* Financial illiteracy is expensive. Due to low levels of financial literacy and the complexity of financial products, South Africans need to educate themselves to avoid making poor financial decisions that result in high fees and service costs, investing in inappropriate financial products, losing out on benefits, including tax deductions on retirement fund contributions or reduced interest payments on outstanding loans by paying more than the minimum monthly required amount.
Educate yourself by using free online services, listen to podcasts about personal finances or speak to a financial adviser.
* Income uncertainty. With the high level of unemployment and increasing number of retrenchments in the past few years, South Africans are forced to dip into savings, increase their debt, cancelling medical scheme membership and life cover to cut costs when they lose their income.
Using long-term savings, increasing debt and cancelling risk policies is putting South Africans at physical and financial risk. When things improve and you start earning an income again, you start on the back foot with more debt, no savings and higher risk premiums, which makes it harder to manage finances and achieve investment goals.