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‘UAE Saves Week’ to help residents rise to the money challenge
Online community initiative uses social media to impart ‘saving’ lessons.
September 20, 2013 3:40 by kippreport
Often find yourself strapped for cash by the end of the month? Struggle to stick to a weekly, monthly, yearly or any kind of budget at all? Or worse still, are you dreading calls from the bank because you’ve exceeded the overdraft limit on your credit card again? Here’s something to give you the ‘finance’ check you’ve been putting off for a long time.
UAE Saves Week (UAESW), an annual community initiative taking place from 22 – 28 September, is set to get residents to adopt healthy saving habits by challenging them to undertake simple pledges on each day of the week-long event and share their experiences through social media. Developed by www.cashy.me – the Arab World’s first online bilingual platform for financial empowerment – UAE Saves Week aims to demystify the practice of saving money by breaking down saving lessons into simple, measurable, bite-sized goals.
Now in its second year, UAE Saves Week brings to the community a series of themed challenges designed to motivate and empower people to manage their finances more responsibly. Themes represent basic money-saving scenarios that are often easily understood in theory but are challenging to implement in reality. From saving a day’s wage to taking a lunchbox to work once a week to being environmentally-conscious, UAE Saves Week reintroduces people to saving habits that will ultimately lead to financially healthy lives.
This year’s event introduces a few new themes such as ‘Green Tuesday’, ‘Get out of Debt Thursday’ and ‘Stick with it Saturday’. While ‘Green Tuesday’ aims to improve awareness of the economic benefits of going green, ‘Get out of Debt Thursday’ teaches people to live within their means and drive efforts to urgently tackle debt, a pressing and growing concern in this region. ‘Stick with it Saturday’ brings the event to a close by encouraging people to take one simple pledge and sticking with it, even if it is as small as setting aside AED 1,000 in a safe box every payday.
Nima Abu-Wardeh, CEO of cashy.me and founder of UAE Saves Week said, “In the last three years of running the cashy platform, we’ve learnt that what people really need more than financial literacy is financial empowerment. There is lots of literature on the value of saving money but people don’t know where to begin. We launched UAE Saves Week to help people take the first steps towards saving money and hopefully, continue to practice those lessons for life.”
Harnessing the power of social media, UAESW requires people to use online applications such as Instagram, twitter and Facebook to share their pledges and success by posting pictures, tips and ideas with the rest of the online community. Each day of the event will also be led by a UAESW Ambassador – an individual with specific expertise, social influence and a personal financial story – who will be sharing useful content on saving money in the lead up to the event and throughout the week.
In addition to the online initiative, organisers have lined up exciting physical on-the-ground events during the week to impart ‘saving’ lessons through interactive and creative ways. Open to anyone and everyone, these events include an artist-led green workshop teaching visitors innovative ways to up-cycle home ‘waste’ into handy items and a fun picnic in the park to get together UAESW ambassadors to share inspiring ‘money’ stories.
“Money management is a challenge that doesn’t escape any of us. However, people in the UAE especially struggle to live within their means for a number of reasons including fast-paced lifestyles, peer pressure and tax-free living. The problem is further aggravated by easy access to external funds such as credit cards and bank loans. According to monthly figures released by the UAE Central Bank, an average person has less than AED10, 000 in total bank savings. Through UAE Saves Week, we aim to create a nation of healthier, happier and more financially secure individuals by helping them to make small lifestyle changes that will ultimately lead to big monetary gains,” says Nima Abu-Wardeh.
UAE Saves Week has already garnered the support of large organisations such as Emirates NBD, Air Arabia, Yahoo! Arabia, National Bonds, The Entertainer and biz-group. Organisers also plan to develop this into a corporate programme next year.
Follow @cashyME on twitter and @cashygram on Instagram for more updates on UAE Saves week. To participate, share your photos on these social media platforms using the hash tag #UAESaves.
For more information, visit www.cashy.me.