How to Encourage Saving Habits

Marina Joseph – Art in Tanzania Internship

Setting money aside for savings, like so many other things in life, is a habit that must be created. You should do all you can to foster a savings habit if you want to see your savings rise. Instead of being a burden, putting money away can become a way of life. If you’re having trouble getting into the habit of saving, try the following methods or approaches to stay motivated:

saving money

Begin small: To inspire non-savers to begin saving, it is critical to question any misconceptions that might be holding them back, such as the notion that saving is too difficult or that they must make significant sacrifices to make it worthwhile. Starting small (by establishing short-term objectives and defining practical lifestyle changes) makes saving feel possible, builds trust, and feels ‘easy.’

Show progress toward a target: Having a specific and concrete goal, as well as a strategy for achieving it, gives people something to concentrate on, and research shows that as these goals are reached, savings patterns will form.

Reward yourself for completing small milestones: Depending on the duration of your target, you will reward yourself at various milestones. This allows you to monitor your progress and keeps you motivated to keep saving. These incentives should be enjoyable activities that you would not usually do but are still small and reasonable. It might be a day off (if you can take one), a picnic in the park, dinner at a nicer restaurant than normal, or some other fun activity. Only don’t spend all of your money while you’re enjoying your tiny reward.

Make it social: research from other industries shows that sharing commitment devices with friends and family will help people stick to their goals (typically via social media.) Commitment contracts go a step further, imposing a penalty if you don’t keep your word – but these strategies have yet to be proven in terms of saving behavior. Similarly, studies have shown that saving with friends and family is more motivational.

Form a habit: research shows that once savings habits are formed, they are more likely to be sustained, and that among ‘rainy-day savers,’ the savings habits they acquired as children are carried over into adulthood and become self-reinforcing.

Automate your savings: Setting up an automated system of moving your money around is one of the simplest ways to get into the habit of saving. Whether you have money from your paycheck automatically deposited into a savings account (including a retirement account) or you do an automatic transfer each month, getting your savings transferred around automatically will help you change your lifestyle to what you end up as take home pay

View saving as a game, not a chore: framing saving as a challenge makes it more appealing and counters the belief that it is too difficult or tiresome to think about. This is partly due to a lack of financial expertise in identifying practical ways to cut costs and save money.

Provide information and personalize it: information must be pitched at the appropriate level to avoid being patronizing.

People want to see simple and relevant advice: anything that ‘people like me’ can do

Indoor Air Pollution

What is indoor air pollution?

            Indoor air pollution is when the condition of air surrounding building settings both inside and out is detrimental to the health of living beings. It is especially dangerous in comparison to outdoor air pollution because of how confined the space is within a building as opposed to the space outside.

            Some of the causes of indoor air pollution are a result of the materials used to construct the building, practices followed in and around the building, and natural contaminants. Asbestos can be found in roofing panels and shingles, insulation materials, water supply lines, and cement pipes. Formaldehyde can be found in wood products, press fabrics, glues, paints, pesticides, cosmetics, and detergents. Radon gas can be found within the ground beneath homes and slip in through any cracks or openings in the home. Tobacco smoke can accumulate if smoking is done around or within the home. Biological pollutants such as bacteria, mold and animal dander can enter the home from outside. Appliances such as stoves and heaters can release carbon monoxide and nitrogen monoxide.

            Asbestos is a material that is harmful to health and has been made illegal to use as a building material in many countries. Formaldehyde will gather within a home if there is no proper ventilation. Radon gas can leak into homes if the gas in the ground is not removed or reduced. Tobacco smoke will increase if continued smoking is done inside or around the home. Biological pollutants grow if the environment in the home has damp or humid areas. Appliances that are used without proper ventilation can cause more harmful gases to reside within the home.

What are other household pollutants?

            Charcoal is often used for cooking and heating because of its availability and modest price. Without proper ventilation smoke from charcoal that stays trapped in the homes causes harm to the residents in the building. Organic waste and poor sewage treatment are more biological pollutants that are often improperly left within and around the homes releasing many harmful gases into the air. Along with a lack of practical toilets, the buildup of waste makes the increase of indoor air pollution more potent.  

What does it affect?

            The main complications that arise from indoor air pollution is the effect it has on human health as those areas inside and outside the buildings become a very unsafe environment to live in. Both short term and long-term illnesses can develop due to indoor air pollutants. Eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue are some of the more milder health issues. Long-term illnesses include respiratory diseases such as asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart conditions such as angina, arrythmia, heart attacks, heart failure and hypertension, and cancer. Pneumonia, stroke, ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer can become fatal health risks.

            The ones most affected are usually women and young children who spend more time in and around their homes. Older adults, people with existing heart conditions, and those with breathing/lung problems and illnesses are also at risk.

            Different instruments for cooking, heating, and lighting are powered using kerosene, biomass, coal, and charcoal. To collect some of these materials, it exhausts a lot of time especially for women and children. This takes away time that could be spent to work or attend school. Individuals can become injured from gathering the fuel and can develop musculoskeletal damage. Safety can become a big issue as kerosene can be accidently consumed and often results in childhood poisoning. Severe burns can also occur. A lot of the black carbon and methane released from these instruments can contribute to climate change pollutants.

What are some solutions?

            Eco-friendly stoves are one way to reduce emissions of gases if alternative methods to burning wood or charcoal are applied. Solar power and other natural fuel sources like biomass, volcanic rocks and briquettes can be used. These energy sources are sustainable as they last for a long time and do not emit the harmful gases that contribute to air pollution. Solar panels can be installed and hooked up to the stove to supply energy. Solar energy is a large potential power source as the geographical location increases the amount of sunlight that can be captured. Volcanic rocks can be heated up and then used. These rocks can be reused for up to two years. Briquettes are made from dried pruned branches that are then carbonized and combined with a natural binder. The briquettes produce low carbon emissions.

            Heating is usually done with traditional fireplaces that typically require coal, charcoal, or wood. A more ecofriendly alternative that will not emit those harmful pollutants is an electric fireplace. Smoke which contains carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, two very harmful gases, will no longer be released. These fireplaces are more effective at heating up the home as chimneys and specialized vents aren’t needed. The heat cannot escape from the homes through those spots, which normally occurs in traditional fireplaces. LED bulbs are used which drains less electricity comparatively to standard bulbs and can last up to 50,000 hours. These fireplaces can be positioned in any room in the house and demands little maintenance.

            Proper ventilation and air circulation allow gas buildup to leave the home and biological pollutants to not accumulate. Many household gases can be harmful as appliances that require the burning of materials to run release a lot of gases. Some of the chemicals in the house from the framework and structure of the building also release gases that do not leave the home. With proper ventilation using ducts, pipes and placing items within the home in certain locations, reduces the stockpiling of gases. Interior doors should be left open, and furniture should be kept away from outside walls. Humidity and dampness can also lessen as this limits the creation of a habitat for more biological pollutants to grow.

            Composting organic waste is one way to prevent harmful gases from transpiring in your home. Dry composting toilets take human waste and turns it into compost. This eliminates the need to have a sewage system as proper or lack thereof of such systems has greatly minimized appropriate sanitation methods and organic waste disposable. Other organic waste such as food scraps can also be composted in green bins.   

What will be impacted?

            Shrinking and possibly eliminating indoor air pollution with these potential solutions means that the risks will no longer be present. The health of the residents is severely impacted and if the pollution were to decrease, the improvement in their health will allow them to live much more comfortable and longer lives. They will be able to pursue education and work to further enhance their futures. 

References:

https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/introduction-indoor-air-quality#:~:text=Indoor%20pollution%20sources%20that%20release,pollutants%20out%20of%20the%20area.

https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-and-effects-of-indoor-air-pollution.php

https://www.afro.who.int/news/asbestos-use-continues-africa-despite-severe-health-warnings

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/formaldehyde/home/index.html

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/charcoal-africa-power-good-bad/

https://www.epa.gov/report-environment/indoor-air-quality#:~:text=Health%20effects%20associated%20with%20indoor,%2C%20heart%20disease%2C%20and%20cancer.

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/household-air-pollution-and-health

https://www.springwise.com/flatpack-solar-powered-biofuel-stove-africa-save-lives/

https://www.cnn.com/2015/01/30/africa/eco-stove-kampala-sustainable-cooking

https://www.dlapiper.com/en/uk/insights/publications/2019/11/africa-connected-issue-3/the-rise-of-alternative-energy-sources-in-africa/

https://www.africangreenrevolution.com/homes-in-african-are-adopting-energy-efficient-design-elements/

How online payment can save you time and money and its meaningfulness for the rural people

By Marina Joseph – Art in Tanzania Internship

Digital payment sometimes called electronic payment refers to payments that are conducted over the internet and mobile channels and hence, any payment that is sent online or through mobile computing and internet-enabled devices can be called such. And with a number of cultural, societal, and technological worldwide trends intersecting, we’re now seeing the demand for electronic payments increase. Digital payments offer significant benefits to individuals, companies, governments, or international development organizations. The benefits of going digital include:

  • The need to handle cash is greatly reduced 
  • More hygienic
  • Transparency and security by enhancing traceability and accountability, reducing corruption and theft as a result.  
  • Financial inclusion by increasing access to a range of financial services, including savings accounts, credit, and insurance products
  • Saves time
  • Saves money

We will focus on the last two benefits for this post

  1. Saves time

Valuable time is saved as customers simply swipe or tap to pay. No more digging through wallets or purses looking for coins – and moreover sellers don’t need to count out the correct change when someone pays for a low-value item with a large note. Searching for small notes, counting out exact change, and writing checks require more time and energy. Paying via card, contactless, mobile wallet, or wearable device is almost always faster than using cash. Customers could use that time to have a conversation with your staff, enroll in your loyalty program, or give your company a good review online.

  • Saves money

There are no additional charges when accepting contactless payments once acceptance of chip and PIN is completed. You’ll simply pay the same as you would for regular card transactions. There are plenty of packages out there to cater for businesses of all sizes, budgets, and transaction volumes. While some are hesitant to switch over for fear of fees, the Visa data showed that processing digital payments was 57 percent less expensive than non-digital payments once fees and labor costs are accounted for. Expenses related to fraud also cost less with digital payment

MEANINGFULNESS OF ONLINE PAYMENT TO RURAL COMMUNITIES

Digital payments expansion to rural customers or areas has been a challenge for financial services providers in developing countries. However, such institutions are motivated and willing to go through it because of what it will mean to rural communities. This is because when such services expand to rural and remote areas there is promise for development and growth in several ways. 

The following is the meaningfulness of online payment to rural communities.

Easier Access to Economical Facilities

People from rural areas struggle to get their wages paid and get their pension. It is even harder for them to be aware of benefit schemes they are eligible for. With mobile banking speed is achieved which solves their problems. In addition, the reduced transaction and travel is another benefit.

Mobile payment with wallet app and wireless nfc technology. Man paying and shopping with smartphone application and credit card information. Digital money transfer, banking and e commerce concept.

A Boost to Rural Businesses

Mobile banking has various aspects such as e-commerce and making instant digital transaction, once the rural population gets more comfortable with it they can use the same technology to grow their businesses. This is due to the availability of better reach and convenience

Hassle-Free Bank Accounts

The location of bank branches in rural and remote areas maybe very far away, use of digital payments helps people set up bank accounts without having to visit the actual bank branch. It helps them save the time money and energy and redirect to other activities. 

Financial Inclusion

The rural population have to travel long distances to get even the simplest of financial services. Digital payments make the availability of simply using your phone to avail a wide range of financial services. 

Internship at Art in Tanzania

By Emilia Sten and Anna Kevin DSCN6592

We are studying tourism at the University of Applied Sciences in Finland and it was time for us to have our internship. We knew that we wanted to do something out of the regular and we love travelling, so when we found the organization on our school’s list of possible internship places, we couldn’t get it out of our minds. We left the rainy Finland behind us heading for a months adventure, and it really has been one.

It took a while to get used to their “pole pole” (slow) working tempo. We got pretty free hands, but that also meant that we had to take things into our own hands. We wanted to get out as much as possible of our internship, and also see different places. After talking to some workers, we made up a plan, which everyone was happy with.

Our main task was to write stories on Art in Tanzania’s blog. This took us from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar and via Moshi back to Dar. To visit different places and talking to different people gave us a lot, and we hope we have been able to share what we learned to you on the blog. A part of our internship is also to be at the stand on the Nordic travel fair in January in Finland, so if you are around you are more than welcome to meet us there. Today is our last day, and we are amazed how much we have experienced in just a month. We are sad about leaving all the nice people behind and a bit a afraid that the real culture shock will hit us when we come home, since we didn’t have one when we arrived.

(Originally published May 5, 2014)