A cushion for life's journey

According to the World Bank, the gross savings rate in Ghana is below 20%. This situation is similar to that of other African countries such as Burkina Faso (8.59%), Togo (11.66%) and Nigeria (12.049).

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But he hardly saves and so is forced to fall on nothing or go begging in a time of need. This can be very distressing and quite humiliating. This case of the average Joe may seem foreign but it does apply to Ghana.

According to the World Bank, the gross savings rate in Ghana is below 20%. This situation is similar to that of other African countries such as Burkina Faso (8.59%), Togo (11.66%), Nigeria (12.049), Benin (16.75%), and South Africa (15.14%). About 70% of Ghanaians are unbanked. Out of the 30% with bank accounts, only a few have a consistent savings habit.

A man who lives his life contrary to this trend, is Kenneth Woyongo, a Quantity Surveyor by profession. The 43-year old strongly believes in investing for the future. He believes one is not going to be young forever, therefore his biggest aim is to save for a rainy day, especially in anticipation of an early retirement.

“I save a lot and I have a number of investment accounts as well,” Mr Woyongo said.  “I have not withdrawn money from my savings account in the last three years."

He advised the youth to cultivate a healthy savings habit, as he believes savings is a lifeline to a sound future.

“What I aim for, is to enjoy the same standard of living even after I retire, so my investments are to cushion me to be able to cater for my family and my retirement,” he said. “Investment is not all about waiting till you get everything. Who knows? Anything can happen in life. Anything can strike you down. You could be alive but might not be able to work, so why not put money aside now and secure your kids’ future and yours?”

Thanks to his religious savings habit, Mr Woyongo is GHS 10,000 richer as he emerged the ultimate winner of the third draw of Stanbic Bank’s “Save and Win Big” campaign.

Samuel Amoako Paitoo, a 34-year-old Money Market Dealer shares a similar story. Samuel was one of the first customers to open a savings account at Stanbic’s Pyramid House branch, Ring Road, four years ago. Thanks to his ardent savings habit, Mr Paitoo emerged the ultimate winner of the fourth draw of the Stanbic Pure Save campaign, making him GHS 10,000 richer.

“I am a savings freak; I love to save,” Mr Paitoo stated. “Every month when I receive my salary, I take out my expenses for the month, and the rest of the money goes into my savings account. I deposit on monthly basis. It might not be much but at least I know I can fall on it in times of trouble.”

The “Save and Win Big” campaign is aimed at encouraging a savings culture among Ghanaians while reiterating the need to save for a “rainy” day. By making multiple deposits of GHS 500 in their Pure Save account between 3rd April and 2nd August 2017, customers of Stanbic Bank are eligible to win a grand prize of GHS 100, 000 at the final draw of the campaign. Also, at the weekly draws, four lucky customers get to win Kwese TV Digiboxes and satellite with one-month free installation and subscription, and other consolation prizes worth over GHC 40, 000 from Stanbic Bank.

Stanbic Bank has over the years rolled out a myriad of savings and investment products that offer unrivalled financial security to its customers. The Bank recently launched the Pure Save Campaign, an initiative intended to encourage a savings culture among most Ghanaians. Another such product is the Stanbic EduPlan, which allows parents to provide an uninterrupted quality education for their wards up to the highest level.

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