A money savvy youth

2012-10-15 00:00

FINANCIAL knowledge is the key to financial power later in life and far from being boring and technically challenging, it is actually cool for young people to be financially savvy.

These were some of the major messages delivered at the Johannesburg Securities Exchange’s (JSE) National Youth Financial Literacy Day event, held in Durban yesterday.

School learners, university students and other young people attended the event.

Waldemar Budel of the JSE told the audience that they should focus on saving and investing for the long-term rather than trading in the hope of making a “quick buck”.

He urged young people to save and invest some of the money which they spend every month on things like cellphones and airtime.

Finance MEC Ina Cronjé added her voice to the growing concern over how people use credit cards and short-term loans: “Often credit cards and store cards are used for wants and not needs. And very often it is about instant gratification.

“The sooner we learn the fine art of delaying gratification, the sooner we will find it easy to keep our finances in order. Do we really want to pay interest on a pair of jeans or a box of cereal?

“We know that mobile communication is young people’s oxygen. But do we really have to buy the most expensive smartphones?”

The JSE hosted the event in partnership with the KZN Financial Literacy Association, as well as Visa Sub-Saharan Africa, Ithala Bank, and the Provincial Treasury.

Senior general manager at the Banking Association of SA, Fikile Kuhlase, told young people that there were major financial and social costs associated with bad financial decisions. She stressed that financial literacy enabled young people to use credit wisely, adding that it would provide them with the ability to manage their money and financial risks appropriately.

Budel said the financial industry had a range of outreach programmes aimed at young people, including school and university competitions, as well as savings campaigns.

He said the association launched the Teach a Child to Save campaign five years ago, while the JSE ran investment challenge competitions for school pupils and university students on an annual basis.

Budel said brokers and advisers were well-placed to help people along the investment journey.

Nokubonga Shamase, a Grade 11 learner from Umlazi Commercial High School, told The Witness that although she would like to pursue a career in the performing arts and media, financial literacy is relevant to everyone.

Nokubonga, who would like to start her own business later in life, said that she preferred using cash rather than credit, as this value was inculcated by her family.

Mfundo Dlamini (18), from Dassenhoek near Pinetown, said although he is not employed, the event was useful and enlightening.

“It taught me the importance of saving and investing. Although I am unemployed, it will be of benefit to me later on,” he said.

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