Saving money in SA

In South Africa of late, saving has become a real problem. The rich dont save. And savings are down with everybody else.

Thats why Government and South African banks launched a new savings product, Mzansi, that encourages saving, and provides low cost banking to the masses. But the Americans have an even better way of encouraging saving – spending money. Huh?

Bank of America have launched a new product called keep the change, and thats exactly what it does. When you buy a sandwhich for $4.20 with your debit card, the bank deducts $5 from your account, and deposits the $0.80c into your savings account.

Im really hoping some of our banks catch on and offer this service here in South Africa, because I would be the first to sign up. Obviously 80c in $ is alot more than 80c in R. So we should be given the option to round up to say the next rand. So I buy a meal for R16.50, it rounds it up to R18, and deposits the R1.50 into an account of my choice, either a fixed deposit, or savings account. Some account that I cannot touch for a specified amount of time.

Another service I found was Coinstar. They have coin counting machines located countrywide, and all you do is feed all your loose change into the machine, and it prints you a Coinstar voucher which you redeem. It charges a small fee for the service, but It cant be as bad as taking your change to the bank. Taking it to the bank means putting the correct amount of the correct denomination into bank bags. Banks then charge you around 10% to take YOUR money!!

This is another product which I hope gets implemented into South Africa, especially since all our change goes to parking attendants and beggers. Save your money first, before giving it away.

Trademarked Gmail

Google have gotten into a trademark dispute over the Gmail trademark in the UK. Heres the article on BBC.

The thing I cant understand is that, if I own a domain name called gmail.com and I give away email address’s linked to that domain, how can I be sued for copyright? Google dont own the trademark for “the gmail word” in every country, so marketing it as gmail, can and has stepped on toes. But market it as googlemail and give out the gmail.com address. You own it, therefore you can do with it what you want.

A googlemail.com email address doesnt have the same ring to it as gmail, and I have a feeling that it might slow down in the UK because of it. Sad.

Google have said that both gmail and googlemail will work for your email address, so its not all doom and gloom.

Site and RSS update

Just a small note to let you know Ive fixed my RSS feeds. So you can now you can get them in your favourite format, RSS, RSS2 and ATOM! Theres still some bugs and pixels that have been lost here and there, but Im working on it. So if you do happen to find a bug, please dont squash it. Tell me about it, and Ill get the exterminator in to get rid of it.

On a side note, A very successful Clarion User Group was held last night. Read about it at Clarionusergroups.com