What you need to know:
- Almost half of adult Ugandans, which represents 46.2 percent, Bank of Uganda says, live for today as tomorrow takes care of itself.
More than half of working adult Ugandans, which represents 58.9 percent do not care how they spend their money, according to a report by Bank of Uganda (BoU).
The 27-page report, code-named Financial Capability Survey, whose findings are based on data compiled during the period ended December 2020, was published by the Central Bank on April 13. It highlights a number of issues, among which include household incomes, insurance uptake, saving and financial management, among others.
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Its findings are based on a survey conducted among 3,338 households in rural and urban arears, which is representative of 22.8 million working adults between 16 years and above.
The survey interrogated working Ugandans on a number of parameters, 58.9 per cent of which said they “do not care how they spend their money”.
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Close to half of the respondents, which represents 46.2 percent, the report further indicates, said they “live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself”.
In notes published together with the report, Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda Michael Atingi-Ego, said the Financial Capability Survey, sought to examine financial knowledge of working Ugandan, attitudes and financial behaviour, which are integral in facilitating effective financial decision making.
“This survey is timely as it provides information on several indicators … Indeed, it establishes that the level of financial capability is average, supported by good financial behaviour, although more needs to be done to improve the level of knowledge and attitude,” he said.
The report also revealed that 31.5 percent of working Ugandans “find it more satisfying to spend money than to save it for the long term” while 26.9 percent believe that “money is there to be spent”.
The report further reveals that at 33.5 percent, rural worker perform poorly in terms of financial knowledge and attitude compared to their urban peers who scored 39 percent, thus recommending that financial capability interventions directed towards improving financial attitude, need to target men and women equally, with special emphasis on rural dwellers.
In seeking to understand the findings above, experts that spoke to Daily Monitor at the weekend indicated that whereas there might be a number of factors informing the findings, loss of hope has had a big impact on how Ugandans behave in both the short and long term.
Dr Fred Muhumuza, an economist and lecturer at the School of Economics, Makarere University, said it’s not a question of attitude but resignation, noting that people have worked for years and see little change in their lives.
“It’s not that people have deliberately decided to do that but many have struggled hard and made little progress over the years. Conditions have conditioned them to live that way,” he said.
Mr Newton Buteraba, the chief executive officer of House of Wealth, a financial and business advisory firm, said the finding might be speaking to a population that has been gripped by apathy.
“Loss of hope makes people to run into apathy where they do not care and just decide to eat whatever they have or make,” he said, but also blamed the growing appetite for quick money and deal making for the findings.
Surveyed item and response
Financial confidence- 12.4 percent
Money is there to be spent- 26.9 percent
Find it more satisfying to spend money than to save it for the long term Tend to live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself- 46.2 percent
Don’t care how they spend their money- 58.9 percent