Rocky start to 2021

by | Jan 8, 2021 | Personal Finance

Consumers have had a rocky start to 2021!

On Wednesday 6 January 2021 , petrol rose to over R14/litre in Cape Town.

According to the TransUnion credit bureau’s South Africa Industry Insights Report for the third quarter of 2020, the serious delinquency rate (accounts that are three or more payments past due) for clothing accounts was 34.3%; 32.8% for non-bank personal loans; 22.4% for bank personal loans; (total personal loan delinquency rate is 55. 2%) 12.2% for credit cards; 7.8% for home loans and 7.2% for vehicle finance.

TransUnion’s Financial Hardship Survey in South Africa also showed that almost four in five (80%) consumers reported that their household income had been negatively impacted by Covid-19. The survey also showed that concerns about their ability to pay bills and loans remained high at 85%.

In a nutshell – people are struggling and will in all likelihood continue to do so.

What should the ordinary South African consumer be doing?

  • Set goals, draw up a budget and hold yourself accountable to what our have set out for yourself.
  • Track your spending on a weekly basis and track the progress with regard to your financial goals at set times throughout the year.
  • SAVE some money. Even if it’s the smallest amount. Just have something put aside for that rainy day, which undoubtedly will come.
    When your salary or wages gets paid into your account, arrange with your bank to have an automatic transfer of a certain amount go into a savings account. That way you don’t have a choice but to save something and it just becomes part of your way of life.
  • Don’t make debt for things you don’t need.
  • Don’t procrastinate on what needs to be paid/ bought. If you haven’t already bought school stationery, buy it now.
  • Get all your paperwork in order if you want to apply for a school fee exemption or SASSA grant.
  • Recycle, re-use, re-wear anything and everything that you can.
  • If your children can still fit into their school uniforms from last year – let them wear it. There is no law that says they must have new school uniforms in January.
  • Keep your credit record clean and get your credit score up. You never know when you might need an emergency loan for medical expenses, school fees etc.
  • Medicines and immune boosters are expensive – make your own from the garlic, ginger and other fresh fruit and veg we can get from our roadside hawkers.
  • Cook food and freeze leftovers.
  • Switch off your geyser and all other appliances when you are not using.
  • Saving R10 a day on electricity from switching off appliances, adds up to R300 for the month – that can go towards something else.
  • Unsubscribe from apps you don’t use and magazines you don’t read.
  • Now more than ever is the time to change your mindset around name brands. From clothing to food and appliances – buy what you can afford, not what our brand conscious society tells you to.
  • If you are tired of sitting at home waiting to get a job – then volunteer somewhere. This also counts on your CV.
  • Get a side hustle. The struggle is real – find a way of supplementing your income.
  • Support local small businesses.


Times are tough, but so are we. May 2021 be our year!

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