South African consumer behaviour reveals latest savings trends
Saving money is all about sticking to very strict budgets, sweating while crunching numbers, and skipping out on fun to get serious about your finances, right? Well, according to South Africans it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Savings goals don’t have to equate to life becoming all work and no play.
As the high cost of living continues to rise, it is becoming ever more difficult to save and put money away. It is however interesting to note the peculiar trends that have come from South Africans during these tough times. Now more than ever, people have been forced to take a long hard look at their finances and make a conscious effort to manage their money to still make room for life’s little pleasures.
“We are noticing that people are demonstrating interesting trends when it comes to saving. The average consumer is tired of advice that forces them to completely sacrifice and live an almost miserable life to save every penny. Rather what they are telling us is that they want strategies which are relevant and are in line with the lives they want to live,” says Tlalane Ntuli, Chief Marketing Officer at Metropolitan.
Ntuli notes that savings trends which have emerged recently include:
Increased financial education to manage money
Recent Google trends data reveal that South Africans are increasingly concerned with how matters such as inflation are impacting their lives and personal finances. Consumers are now also cognisant of economic impacts of things like the volatile petrol price. “People are not only interested in when the petrol price is going up so they can fill up their cars before that happens. They are also now becoming increasingly aware of how the fuel price impacts other financial areas of their lives and in turn implement strategies to be able to cope,” says Ntuli.
Leisure time still a priority amidst tough times
“Respondents to an on-the-street survey conducted by Think Africa, agency partner of Metropolitan, revealed interesting insights regarding the importance of leisure time for South Africans,” says Ntuli. A few respondents insisted that “jolling” is still manageable during the current economic pinch. It’s all about looking for strategies which enable you to maximise the good time at minimal cost. Instead of going out on weekends for example, people have now realised that it’s more cost effective to take advantage of weekday drinks specials at local hang out spots.
Group savings are more relevant than ever
Two heads are better than one and when it comes to saving towards a common goal like grocery shopping, that power of the collective is put into action through stokvels, which remain a popular savings vehicle for South Africans.
However, the survey research highlighted some ineffective usage cases for stokvels that consumers should aim to avoid. “These include over investing in stokvels and therefore, not having any money left over for a rainy day or other forms of savings and investments,” says Ntuli.
“A popular form of stokvel in South Africa is the grocery stokvel through which consumers save enough to collectively spend on household items that every member in the stokvel needs on a monthly or annual basis. Another handy savings tip involving stokvels is that savvy South Africans are investing their stokvel savings (payout) to boost the benefits of the stokvel even further,” explains Ntuli.
Beyond not giving up what they love and simply cutting costs around these practices, South African consumers also have their own unique practices around how they choose to save. Whether that is saving earnings from their side-hustle or saving weekly (particularly popular with consumers earning inconsistently), South Africans like to find a Mzansi-way of saving that works for them and their circumstances.
Whichever way you choose to put money away, remember; saving money is like losing weight – in that, if you don’t get it right the first month don’t give up. Just continue on your own savings journey undiscouraged knowing that this journey ultimately leads to a more prosperous future and life for yourself.
To speak to a Metropolitan financial adviser about how we can help you on your savings journey, you can click here or send a WhatsApp to 0860 724 720 and type “Hi” to start the conversation.