South African's have cut back on partying and going-out to eat and drink as they watch the pennies, new research by www.justmoney.co.za reveals.
According to South Africa's online guide to money, almost 40% of visitors to its website have sacrificed nights on the town in an attempt to save money. But www.justmoney.co.za also found that one in ten people have been forced to make bigger sacrifices - selling their car or another major item to make ends meet.
Paul Beadle, managing director of www.justmoney.co.za, says that the results show just how dire the economic situation is for many people. He says: "It's good to see people being more sensible with their cash, but saving money on shopping bills and nights out is not enough. South African's must realise that the only way they can get straight financially is to stop taking out credit every time they want something, but do not have the money to pay for it outright in cash.
"People have been living on credit for too long, racking up huge debts on store and credit cards, alongside borrowing to buy cars and homes. The successive interest rate hikes and soaring cost of living is obviously taking its toll."
www.justmoney.co.za asked visitors what's the biggest sacrifice you have made to save money?
- 39% said - I don't go out to eat, drink or party as often
- 26% said - I now buy cheaper groceries and other products
- 17% said - I don't buy quite so many new clothes
- 10% said - I've had to sell my car or another major item
- 8% said - None at all - I've got loads of cash!
The number of people selling major assets to save money or raise cash is also borne out by the growth of debt management enquiries to www.justmoney.co.za. Beadle explains: "People are drowning in debt, and if they cannot borrow more money, they turn to debt counselling for help. But they usually have to make some hard choices to stave off bankruptcy, and this often means selling items like TVs or audio equipment, sometimes their cars, or at worse their homes."
Beadle also warns that the decrease in consumer spending will also have a major knock-on effect on the country's economy. "Going-out and partying may be seen as a luxury we can do without," he says, "but if people aren't spending in bars, restaurants or clubs, it means that those businesses are going to start suffering financially as well."