ASUNCION – Notions about how to apply for a loan or estimate a budget are part of the content of a new Paraguayan financial education campaign, which seeks to demolish some of the country’s long-standing myths like “saving is only for the rich” and “it’s best to keep your money under the mattress.”
Close to 90 percent of the population have never been exposed to financial education, while 86 percent don’t save money in a bank or any other institution, according to an official 2013 survey.
The study also concludes that some 42 percent of Paraguayans have no access to financial services and less than 30 percent of adults have a bank account.
In an attempt to reverse that situation, the Paraguayan government is promoting the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (ENIF), to make citizens “better informed and adequately understand how to use the financial tools they need to make the best decisions,” Adriana Insaurralde, executive secretary of the National Financial Inclusion Committee, ENIF’s management arm, told EFE.
As part of that strategy, the government is preparing the “Better That You Know” campaign to disseminate tips about managing personal finances and, with the use reason, to blow away those unhelpful money myths.
“There are myths like ‘money is for spending’ and people who say ‘I don’t need to work up a budget because I have all my accounts in my head,’” the expert said reprovingly.
Against these unhelpful beliefs, ENIF seeks to become “a tool in the fight against poverty” in a country where 22.2 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and 9.9 percent live in extreme poverty, according to official 2015 figures.