Unemployment is so rife in SA, it leads people into jobs in the hopes of earning something, rather than nothing.

Unemployment is so rife in SA, it leads people into jobs in the hopes of earning something, rather than nothing. 

In turn, companies understand this, and take full advantage when offering salaries to desperate employees and more often than not, salaries are below market rate. 

In a recent hashtag on Twitter, #SalaryDepression, users came out sharing their views on the subject. 

The hashtag started trending last week after Khaya FM presenter Thabo Mokwele (@tboseZA) asked followers if they suffer from #SalaryDepression. 

@TboozeSA said "Desperation lead us to take salary offers that are below standard. Now you in there, unhappy because the salary doesn’t match the work. Companies do 5% yearly increase meaning it will still be way less than what you deserve.#SalaryDepression,". 

He continued saying "The fear of not getting a job if you ask for too much money is what make us negotiate for lower salaries. And companies will gladly sit back and watch you slave for less as long as they saving. We also need to learn to speak up #SalaryDepression," he said. 

@kgabe20 said "Everyday ke #SalaryDepression from payday until the next payday, cost of living is too high, no matter how much you try to live within your means. Those basic needs cost a lot,". 

Here are 5 practical ways to break the cycle: 

1. Cut back on unnecessary spending

Get up close and personal with your bank statement. Firstly, interrogate your monthly debit orders. Do you really need all the subscriptions you have? You may not be using those video or audio streaming services as much as you think. 

It’s also possible to cut back on the cost of some debit orders. For instance, if you feel you have managed your insurance policy well, call your insurer and see if they are willing to offer you a better rate. 

Secondly, take a look at your disposable income. Where does your money go exactly? And how can you cut back on non-essential spending? For instance, a dinner at a restaurant may set you back R150, while deciding to eat in could save you R90.

2. Switch to digital banking

Did you know that digital banking transactions are usually more affordable than ones that involve people or physical money? You’ll also save yourself time by not having to travel to your nearest branch or ATM. Download your bank’s app, register and start banking from anywhere, 24/7.

3. Start a side hustle

Your corporate 8am to 5pm salary does not need to be your only source of income. Technology is making it easier to earn an income from the additional resources you have. 

For instance, Airbnb lets you rent out an unused bedroom in your house and many apps exist that allow you to rent out excess storage space. Place the money you make from your side hustle into a savings plan rather than using it for everyday items such as clothing or movie tickets.  

4. Rethink credit

Not all credit costs the same. Store and credit cards often have higher interest rates than other credit. Use extra money to pay off these loans first. Consolidating your debt into a single loan with a lower interest rate is also a good way to save money.

5. Pay yourself first

Pay yourself first by transferring the amount you want to save each month into a savings plan. Many people save by transferring the money they have left over at the end of the month, however, you’re likely to save very little this way. If you don’t need access to the money immediately use a fixed term savings plan to ensure you earn the highest interest rate possible.

Tips are provided by Francois Viviers, Executive of Marketing and Communications at Capitec Bank.