In our recent frugality survey (comprising 11,828 economically active South Africans) we discovered that 40% of respondents do not have any money left over after paying all their bills. This is a good measure of just how hard pressed South African consumers are right now. (We define economically active South Africans as being those who live in a household with a monthly income of R10,000 a month or more. By this definition, 30% of South Africa’s population are economically active. The remaining 70% are already living hand to mouth – arguably for them things have never been anything but terrible, and cannot possibly get worse.)
60% do have money left over after paying bills. But just how much do they have left over? Well, the answer is, not very much at all. In fact the average is only R2500 a month. There’s just not much fat in the system.
Our frugality report goes on to expose in detail just how financially stressed South Africans are going about the business of making their Rands stretch as far as possible.