The Rise Of The Slasher


According to a survey recently conducted by Old Mutual, more and more South Africans are trying to keep their head above water during tough economic times by becoming ‘Slashers’ – people with more than one job or steady source of income. In a country with political instability and soaring corruption, low economic growth, a weak currency, tax increases, and credit rating downgrades, South Africans need to look at savvy saving tips, debt consolidation plans and of course increasing their revenue stream to ensure that they weather the current economic crisis.

The term ‘Slasher’ was originally coined back in 2007 and is a worldwide emerging trend for a person who opts to have more than one career to generate extra income for themselves. Thus someone could be a Marketing Manager by day, slash a Pilates instructor by night. Lynette Nicholson, Head of Research at Old Mutual, further explains that ‘Slashers’, “Like to refer to their jobs as a portfolio of jobs, which is really entrepreneurial.” She goes on to say that 24% of those surveyed had two jobs which were completely unrelated, whilst 13% had a secondary career that was related to their main career, such as someone working as a paediatric nurse who could help family and friends with their baby sleeping and weaning strategies in their spare time. Interestingly enough, Nicholson also noted that those with second jobs were not restricted by age and that she was seeing people in their 50s and 60s having a secondary source of income generated by another career such as tutoring, catering, planning events, landscaping, or even providing photography services. 63% of those surveyed said that they found it rewarding to have more than one job and enjoyed it, whilst 42% found it difficult but needed the money. Only 17% noted that it had a negative impact on their personal life.

In tough economic times like these, South Africans need to curb their reckless lending and spending practices, look at clearing their debt by seeking debt counseling and making use of consolidation loans, as well as generating additional revenue in order to boost financial stability and start saving for a secure retirement. Being a ‘Slasher’ is a good savings strategy and one that would certainly be advised by debt advice agencies. The research shows that the main motivators why ‘Slashers’ choose to have multiple careers are to support their lifestyles (55%), save for a rainy day (45%), or because they need to clear their debt (43%). Nicholson further explains that during an economic slump people seek financial security by having additional disposable income, as well as having the security to fall back on another job in case of company cutbacks or retrenchments.

This is a positive trend for South Africa as this country needs more entrepreneurs if it wants to create additional jobs and start growing its economy again. By earning multiple incomes ordinary citizens will have more money available to save for their retirement, as well as extra cash to spend at retailers which will boost a flailing retail market.

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