Tag Archive for financial literacy

Backing Improved Global Financial Literacy

Financial literacy

Wonga is actively involved in helping to promote an increased standard of financial literacy in South Africa. But although the level of financial literacy is not as high as it needs to be, there are many other countries around the world where financial literacy is even worse.

According to a new survey recently completed by Standard and Poor?s, a global financial ratings agency, countries in South Asia have the poorest level of financial understanding anywhere in the world.

Financial literacy

The results of Standard and Poor?s global financial literacy survey

The survey, entitled “Standard and Poor?s Ratings Services Global Financial Literary Service” was based on five basic questions. These questions were asked of 150,000 adults in over 140 countries across the globe. Sad to say, two thirds of the people who took the survey failed to pass the literacy test at the most basic level of financial understanding.??

According to the survey, the countries that recorded the highest levels of financial literacy were the adult populations in:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

In each of the above-mentioned countries approximately 65% or above of adult nationals were deemed to be financially literate in terms of the standards of the test. At the other end of the scale it was the countries of South Asia that had populations where financial literacy scores were lowest, where only approximately 25% or less of adult populations were found to be financially literate. The countries recording the lowest results were:

  • Cambodia
  • The Philippines
  • Vietnam

In terms of countries regarded as having emerging economies, it was the group of countries known as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) which recorded results of an average of 28% of adults being financially literate across the board. At the bottom end of the scale was India with 24%, while South Africa were at the top end of the scale, showing 42%.

The cost of financial ignorance

The survey also helps to explain why it is that financial literacy is such an important skill to have, especially in developing countries. The truth of the matter is that financial ignorance bears with it significant costs. Consumers who do not understand the concept of interest tend to accrue larger debts and as a result incur higher rates of interest on loans. This same bracket of people also ends up borrowing more money and conversely, saving less.

Wonga are determined to promote improved financial awareness. The payday loans that they make available for people are great products. They help people to meet unexpected bills and help to carry them over a financial emergency, but only when borrowers fully understand their financial commitments and obligations. Borrowing money that cannot be repaid, or at best, that borrowers will struggle to repay, is folly.

Test yourself

If you?re interested in finding out how you would rate in the Global Financial Literacy test, follow this link and put yourself to the test.

It is only by improving financial literacy that we can help people to minimise debt and improve their financial health and well-being.

12 Tips to Keep Your Finances in Check Each Month of the Year

12 Tips to Keep Your Finances in Check Each Month of the YearYour finances should be managed and reviewed each month of the year. This will keep your budget, investments, and savings, healthy and up-to-date.

Follow these 12 tips to keep your finances in check each month of the year.

January: Focus on Your Goals

With the start of a new year likely comes new financial aspirations. Review the goals you achieved in the previous year and make a point to set new financial goals for the coming one. Furthermore, be sure to evaluate where you stand with any long-term goals as well.

February: Tax Preparation

Tax season is on the horizon come February. In order to give yourself, and your tax preparer, plenty of time, use this month to gather all tax documents, review deductions, and begin preparing your finances to pay taxes.

March: Spring Cleaning

With subscriptions abundant, it can be difficult to keep track of everything you pay for. Come March, review all of your monthly and recurring subscriptions and clean house. Get rid of the unnecessary and only keep what you truly use.

April: Create Tax Folders

As taxes get sent in to the IRS, now is a great time to keep yourself organized for next year. Create appropriate folders, electronic or paper, and organize all documents and forms from this year so you?re not scrambling in the year to come.

May: Focus on Saving

Saving is a vital part of keeping yourself financially healthy. Commit at least one month to focus more on savings and less on spending. With the start of a new season, May is a great time to reign your finances in and replenish savings.

June: Review Your Credit Score

While you shouldn?t check this on a daily basis, you should keep track of your credit score. Set a specific month or so to check you score and ensure you?re still in good credit standing. If not, you can use this as a jumping off point to improve it.

July: Evaluate Debt

Although you should keep track of your debt regularly, take the opportunity in July to reevaluate what you still owe. See if you can consolidate any debt and possibly reorganize your debt priorities so you know you?re paying off the one with the highest interest first.

August: Review Your Budget

Your budget shouldn?t stay static. Use August to do a complete revaluation and ensure each category is still applicable and that the amounts in varying categories still make sense. If not, shift some costs and values accordingly.

September: Evaluate Investments

Like expenses, some investments come and go. Come September review your portfolio and the previous years earnings. Decide if certain investments are still right for you and whether or not you should reallocate funds.

October: Set Limits

With the holidays coming up, now is the time to set aside a portion of your budget for holiday expenses. Set financial limits now to keep yourself in check during these extravagant months. At the start of the new year, you?ll be glad you don?t have extra debt.

November: Max Out Contributions

As the year begins to commence, now is the time to max out any retirement, investment, or health savings plan contributions you can and make the most of your financial savings.

December: Yearly Review

Before the start of another year review and examine all of your financial costs, savings, and investments from the previous year. See what went well and was beneficial and where you can make adjustments in the coming year.


Do you set aside time each month to review your finances? What steps do you take each month?


Photo courtesy of: kaboompics

4 Crazy Money Superstitions You Shouldn?t Believe

Four Crazy Money Superstitions You Shouldn?t Believe

Four Crazy Money Superstitions You Shouldn?t BelieveThere?s no telling how certain myths and various tidbits of wisdom get passed down. Unfortunately, when they do, they have a tendency to stick around even if they aren?t or are no longer true.?When it comes to your finances, there?s an array of money superstitions out there that you might follow, even though they are untrue or have become misconstrued over the years. Especially when it comes to your money, the last thing you want to do is follow the wrong advice.

Whether or not you know you adhere to certain money superstitions and myths, take a look at these four you shouldn?t believe. They may make you consider adjusting your habits.

1. Keeping a Balance on Your Credit Card Helps Your Score

Don’t fall for this money superstition. You in no way need to or should keep a constant balance on your credit card. While using your credit card regularly can help your credit score, it only does so if you?re able to pay it off in full each month.

A balance will just accrue interest, which only benefits credit card companies. If you keep using your card for occasional or smaller purchases, then a zero balance is perfectly fine to keep.

2. If You Can Afford the Monthly Payment, You Can Buy It

More often than not, we get the idea that as long as we can afford the monthly payment, then we can have whatever we want, even if you could never purchase the item in-full in one setting.

Whether it?s a house, car, furniture, or appliance, you should always consider the total cost of something, not just the monthly amount. Paying an item off monthly, as opposed to outright, simply means that you have less money for longer to put towards other financial goals.

3. Your Credit Card is Your Emergency Fund

For some, a credit card is their answer to a lack of an emergency fund. They figure so long as their limit is high, they can use credit to pay off larger expenses.

Unfortunately, using that card for emergencies simply means you?ll have debt to pay off in the long-run. Having a stable emergency fund, however, enables you to pay off those surprise expenses in the beginning.

This can save you from having money tied up in debt and interest, and giving you the opportunity to put future income towards a new emergency or savings fund and other important goals.

4. You Can Do Everything Yourself

We all have our area of expertise, which is why there are those that choose to specifically work in finances. Even if you?re someone who?s good with numbers and money, there are times when you should seek professional advice.

Whether it?s with taxes, investments, or even basic management, sometimes getting another and expert opinion can make all the difference.

Simply because most people believe something to be true, doesn?t mean you should jump on the bandwagon. Most people no doubt have their opinions on how best to handle finances. Because of that, certain myths and money superstitions have become long-held.

Of course not every popular opinion is for your benefit. Thus, you need to avoid these four money myths and do your homework before following others.


What are some money myths you have found to be true? Have you fallen for any of these money superstitions?


Photo courtesy of: Designer-Obst

3 Ways to Make Money Management Fun

3 Ways to Make Money Management Fun

3 Ways to Make Money Management FunNo matter how much money you make, have, invest or save, one thing is always true, you must establish proper money management habits and practices.

After all, you could have all the money in the world and blow it due to lack of wise management. That being said, figuring out how to organize your finances on your own isn’t always an easy or invigorating task.

Like most, finances probably isn’t your passion or area of expertise, which no doubt causes you to dread any amount of time you have to dedicate to the subject. Managing your finances might be something you have to do, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

Here are three ways to make money management fun.?

1. Utilize Apps

More likely than not, you use your phone for just about everything, especially since developers have created an app for a wide array of categories. Well, finances are no different.

There’s a number of apps available that can not only help you manage your finances but can help you do so in a way that’s actually fun. Apps like Digit cleverly find ways to transfer a little here and there to help you save.

Others like Toshl are fun, monster-filled app and site that can help you with your budget and bills. There’s no shortage of programs to help you keep your finances in check without making it feel like work.?

2. Make It a Game

Anytime you have a task that’s less than entertaining, it always helps to turn it into a game or competition. Ergo, turning your finances into a game can be a great way to make money management fun.

Have a competition with family or friends to see who can save the most or stick to their budget. Or, see who can go the longest without spending money on some wants like takeout or a new top. Or, use an app like Prosper Daily to compete against your last month’s budget.

However, you choose to do so, find creative ways to make your finances seem like a game you want to win.?

3. Get Creative

Create colorful boards and charts to represent your goals or financial needs and habits. By infusing a little creativity and color into the items you need to keep track of, you’ll be more prone to actually work on them and keep your finances organized.

It may sound simple, but you’d be surprised what a little color can do. Moreover, find different ways help yourself work towards your goals, like creating a Pinterest board that represents what you’re saving towards. Or reward yourself with a little something special when you reach a milestone.

By doing so, you’ll want to manage your money and keep working towards your goal because you’ll get excited about the reward that awaits.

For most of us, money isn’t the most riveting of topics. Of course, whether it’s our favorite subject or not, it’s important to keep track of and properly manage your finances. Still, organizing your financial life doesn’t have to be as drab as you’d imagine. Get a little creative, make it fun, and you just might look forward to the time you spend doing so.?

How do you make money management fun? What are little rewards that you’ve found keep you working towards your goal?


Photo courtesy of: Kyle Sterk

3 Ways to Help Family Members Invest

Help Family Members Invest

Help Family Members InvestWhen it comes to investing, some of us are simply better at it than others. Figuring out which companies or organizations you want to put your money into and knowing how much risk to take, is no easy task.

This is especially the case if your background in investing is slim to none.

That being said, if you’re someone who just so happens to be a savvy investor, you might find family and friends flocking to you for advice. While you might be happy to help, taking someone else’s money in your own hands is a heady thing, and might be more responsibility than you want.

Instead of taking the reins solo, consider trying to help family members invest in these three ways.

1. Give the Gift of Stock

There may be risks you’re willing to take with your own money, but not necessarily ones you want to take with some else’s income. So, instead of actually doing investing your family members’ money, why not gift your family members stock?

Help them get started by giving them Stockpile gift cards as presents, which requires no money from them. This way, they can get their start in investing without actually putting forth their own money. Plus, it’s easier than actually investing their money since it won’t require you to acquire all their personal information.

You can also give Stockpile gift cards to children under 18 to help family members invest from a young age.

2. Help Them Strategize

Investing has a lot to do with strategy and diversification. However, if you’re new to the game, knowing how much money to put in certain stocks vs. others, or knowing how much money to risk vs. how much to play safe, can just get confusing.

As someone who knows the world of investing though, you can help your family members come up with a strategy to do just that. Assist them in coming up with a plan for how much of their total income they’ll invest and help them find stocks they think are worth investing in, then together you can decided what to risk or not risk.

3. Assist Them as an Experienced Investor

Like helping them create a strategy, the best thing you can do when helping your family members invest, is to be their investment resource. As a seasoned veteran, you can help them learn the ins and outs and assist them in understanding the terms and ideas they might not be aware of yet.

Show them how to look up their stocks and view their portfolios. Help them figure out how to do a trade. Or, show them where they can find all the business, financial and investment resources and information they might need.

In other words, simply help them get acquainted with a world that might not be known to them.

Dealing with other people’s money, even those closest to you, can feel like a lot of responsibility. After all, you’d hate to leave someone in a bind because of something you invested them in.

You don’t have to actually do the investing for them to help. Instead, follow these three tips and find ways to assist them and get them started on their own investment path.


What are some investment resources you’ve found helpful for beginners? Have you done anything to help family members invest?


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