South Africans seems to postpone saving for as long as they possibly can and I suppose that is partly owing to the fact that the cost of living is so darn high compared to the salaries the majority of people earn. Of course many people would like the luxury of saving, but unless you have a degree in something that is rare or difficult to accomplish, therefore, there is a demand for a certain job role, then you will not earn a decent salary, which means you cannot save. Do people think rent manages to pay itself every month? Or that you wake up in the morning and the petrol elves have been to fill your car? Oh, and maybe the food fairies stock your cupboards and fridge up every week as well and maybe Eskom gives us free electricity? And phone contracts don’t cost a cent, right? Excuse the sarcasm, but I need to make a point.
I am not saying that people cannot afford to save a little and that they should probably learn to spend their money more wisely, but for most people saving really is something that they keep hoping to do, but who wants to struggle to get by every single month? As someone who saves and budgets every single day of my life I can tell you now that the only reason I can afford to save anything is as a result of not having to pay rent. I do not even save half of what my rent would cost. I often ask myself what the real value of a higher education is (aside from the fact that you learn and grow intellectually which is important), but if you really think about it I know people who do not have University degrees who are out-earning me by 7 times my salary? Could someone please explain the logic to me? Surely, the only perk to have a higher education cannot just be to secure an interview?
Yes, we should all try to save a little bit every month, because a little bit can make all the difference in your future, but all this consistent complaining that South Africans do not save needs a different perspective, because we are not all avoiding saving on purpose. Another little tip is that saving is like going to the gym; once you get yourself there it is not so bad. The best way to save is to put a debit order on for an amount that you can survive without every month and then it will be taken off without you have to physically move the money yourself. If anyone would like to disagree or add some advice please feel free!