03/20/2013 11:21 am ET

Microsavings Programs Build Wealth, Pennies At A Time

The global financial crisis has turned us into a world of savers — including the poorest people on the planet.

Elsa Ligua is one of them. As a food stall vendor in the Philippines, paying for her four children to go to college once seemed unimaginable. But Ligua scrapes together 50 cents every day to give to a savings collector who visits her home. The money is deposited in a bank account that pays interest and is insulated from the daily demands of life below the international poverty line. She hopes to have $200 squirreled away by this summer -- enough to pay at least some tuition.