Nedbank’s Wall of Whispers educates South Africans about making better money choices

July is “Savings Month” on the South African calendar and to mark the importance of saving in a country with one of the worst savings rates in the world, Nedbank launched its novel Wall of Whispers activation on Saturday, 16 July at the Mr Price Court in Sandton City.

The Nedbank Wall of Whispers features five personas that impart savings advice in the form of a whisper, giving visitors valuable guidance on savings and investment and on how to start saving in a conversational, quirky and educational manner in the form of a whisper.

According to research conducted by Kantar, commissioned by Nedbank, saving money is in the top three financial goals for South Africans as saving money is one of the essential aspects of building wealth and having a secure financial future. However, while 70% of the population want to save, they feel that they are unable to do so.

Putting aside a sum of money in a systematic manner can help people steer their way out of many hurdles and obstacles in life and ensure that families have something to fall back on in case of an unfortunate event. It is important for consumers to understand that savings can secure their future and enable them to live a more fulfilling life.

Sisandile Cikido, Head of Retail Investment, says : “The good news is you do not need a fortune to start saving or making smart investments. It only takes a small deposit or monthly amount to grow your investment, but many people delay getting started because they feel they are not earning enough, they are paying off debt, they don’t know how to stick to a budget, their expenses are too high, or they simply do not have a goal in mind. The reality is that everyone has to start saving somewhere.”

“Understanding that education is vital in changing perceptions, our Wall of Whispers aimed to educate consumers about the importance of changing their financial behaviour, breaking old habits and excuses that get in the way of financial stability, and establishing new, healthy financial habits that pave the way for a better future, “ said Cikido.

At a recent panel discussion on savings, Gerald Mwandiambira, Acting CEO of the South African Savings Institute, advised people to live their own lives, and not try to keep up with the unrealistic lifestyles they see on social media, as this will land you in debt.

Executive for Financial Wellness & Advisory at Nedbank,  Wendy Selebi argued that saving is not impossible – you just have to have a vision of what you are saving for, and then set your goals. Once you know exactly why you are saving, she said, it becomes easy to commit to saving.

The panel raised the importance of teaching children about money from an early age and getting them started on goal-oriented saving. They can be incentivised to begin a positive money journey by earning pocket money through doing household chores. When the time is ripe, opening the child’s first savings account can be celebrated as a big deal.

Mwandiambira warned that young people need to understand that at least 20% of their salaries needs to be put aside to fund their retirement. All the panellists echoed this view: start saving as soon as you can, and if you haven’t, start now! It’s never too late.

Kantar Consulting Division Director Nicole Shapiro said it’s important to research what products are out there and find what speaks to you and aligns with your goals. “While saving is all about discipline, we need to realise that fun is also a big part of it,” she added. “Put strategies in place to track your progress, and then really enjoy spending the money you have saved on that item or trip, or whatever it is your heart desires.”

Because the world of finance is so complex, it pays to have an expert on your side. Your bank is a good place to start, and a consultant can help you find the right product for you.

As the bank that prides itself on being “money experts who do good”, Nedbank commissioned the Wall of Whispers activation to call on consumers to take their money seriously with the bank that takes their money seriously. Whether it’s for the short, medium or long term, there are savings options that will cater to everyone’s financial goals.