SA consumers likely to splash out about R210bn this festive season

Johannesburg – Research by short-term lender Wonga has revealed that South Africans are likely to spend a mammoth R210-billion this festive season.

The results of the study show that a typical consumer will spend an average of R5 673 over this festive season, over and above their usual monthly expenses.

The study further found under half of South Africans who receive an income rely on their bonus to manage extra holiday expenses.

Bryan Smith, content manager at Wonga, said the research also showed that 47% of South Africans report that they are worse off than they were this time last year, with only 20% saying that they were in the same position financially.

“Our survey revealed that 56% of people think they’ll spend less this festive season than they did in 2019, given the severe financial impact that the pandemic has had. The 15% decrease in predicted spend overall is significant. Last year, we saw the predicted spending increase by 24% from 2018, which means that the trajectory of growth in spending year on year has been massively impacted,” said Smith.

The study further revealed that 75% of South Africans spend more than usual over the festive season, with food and drinks taking up 34% of most budgets, at an average cost of R1 909 per person. This is followed by gifts, which account for approximately 19% of festive budgets, with South Africans splurging on around R1 034 to spoil their loved ones.

Do not allow impulsive and spontaneous spending during the festive season make your January an excruciating one, said Anne-Carien du Plooy, acting manager: education & communication at the National Credit Regulator.

“If you enter January unprepared, the month will seem longer compared to other months. Avoid excessive spending with an aim of impressing friends, family or even strangers”, she cautioned.

Du Plooy gives the following tips:

If you have credit life insurance, submit a claim in the event of loss of income, retrenchment, disability or death
If you get a bonus, count yourself lucky and use it wisely to repay debt and save as you do not know what the future holds
Do not be tempted by “sales/specials”
Remember, budgeting is crucial.

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