Wealth begins with the first coin in the piggy bank. What sounds like a banal commonplace is today as true as ever. Traditional forms of savings still are among the most popular in the world – partly due to the recent crisis – but the concept of saving has changed.
World Savings Day, or World Thrift Day as it was formerly called, was established by the WSBI in order to inform people all around the world about the idea of saving their money in a bank rather than keeping it under their mattress. Starting in 1925 it soon became an annual tradition in several countries going along with celebrations and campaigns to encourage savings.
The classic bank book is still in use and, due to the crisis, currently seeing a renaissance since it is considered to be the most solid form of saving. But contrary to former times savings are no longer mainly about putting away a penny from time to time and depositing it into an account. Nowadays the focus is more and more on earmarked savings such as pension or building-saving.
What is seemingly a simple idea – setting aside small sums in a savings account – actually has profound consequences on economic development and on personal financial well-being. Savings guard against risks like illness, unemployment, and other economic hardship. And they are crucial for the economy enabling banks to allow credits.
And, keeping the financial crisis in mind, savings are a sustainable way to satisfy the needs of today in a way that future generations find themselves in an environment that is socially and economically intact. Recent research has noted that, while access to micro-credit is important, access to general financial services such as savings accounts is also instrumental in alleviating poverty and stimulating economic growth.
Promoters of the World Savings Day since 1924