How youth deal with financial obstacles and manage money better

By Athenkosi Sawutana

June is the month when we traditionally shout out to the youth of South Africa. However, with youth unemployment at close to 75%, it can seem as though there is little to celebrate this Youth Month, and Youth Day.

We recently spoke with some young South Africans, and we found, remarkably, that they are still paying their bills, saving for their future, and building up their wealth. 

To hear what they had to say watch this video. Some of the questions we asked, and their answers, are below.

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What is the biggest financial stumbling block for South African youth?

Materialism is one of the biggest challenges that the youth are facing, according to 25-year-old Mishi-Aal de Kock. He says youth are obsessed with expensive clothing and smartphone brands, and will become indebted in order to have these.

Lack of financial education and social media influence were identified as issues by Waseem Ismail, aged 29. Ismail says the financial advice that youth get from social media does not come from qualified experts, and it can cause confusion.

31-year-old Rick Harrison’s view is that choice overload is a critical problem. South African youth have a plethora of options available, but they don’t know what to do with them.

The sooner you learn these habits, the better

Louwna van Wyk, aged 26, says she wishes she had started saving and budgeting earlier and learnt about the different youth savings accounts that would help her maximise her interest and save on fees.

Had he known a way of achieving it, Rueben Vester, aged 22, would have been disciplined enough to stick to his goals and avoid all kinds of debt.

Deals influence decisions

“I’m very cheap. I’ll go to a store where I’ll look for the 2-for-1 deals,” says de Kock. I spend my money wisely. Before, I would spend it recklessly.

Not impulsive buyers

Sharmaine Chihuri, aged 32, says she is a cautious buyer. She tends to weigh up her options before she makes her purchase.

On instant gratification

Ramokebe Thamange, aged 24, notes,You can make impulsive decisions and it does affect your finances, especially young people. We spend our money on what we enjoy and not think about the consequences of our actions. We’re living in the now,” he says.

Are youth in control of their finances?

To a certain degree, says 24-year-old Kendra Nielsen. Being a commission earner, she says it’s hard to predict how the month is going to go, but she does plan ahead to the greatest possible extent.

Also read: Kids say the darndest things – about money. How can you help them?

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