Over 400,000 young people are released into the job market every year in Uganda according to the World Bank; the majority of whom live under the poverty line. This number is expected to increase by 1,000,000 youth in the next year but that hasn’t equated to the jobs available. This is the same plight most African countries are facing. Recently, we have seen most of the African states going into lockdown, with no businesses operating thus limiting young people and their family adequate access to basic needs. Mostly, we discovered how poor our saving culture has been.
Usually, it’s not the first thing on young people’s minds. We depend highly on a gig-economy hence as young people we practice hand-to-mouth. We enjoy ourselves with the little we earn and have absolutely no financial responsibilities. We have not been taught to seriously take the art and importance of saving at an early stage. Which explains the difficulty we are facing in this COVID19 lockdown driven financial crisis. It’s said, “…wealth collected in small quantities accumulate…” and also, its key to note that if you can’t save in the days of 1000 shillings, you will never save in the days of 1,000,000 shillings. Hence, its key to note that savings are important drivers of economic growth of one’s self.
As young people, we should make it point to build our saving culture by starting with the little we have. Because it’s from these savings that we are able to build capital for future investments if we intend to create a business. This intern will help us get the income and attain personal financial goals. There are three relationships we should cultivate when it comes to money and that is;
- How to make the money
- How to keep/save the money
- How to grow/invest the money
A successful livelihood and financial freedom depend on how you handle that above three. Having a good saving culture as a young entrepreneur is essential to helping you grow your money, invest in bigger deals and more. It also increases your capacity to make more money. Once you make it a habit you will not overspend on unnecessary things that do not need hence, helping you optimize your resources.
Savings means that as a young person you have a fallback plan, insurance (assurance of sustainability). That’s because just as wisdom is a defence, so is money. Building your financial literacy knowledge is key and reducing access to bank accounts will ease your journey in saving. This is the fastest way to fight poverty, unemployment and grow more youth businesses owners who also promote the country’s economic growth (social entrepreneurs).
Therefore, as young people it’s imperative we embrace saving as a lifestyle. For if we are to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal in fighting poverty, we all have a role to play. No matter how hard or difficult it may be, building a wall of savings will always help create a smooth and secure future. As Faraja Africa Foundation, we are committed to ensuring we facilitate the process of social engagement and economic empowerment of young people, but this begins with you, so save today. Remember, time is money, using it well is a form of saving and investment.
By Sharon Nantanda, Program Officer
The Social Entrepreneurs and Leaders Fellowship (SELF)
Faraja Africa Foundation