Most South Africans are broke by the middle of the month

16 July 2019 - 08:54 By Iavan Pijoos
The study found that 43% of South Africans borrow money to get through the rest of the month.
The study found that 43% of South Africans borrow money to get through the rest of the month.
Image: Leon Swart/123rf.com

With the cost of living climbing, most South Africans run out of money before the end of the month, a new study has revealed.

In the study, More month than money, TymeBank found that 76% of people run out of money by the 15th of every month.


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“We know that many South Africans struggle to save, but through sharing the insights from this study, we hope to help consumers take control of their money so they can work towards their goals and reach their full potential,” deputy CEO of TymeBank Tauriq Keraan said.

The study found that 43% of South Africans borrow money to get through the rest of the month.

About 9% of those who participated in the survey said they turn to banks to help them through the month, about 20% use credit cards, and 59% resort to borrowing money from family and friends.

“Turning to those close to us may seem like a viable option but the fact is our family and friends are perpetuating our predicament; as we have to keep relying on them to keep us financially afloat.

"Within African cultures this is particularly true because of black tax, where those who earn a salary are expected to share it with family members in need, until they themselves have nothing left to save or invest,” acting CEO of SA Savings Institute and director of The Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa, Gerald Mwandiambira said.

According to the study, women are hit the hardest, stating that 59% of women run out of money before the end of the month, compared to 56% of men.

Mwandiambira said over 60% of households in the country are fatherless, and more financial responsibilities are placed on mothers.

But it was also found that women are best budgeters. “With so many mouths to feed they have to make the money go further,” Mwandiambira said.

Author Sam Beckbessinger urged South Africans to start with small steps to help them save.

“It can be very overwhelming to cut back on everything at once. So start small, even if that means putting away an extra 5% here or there. These small changes can make a big difference. Getting started is the hardest part,” Beckbessinger said.

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