow. But borrowing is expensive, because banks and money lenders charge interest. It means you have to pay back much more than you borrowed.

By the year 2020, studies at a college or university may cost as much as R70 000 per year. If you start saving at the birth of your child and carry on saving R300 a month for 18 years, you could end up with almost R106 000! Your savings will have earned interest of more than R41 000.

So make a New Year’s promise to yourself to become money wise and start saving.

- Ndivhuwo Khangale

Tips for saving

  • Save some of your pay every month, even if it’s only a few rands.
  • Start now! Don’t make excuses like "I’m too young to save," or "I’ll save next month."
  • Find out from your bank about special savings plans.
  • Buy only what you need and what you can afford.
  • Save water and electricity. You will save money and help the environment at the same time.
  • Be careful about credit. It is cheaper to save money and buy something cash than to buy on credit, because you pay interest on credit.