How to boost your emergency savings with Greenbacks

Spreading your emergency fund over a range of investment accounts makes sense. You can keep a portion that will be available immediately in a crisis, but the bulk can go into an account that locks it away for longer. You can then earn higher interest, and your money keeps growing in spite of inflation.

Structured Saver is a rewards package linked to certain Nedbank investment products. You can use Structured Saver to manage your emergency fund more effectively in any of the following accounts: 32Day Notice Account, Electronic 32Day Notice Account, JustInvest, PlatinumInvest or MoneyTrader. 

Bear in mind that access to Structured Saver is available only through the our Greenbacks rewards programme on those accounts, so make sure you’re signed up to Greenbacks to get the benefit.

Why have an emergency fund?

As the name suggests, an emergency fund is there to help you in time of crisis. You can set your own rules on what counts as an emergency and when the money can be used – and especially what it shouldn’t be used for. Instant gratification, for example, is a no-no.

How much should you save? A good rule of thumb is to save enough to cover your household expenses for a set number of months. If you don’t have a high cost of living or many financial commitments, then savings to cover yourself for 3 to 4 months is a decent goal. Those with higher levels of debt like a home loan, and family commitments like school fees, might want to build a bigger cushion of 6 months’ costs to feel safe.

Use Structured Saver to meet your goals

Structured Saver is the ideal way to save for your emergency fund, because you can opt into the package and manage your investments using the Money app. The only requirement is that you’re an active Greenbacks member. If you’re already a client and you haven’t signed up for Greenbacks yet, it’s really simple.

You can apply to open any of the above accounts on the Money app, via Online Banking, or by calling 0860 555 111. You can then set up recurring transfers from your bank account to your investment account.

If you’re not yet a client, you can open an account in-branch or online, and then join Greenbacks to start earning rewards points. You earn Greenbacks based on how you manage your money, and you get access to exclusive packages like Structured Saver. This is a stand-alone package that you can activate on Greenbacks at no extra cost, which lets you link any of your existing investment accounts mentioned above.

Ideal for your emergency savings

Structured Saver is ideal for your emergency fund, because the transfer is seamless and automatic. This helps to build your savings habit – your money is safely locked away before you have a chance to buy things you want, but don’t really need.

The Greenbacks programme boosts your contributions, because you can convert Greenbacks you’ve earned into a monetary value and deposit them into your investment accounts. 

Most importantly for an emergency fund, you can draw your savings with 24 hours’ notice on all those accounts, except the 32Day Notice Account. This lets you keep most of your emergency fund in the 32Day Notice Account at a better interest rate, because you only need to keep one month’s expenses in accounts that are immediately available but have lower returns.

These investment options make it simple to grow your money while building yourself a safety net against future financial shocks. Stop orders and other automatic payment options help you keep up the discipline, no matter how much you can afford to save. Even if it’s as little as R100 a month, keeping up the habit is key. Over time, consistent deposits and compound interest will grow your money into a secure emergency fund.