“Save money – and money will save you” goes a Jamaican proverb. Variations of this adage exist in countless languages, lauding preparedness, prudence and forethought when managing one’s finances. But the notion goes even further than money. Benjamin Franklin said as much – “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” It is probably one of the few genuinely universal life tenets.
It’s also intuitive. We all have a basic understanding of what savings – or the act of saving – are. You hold back some of what you earn, sacrificing immediate pleasures or opportunities for some future benefit. This benefit can vary from coping with the unknown and unplanned shocks that can throw one’s life into disarray, to more highly planned savings for high-cost but predictable future expenses – a wedding, pregnancy, a deposit for a house, or retirement.
Extending these benefits to more of the people who need them most is the topic of the European Microfinance Award 2020 – “Encouraging Effective & Inclusive Savings” – which is now open for applications until April 15. In over 10 editions to date, the €100,000 award has sought to shine the spotlight on organisations innovating in a particular area of inclusive finance. It’s open to providers of all categories and sizes that have demonstrated excellence, creativity and rigour in their initiatives for the vulnerable and financially excluded.