I’m Wendy (17). I live in an informal settlement in Durban. I have a great family, but money has not always been easy for us, so I learned from a young age the importance of saving. I get R50 a week to use on transport to go to school, which costs R40. This leaves me with R10. I use R5 and save the other R5. Instead of buying lunch at school, I make a lunch box. And when I see a cute outfit that I just have to have, I wait until it’s on sale before buying it.
Saving doesn’t mean we have to deny ourselves of the things we want. We just need to be creative. I also work for neighbours doing laundry and gardening.
I learned about saving from my mother. She has always encouraged me and my siblings to save money for future goals. She says you never know when you will need money for important things. She also says that once you put money away as savings, you should not use it on other things, like clothes or going to the movies.
Saving has taught me that little steps can make a huge difference. It has taught me discipline and the importance of independence, especially for us young girls. Saving my money, no matter how little, gives us freedom.
This is why I’m going to continue working hard. For now, I give the money I save to mom so she keeps it safe, but I plan on opening a bank account in the future!
I want to be independent and be able to stand on my own feet.