Good financial health may be hard to achieve, but it is not impossible, especially if people are taught how to manage their money from a young age.
With this in mind, the Consumer Financial Education Foundation (Confef) and Ithala SOC Limited have started teaching schoolchildren how to better manage their finances through a newly-launched financial literacy programme called MoneyTalks.
Ithala SOC Limited is an entity of Ithala Development Finance Corporation, while Confef is a non-profit organisation registered with the Department of Social Development.
Confef’s Octavia Hlatshwayo says recent statistics show that university students are already trapped in debt, with some battling to service their monthly obligations.
“Empowering school children with financial management skills at an early stage of their lives will equip them to better manage their finances, thus creating a wealth legacy in the future. This programme will expose children to money matters such as the importance of budgeting and saving,” says Hlatshwayo.
According to a report released recently by the National Credit Regulator, there are 25 million credit-active consumers in South Africa and 10 million are behind on their loan repayments.
Research by Debt Rescue shows that only 23 percent of South Africans have money left at the end of the month; more than half of consumers use 75 percent of their salary to make debt repayments; and 38.9 percent of their income is used to repay personal loans.
Hlatshwayo says: “Living within your means is a priority element in your journey to financial wellness. This is not attainable without understanding the importance of budgeting as your compass that points you in the right direction in relation to your finances. This is followed by adopting a culture of savings, especially emergency funds which will rescue you in times of desperate financial need.”
The Money Talks programme follows a four-step programme that can help people build their own wealth:
- Step One – Get out of debt.
- Step two – Start saving.
- Step Three – Start investing.
- Step Four – Build multiple streams of income.
The wealth-creation journey can start even before one becomes economically active. Often what makes wealth unattainable to a lot of people is financial illiteracy which leads to bad consumption-driven decisions,” Ithala Marketing and Communications Manager Sandile Xolo says.