TymeBank’s “Save What Matters” survey lifts the lid on South Africans’ goals

By TymeBank - 22 September, 2021

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Saving for education, a house and creating generational wealth are priorities

Johannesburg, 23 August 2021: A TymeBank online survey of 1 585 respondents conducted in July provides insight into the aspirations of South Africans – and their ability to back those up with savings.
Respondents were asked which goals or ambitions they prioritise and why, and the extent to which they are actively saving to reach these goals.
When it comes to the things that money can buy, three aspirations are particularly important, say respondents – first education, then a house, followed by generational wealth. Given the financial difficulties many South Africans are facing, these goals are more attainable for some than for others. Amid the challenges, a surprising number of people are actively saving to make their goals a reality.

Education makes other goals achievable, say respondents

The majority of respondents (70.4%) value education above everything, with 41% actively saving towards this goal. Interestingly, education still ranks high for 67.2% of those without children, with 35% investing in their education, mainly to secure a better job and improve their income.
Buying a house is next in the order of priorities (57.5%). Respondents not only value the physical security that a home provides, but they also see it as an investment for themselves and their children. “If I am sick or too old to live in my own house, I can use the rent (income) to survive,” said one respondent. As much as people value home ownership, affordability is cited as the main reason why only 36.2% of those polled are actively saving to purchase a home or already have a bond. Those who can afford to do so are doing the right thing by paying off their bond as quickly as possible to take advantage of low interest rates.

Generational wealth (47.8%) ranks below education and home ownership for all respondents. While 27.1% of respondents indicate they are actively saving for their children, grandchildren and their retirement, feedback from respondents suggests this figure is higher, considering many who invest in education and are buying a home indicate they are doing so to secure a financial future for their offspring. As one respondent puts it: “Giving my children education is like giving them generational wealth.”

Side-hustles on the increase

With more South Africans struggling to make ends meet, it is no surprise that 37.5% of respondents are looking at a side-hustle or starting a new business. Retrenchments were cited by some respondents as an influencing factor; older respondents (pensioners and those nearing retirement)
indicated they were hoping to supplement their pension income.

Having a side-hustle or starting a business is a high priority for those with no children (44.8%), with 27.7% setting money aside for this purpose. While (35.3%) of parents attach importance to this option, only 19.8% are saving to make it a reality. Survey results suggest that investing in their children’s
education is a greater priority, so some trade-offs are required.

Health far more important than money

When it comes to preserving what matters, the majority of respondents (54.9%) prioritise their physical, mental and emotional health above everything, regardless of age. With Covid-19 top of mind, this should come as no surprise. For 27.6% of respondents, it is money that really counts. The
fact that there is little variation across the income spectrum, suggests the importance that people attach to money is not a function of how much they have.

While health and money are the top priorities for the majority of respondents, culture (6.9%) and community (6%) also matter.

TymeBank Head of Marketing Linda Appie said in response to the report: “The results of the survey paint a fascinating picture of the diversity of goals, aspirations and the pathways to their realisation amongst South Africans. A savings culture goes beyond money. It’s about understanding what’s important to you and committing to a goal. Whether your goal is saving money or something of cultural significance, what’s important is your commitment to something you truly care about.”

According to Appie, the insights are broadly aligned with the savings trends that the bank is seeing among its own customer base. “Children’s education and buying a house are some of the savings goals that customers using our TymeBank GoalSave offering name most frequently, but travel and
special occasions like weddings are also popular.”

The survey, conducted as part of TymeBank’s “Save What Matters” campaign, aims to show how driving a culture of saving can help us achieve the things that are most important to us.

*The cross-sectional survey was administered by The SpaceStation. Respondents were 18 years or older and reflected a diversity of gender, income, household structure and geographical spread. 57% were female and 43% male. 46.4% resided in Gauteng, 18.5% in the Western Cape and 11.5% in KwaZulu-Natal. 43.2% were married, 40% were single, and 16.8% were in a long-term relationship. 75% were either a parent or caregiver. Most respondents (21.7%) fell into the R10 001 – R20 000 monthly income bracket, followed by those earning R0 – R5 000 per month (21.2%) and R20 001 – R30 000 per month (15.5%).

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