• 37% of people said: I am already drowning in too much debt
• 32% of people said: I'm worried I won't be able to make ends meet
By comparison, less than a third said they were unaffected or unworried by the current financial problems:
• 16% of people said: Things are about the same as they've always been
• 15% of people said: I have no financial problems whatsoever
www.justmoney.co.za says that although the financial problems that have hit the US, Europe and the Far East do not impact directly on South Africa and its banking structures, people in this country are still being hurt by the general economic downturn, which is only likely to get worse.
Andy Gilder, marketing manager for www.justmoney.co.za, explains: "Too many South Africans have been living beyond their means for too long, racking up levels of debt that they can no longer afford - which accounts for third of respondents to the www.justmoney.co.za poll who admitted they were drowning in debt.
"What is perhaps even more of a concern is the fact that another third of people are worried that their financial problems will worsen to the point that they won't be able to make ends meet. This means that people are still not managing their cash and their spending properly, so the likelihood of continued inflation and the threat of a global recession are all adding to their money woes."
Gilder says that consumers should take immediate action to control their debts and spending and find a solution if they are worried that they cannot make ends meet.
His tips include:
Drowning in too much debt? Talk to a debt counsellor immediately, particularly if you are behind with your debt repayments. A debt counsellor will be able to look at your entire financial situation and may be able to help your restructure your debts so that you can pay it off in an affordable monthly amount.
Worried you won't be able to make ends meet? Cut back on your spending straight away, don't take out any more loans and look at ways of reducing your debt, such as rolling your borrowing into a bigger mortgage. If you are already falling behind with your repayments, then you should also get help from a debt counsellor.
www.justmoney.co.za has been created to help South African's save money by demystifying financial services and helping them to make informed decisions about their money. Users can get information about products, but they can also contact independent advisers for help with issues such as getting a home loan, managing their debts or taking out life insurance.
Completely independent and unbiased, www.justmoney.co.za also features a host of comparisons, tools and guides, enabling people to search and apply for new products, all online and completely free of charge.