Wealth

Forget Halloween. Today is World Savings Day

Want to see something scary? Check your savings account.
IMAGE WIKIPEDIA
ILLUSTRATOR Roland Mae Tanglao
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In case you missed the memo, today is World Savings Day. Yes, it’s also Halloween, but the lack of digits in your bank account might be a bigger scare than any haunted house or escape room.

In all seriousness, World Savings Day is an actual day that’s celebrated mostly in Europe to promote the habit of saving instead of spending your money. And they went all out in celebrating World Savings Day when it was created back in the early 1900s. Savings was considered a reflection of the maturity of the people and the country, and posters, broadcasts, and even chorus singing were dedicated to savings in Europe and the United States.

They even made a "Hymn of Thrift" in 1928 to celebrate the day.

It’s a day that promotes frugality and practicality, and it’s something Filipinos should start celebrating too.

According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, in 2017, only 57.1 million people have a bank account, leaving around 47.8 million without one. The number of people with bank accounts has surely increased from 2017 to 2019, but that still leaves millions without a bank account, and thus, savings.

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Meanwhile, of those Filipinos with bank accounts, approximately 62 percent have a balance of P5,000 or less. That means of the 54 percent of Filipinos who have a bank account, only 38 percent have a balance exceeding P5,000.

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The prospect of living with only P5,000 in your savings account is terrifying to say the least, which is probably why it falls on Halloween.

Nevertheless, opening a savings account is one step to financial security, and thus financial freedom. You can start with a few hacks, like reconfiguring how you think of savings. Add a purpose to your savings, like a car or house down payment, to complete the question of just what exactly are you saving for.

You could also follow the 48-hour rule that states that you should always sleep on something you want to buy for two days before settling on your investment. A millennial tip would be to enroll your bank account online so you can keep an eye on your savings account from your phone and be more conscious of the deductions. You could even follow hashtags like GCash’s #PlsSaveMe to gather all the savings tips of netizens on Twitter.

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Or, we could just make a Filipino version of the "Hymn for Thrift."

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Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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