Most times, the hardest thing about saving money is starting out; settling on a plan, or plans, that encourages discipline and is financially rewarding often proves difficult. It can be difficult to figure out simple ways to save money and how to use your savings to pursue your financial goals.
A recent survey on saving carried out by ALAT, the first fully digital bank in Nigeria, showed that the greatest drawback to effective saving isn’t insufficient income but that many don’t know how to save while others lacked discipline.
There are several ways to learn how to save but one of the best ways is to set a goal; thinking of what you might want to save for—anything from a down payment for a house to a vacation—and then figuring out how long it might take you to save for it. You might even toss in how you could possibly source additional funds to complement your saved income for your targeted goal.
Understanding this, ALAT unveiled a feature called Goals, a bouquet of savings options that help instill discipline while rewarding you for reaching your savings milestones. Given that many have different preferences in the terms of timelines, discipline and target for savings, three categories were created—the Fixed Goal which serves those seeking a strict savings plan; Flexi Goal for those in need of a not-too-rigid plan; and Stash which caters to those seeking a rewarding short-term savings option.
Groups of friends or members of families can pull funds together and save towards a single goal using the Group Target Savings or the Rotating Group Savings popularly known as Esusu. Whichever savings category that fits your need, you are assured of a seamless automated way of saving while earning a 10 per cent annual interest – three times the standard bank rate.
Since Goals on ALAT was launched a year ago, the digital bank has helped 13,267 people save over N7 billion, with an average monthly savings of N1 billion today.
Beyond the savings and investment options, ALAT offers complementary features that help improve and sustain saving habits. You can set a monthly spend limit from the app while the card control function allows you switch off your debit cards directly from your mobile phone, helping you curb impulse spending.
Some say on ALAT, saving is as easy as spending, as it takes the pressure by making saving simple, seamless and inclusive.
ALAT, a branchless bank with apps available on Google Play, the Apple App Store and www.online.alat.ng, offers even more unique features including opening an fully functional account in minutes, instant loans and loans on goals, a virtual dollar card and up to 10% annual interest on savings.
Over 280,000 ALAT accounts have been opened since May 2017, accounting for more than N2.2 billion in deposits.