Windhoek-According to the Financial Literacy Initiative (FLI), 89% of salaries is used to service debt in Namibia; and 51% of Namibians are financially literate, while a mere 32% implement knowledge of financial literacy.
The FLI is a national platform aimed at enhancing financial education for individuals, and micro, small and medium sized enterprises. As one of the FLI’s long standing platform supporters, Standard Bank tirelessly works on improving the financial competencies of all Namibians, one of the ways being through alleviating debt, thereby creating conditions for financial wellness.
“Most of the times Namibians spend more than what they earn resulting in unnecessary debt and worry. Standard Bank through its Workplace Banking programme would like to encourage people to spend within their means and earnings especially in this trying economic climate.
“The best way to do so is to eliminate whatever debt you have accumulated through the years so you can start off on a clean slate,” Standard Bank’s workplace banking manager Cicelia Hagen-Cloete advised.
Through workplace banking, Standard Bank consultants visit employees at their workplace and arm them with the tools to reach their financial goals through educating them on a range of topics, such as financial planning, budgeting, saving through investments, wills and estate planning, as well as day-to-day banking.
Hagen-Cloete stressed that it is easy for debt-free people to take control of personal finances, allowing them to experience a strong sense of wellness and health, focus on their work and be more productive.
“The first step towards eliminating debt is by a conscious decision to stop adding to your debt. The more you pile onto that dirt, the harder it is to get rid of it. Sometimes it may seem like a good idea to get a loan to help you pay off some debt however that can only worsen your situation,” she explained.
“You need to cut down on spending, and if need be, become frugal in your spending. The less you spend, the more money you have. This excess money should be used for paying off your debt. Another tip to get rid of debt is to create an emergency fund. This comes in handy when you have to spend money you have not budgeted for or do not have. It keeps you from having to borrow more money in case of an emergency,” she noted.
Another way to rid oneself of debt that people often overlook is finding additional sources of income. This additional income will allow you to pay off your debts, and is beneficial in the long run, because it allows you to have excess funds, eliminating the need for debt, Hagen-Cloete also said.