Cape Town - Though physical circumstances contribute to why South Africans are so bad at saving, it runs much deeper than that, success coach Michele Steyn told Fin24.
“As humans we have developed a wanting mindset. We are wired for pleasure. We have to change our habits in order to get from a wanting mindset to a savings mindset.”
Steyn explained that when we spend, our brain releases the feel good hormone called dopamine. "It's like we are on a high, which leads to instant gratification."
She admitted that changing from an instant gratification mindset to a savings mindset is not easy.
"A habit is formed through repetition, so we will have to take ourselves from a wanting mindset to a savings mindset, which will not happen overnight ... we need to physically practice it."
Debt also plays a huge part in people not saving. It is far easier for South Africans to access debt, than it is for us to save. Steyn noted that people who are blacklisted are still being offered debt.
"Marketers are very clever, they know how to entice us into making debt," she added.
Steyn also advised couples to communicate with each other about their finances and to make a concerted effort to save. Here are some of her savings tips:
- Implement a lifestyle change
- Evaluate where you are wasting money
- Check where you are overspending
- Be honest in your evaluation of your financial situation
- Understand why you are saving
- Use your reason for saving as your motivation
* It's National Savings Month. Do you have a successful savings plan or story to tell? Share it with us nowand help others to also become Savings Heroes. For more on savings visit our special Savings Issue.
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