Pacific islanders urged to save money

More islanders in four countries of the Pacific have improved their saving attitudes and saving behaviour by between 40 to 66 per cent, a report on the impact of a financial literacy programme has found.

The report of the study on the impact of the MoneyMinded programme of the Australian New Zealand Bank in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu was released at the 5th Pacific Media Summit by Jessie Cocker, deputy governor of the National Reserve Bank of Tonga.

Results of the study show that the percentage of participants of MoneyMinded who saved regularly increased in all the four countries.

It went up by 56% for Fiji and Tonga, 44% in Samoa and 40% in Vanuatu.

Participants who saved less than FJD$25 (US$12) per week decreased by 30% in Fiji for example, while those who saved FJD$25 or more per week increased by 47%.

Those that monitored expenses closely also increased by “57%, 53%, 68% and 48% for Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu” respectively.

The study which was conducted by the University of the South Pacific also found increases in participants in all the four countries who:

  • Identified with being savers rather than spenders (47%, 66%, 64% and 52%)
  • Considered affordability before making purchases (47%, 67%, 52% and 65%)
  • Confident about making financial decisions increased by 60%, 80%, 68% and 73%
  • Organised with regard to managing their money increased by 17%, 54%, 56% and 47%
  • Able to plan ahead by 50%, 70%, 64% and 75%.

Decreases were also established in all four countries of participants of MoneyMinded who:

  • Impulsively buy things they can’t afford by 30%, 50%, 44% and 56%
  • Satisfying to spend money than to save it for the long term by 23%, 21%, 28% and 6%.

“The research confirms that MoneyMinded is making an impact and ANZ will continue to support financial literacy in the Pacific because we believe that investing our efforts in this area is important,” said ANZ’s regional executive for the Pacific Tessa Price.

ANZ’s country head in Tonga, Manoa Kamikamica and Australia’s High Commissioner to Tonga, Andrew Ford were also at the launch of the MoneyMinded report Thursday