TymeBank’s Chief Strategy Officer, Greg Illgner shares 5 ways to stay financially fit during a global pandemic:
1. Don’t panic. Now is not the time to make any rash decisions with your money. Leaving it in a savings account (especially one with a high-interest rate) is the safest place it could be. Your money is still very safe in the bank, there’s no need to withdraw it. South Africa’s banking industry is respected around the world. If you are with a well- regulated, Tier 1 bank, take comfort knowing that our business has been built for times like these
2. If you thought cash was king, think again. Apart from the fact that cold, hard cash isn’t earning you any interest and is more vulnerable to theft or loss, it’s also not going to do you any favours in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Wherever possible, pay for things using a card, rather than by physically handling cash that’s been touched by countless other hands.
3. Make interest work for you, not the other way around. Put any money you can save into a savings account to earn interest. Most South Africans don’t trust banks or interest rates because they’ve been bitten by both of them – by rogue debit orders, unexpectedly high credit card debt and extortionist loan repayment rates. But if you can get interest to work for you, you will be amazed at how your money can grow. If you need to draw on it, some banks do allow for it to be withdrawn immediately, with no penalties. However, if you are willing to wait ten days (or plan ahead), you could earn a bonus on top of the interest. By accruing interest and adding it to your savings account daily – not monthly.
4. Beware of loans. Nobody knows for certain what the current crisis is going to do to our economy or to each of our own pockets so think twice before taking out any loans unless they really, really need to – especially given the flux in interest rates. If you’re going to take out a loan, at least make sure it’s from a reputable institution.
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5. Remember what your true assets are. We’ve always believed in the potential of people in South Africa, and at times such as this, more so than ever. Our collective resilience, our sense of humour, our remarkable ability to support one another when it counts and bounce back from anything… these are our real national assets. They really count in times like these. So be kind, don’t panic, be the best you can be – you’ve got this.