Sentiment for the economic climate in 2009 would appear bleak if results of a recent online poll are anything to go by. Justmoney.co.za asked its users the question "What can we expect from the local economy in 2009?" and only 22% of respondents answered that things would be on the up in 2009.
"The results show that South Africans are wary of the year ahead, with 56% of people saying that things would remain as tight as last year or become even worse." said Justmoney's Andy Gilder.
"While nearly a quarter of the people quizzed said they had no idea what to expect from 2009, the clear majority said they felt things would remain as tight or become even worse. Just 22% said they thought things would improve."
When asked the question "What can we expect from the local economy in 2009?" respondents were split almost evenly between the four choices, but the sentiment was clearly negative:
· 30% - Much of the same, we'll keep feeling the squeeze
· 26% - A big downturn - things are going to get worse
· 22% - Improvement - 2009 will be easier on the finances
· 22% - Who knows? You can't predict anything anymore
"The trend for the start of the year has shown a sharp increase in applications for personal loans and credit cards and it would suggest that people are looking for money to cover their debts and holiday indulgences."
Gilder advises that if people wanted to improve their own financial situations for 2009, they should draw up a budget and stick to it.
"If they haven't already done so, people should draw up a budget for 2009. More importantly however, they should remain within the confines of this budget and become proactive in seeing where they could be saving money. With the aid of the internet, it is very easy to compare insurance and medical aid quotes, so go online and compare the costs of these expenses and see whether you could be saving any money every month."
Andy Gilder represents Justmoney.co.za, South Africa's online guide to money, where users can compare prices of financial services and apply for the best deals on the South African market.