Somebody once told me that saving is like exercising: we know that we need to do it regularly to stay healthy, but very few of us get into the habit.
What’s interesting is that at first look it doesn’t seem like saving should be difficult today, especially with the technologies and financial education now widely available to everyone. There’s always a financial literacy talk or event going on. There are multiple budgeting apps, e-compare platforms, and deal sites available for us to maximize. And it seems that financial advisors and wealth coaches are everywhere!
Why then, after all the time, money, and energy poured into improving the financial well-being of people, is the savings and investment rate abysmally low?
Something doesn’t compute.
More than Literacy
Many people think that the way to better financial well-being is through financial literacy. While financial literacy is better than financial ignorance, knowing is still incomplete. How many of us know we should exercise? How many of us know we should eat healthily? How many of us know we should rest more? How many of us know we should quit our favorite vice?
How many of us actually do any of the things we know we should do?
I know I struggle many times with doing the things I know are good for me.
Now that we know that we need to save, actually we’ve known this is nothing new at all, we need to think of more intelligent ways to actually save. We need to combine knowing with doing.
More than Self-Control
After literacy, another thing people rely on too much is their own “self-control”. Self-control is super important. Don’t get me wrong. But how strong, really, is our ability to withstand the billion-dollar efforts of marketing to get us to spend?
If you google “savings app”, or “budget app”, you’ll get a little over 1 million search results combined. That may seem like a lot, until…
…Until you search for “shop online”, which will get you over 14.5 billion results.
That’s 14500x more search results that invite you to spend than save!
Now think about this: when Boomers were tempted to spend outside of the budget back in the day, they only had to exercise self-restraint while inside the mall. Whereas in today’s all-access, anytime, anywhere, on-demand world, the “mall” can follow you home—on your phone!
Should we still think that saving is just a matter of mustering self-control, and attending more financial seminars?
Outsmart the Barriers.
Almost everyone I know, including my most self-disciplined friends, have a hard time saving. And if you think about how very few hard-working Filipinos have accident or medical coverage to keep them from touching their savings in case of an emergency, the situation is worse.
It’s hard enough to protect our finances from our own overspending. When you add life’s surprises, it becomes almost impossible.
This is why we developed Access Levels, an intelligent and rewarding way to save. It’s designed to make anyone who wants to save, grow and protect it in an easy and methodical way. The idea is simple: save automatically, protect your savings, and make it grow.
Access levels look like this:
Level 1: Save and protect yourself from an emergency.
Level 2: Invest and grow your savings.
Level 3: Insure and protect your family.
There are more “Levels” coming up, and they’re all designed to progress you through your financial goals.
Since Access users get access to discounted items and low-interest loans, the savings from these transactions can automatically be funneled into a savings wallet, which in turn users can use to access products and services to help them progress through the different Access Levels further.
For example, imagine that you needed to take out a loan and that by getting this from Bridge Access you saved at least P1500. What can you do with that savings? Get to Level 1.
Here’s how: With that cash, you can purchase prepaid emergency coverage on Access for a one-time payment of P549, and save the rest. And just like that, you won’t have to touch your savings the next time you have an emergency medical expense, and second, you’ve got a seed of P951 in savings to start. Not bad, and all that by making a transaction on Access.
You can take this further and put some of that into an investment on Access, which you can start for as little as P500. You’re now at Level 2, and you’re now officially an investor!
Every single transaction on Access helps you save automatically. For instance, imagine purchasing vouchers that give you back 10% of what you spent into that savings wallet. Just like that, you’ve added to your savings, and you’re on your way to getting to the next Access Levels.
We’ll Do Our Part, But You Have to Do Yours
At Bridge, we’ve been talking about the idea of Financial Escape Velocity, that it’s possible for people to get to a point where financial forces, such as compounding interest, work for them. But for us to really be able to do this, we must put ourselves in a position where our savings are outgrowing our spending. You cannot expect to build your resources while spending them away.
We’re excited to partner with our users in helping them make their financial dreams come true. We’re fully committed to helping them generate savings through lower interest rates, discounts, and flexible payment options. Most of all, we want to help people accumulate savings. We don’t want to be like other lending companies that encourage a lifestyle of borrowing, nor online stores that encourage nonstop spending.
I have no doubt that together we can achieve your financial goals, but that’s going to be a joint effort. You need to do your part.
Don’t know how to get started? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to help you.
Wondering how much this is going to cost you? It won’t cost you anything. Our goal is to save you, not charge you.
Wondering why we’re doing this? We’re doing this because we truly believe that everyone could use Access.