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Under pressure: Here is the budget of a 27-year-old banker. How does yours compare?

With inflation on the rise, South Africans are feeling the pressure. Photo: Pixabay

With inflation on the rise, South Africans are feeling the pressure. Photo: Pixabay

Published Jul 28, 2022

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Durban – Ordinary South Africans are fed up with ‘finance bunnies’ sharing unrealistic or harsh budgeting and financial advice on social media.

One Twitter user wrote: “I love how finance bunnies personalise a systematic problem. So people are broke because they eat meat and watch Netflix/Showmax?”

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So we asked “normal” South Africans what their budgets actually look like. Karabo, a 27-year-old banker, says despite her moderate spending, she still lives the “YOLO” life.

The single millennial who hails from Roodepoort spends roughly R2 000 a month on groceries, R4 500 on transport, and R500 on electricity.

Other expenses that she has to cover include medical aid, which costs R3 500; data/fibre for R650, R350 for a cellphone; and R1 750 for school fees.

“Budgeting, like all things, comes with its pros and cons. I appreciate the structure it provides, but it also feels restrictive. There’s an underlying constant stress about being over or under that I don’t enjoy,” she says.

Despite the fact that she may be responsible in other parts of her life and that she has complete control over her finances, according to Karabo, budgeting does not generally work for her. She takes care to pay her expenses in full before having fun.

The young woman does not splurge on non-essentials such as entertainment and going out, but partakes in activities if her funds allow.

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“When it comes to financial advice, I don’t trust anyone that tries to tell anyone earning below R30k how to budget. Such advice, in my opinion, should be reserved for people who have all of their needs met and are reckless with their disposable income. If you’re fighting for your life with every salary, budgeting is useless,” she adds.

The average cost of the household food basket has become about R4 542.93, according to the Household Affordability Index, which collects food price data from 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, and Pietermaritzburg.

With inflation on the rise and a lot of citizens living in extreme poverty (around 16.31 million people according to Statista), many in South Africa are living hand to mouth and do not have the means to even budget.

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