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Saving a Sweeter Future, Today

It takes one, tiny, manageable change to form a habit“: or, with Cashy, the Arab world’s first personal finance social media platform, to change a bad habit into a good one. “UAE Saves Week” is Cashy’s initiative to change the country’s dismal savings record–in 2012, only 35% of residents saved regularlyinto a national trove of nest-eggs for the future.

Other Gulf countries fall even further short: only 29% and 26% of Qataris and Saudis are regular savers, respectively, and only 1% of them considered their savings to be “more than enough” for the future. Now in its second year, Cashy’s campaign encourages people to buck this trend, starting with “Saving Sunday”, an injunction to save that day’s wage.

Each day of the week has a clever, catchy tip, like “Pack your lunch Monday”, reminding working people that “just 50 AED a week on store-bought lunches is 2,600 AED a year wasted” on rushed meals.  “Wise up Wednesday” urges financial empowerment through self-education.

The most important lesson? Even a little change goes a long way.

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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