It is estimated that nearly R1billion is spent annually on financial education in South Africa yet household debt remains stubbornly high and savings levels are amongst the world’s worst.It’s why this Savings Month personal loans specialist, DirectAxis, is trying something different. It’s using Mzansi’s love of football as a way of engaging soccer fans about money and how to better manage it.
The seed was planted during the first lockdown when Cape Town City’s players were stuck at home. Rather than beating the lamp and coffee table for a shot at the couch or practicing their defensive skills on the laundry basket, sponsor, DirectAxis, had them line up with their cellphones and laptops for a financial fitness session.
Now, coincidentally with an Alert Level Four in place, the players are sharing some of the lessons they’ve learned with Cape Town City fans in a series of short, easy-to-follow, entertaining online and social media clips.
Called SCORE: Financial education for soccer fans the six clips cover a variety of practical money matters. From defender, Edmilson Dove’s approach to tackling financial issues head on rather than living in denial, to midfielder Mpho Makola on thinking about the month ahead as the match and your budget as the game plan.
There are clips that explain financial jargon, concepts such as compound interest, how to use credit beneficially and ways to earn additional income. They can be found here: www.directaxis.co.za/about/sponsorships/capetowncityfc
“Although it’s Savings Month and we do cover that topic, we thought it essential to broaden the scope. You can’t just tell people it’s important to save if they don’t have any money left to do so. You need to empower them by providing information such as how to budget, to differentiate between wants and needs, how to manage debt, to use compound interest to their advantage and ways to earn extra cash,” explains Shafeeqah Isaacs, DirectAxis’ head of sponsorship.
“DirectAxis embarked on uplifting the financial knowledge of the players so they can take care of the money they get and be able to finish their careers and have something to show for it,” says John Comitis, Cape Town City Chairman. “Extending this to our fans is the next logical step.”
This is not the first time that DirectAxis has tried to find more effective ways to offer financial education. Some two years ago it teamed up with gold Youth Development Agency to pilot peer-to-peer financial education programmes for gold’s peer educators, gold graduates entering the job market and Me and My Money for parents and young adults.
It hopes to share the successes of the pilot and lessons learnt across the sector in a bid to make financial education more effective.