MOST SAVE REG­U­LARLY AND DO NOT USE CREDIT TO BUY BIG-TICKET ITEMS Our woman read­ers have their fi­nances un­der con­trol

A sur­vey has found that women who read Per­sonal Fi­nance have a large de­gree of in­put into their house­hold’s ex­pen­di­ture. reports

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

IT’S a chicken-or-egg ques­tion. Do our woman read­ers read Per­sonal Fi­nance be­cause they are fi­nan­cially savvy, or are they fi­nan­cially savvy be­cause they read Per­sonal Fi­nance?

What­ever the an­swer, a re­cent sur­vey of our woman read­ers has found that they’re very good at man­ag­ing their money, in­clud­ing con­trol­ling their spend­ing, sav­ing what they can, keep­ing their debt lev­els low, plan­ning for the fu­ture and staying well in­formed.

The on­line sur­vey, con­ducted in July by In­de­pen­dent Me­dia’s IN­sight divi­sion, ques­tioned 150 fe­male read­ers from its read­er­ship panel, of which a third (49) were sin­gle-copy read­ers and two-thirds (101) sub­scribers to the week­end news­pa­per in which Per­sonal Fi­nance is pub­lished as a sup­ple­ment.

Of the sam­ple, 17% were from house­holds earn­ing less than R15 000 a month, 49% were from house­holds earn­ing be­tween R15 000 and R40 000 a month, and 22% were from house­holds whose monthly in­come was over R40 000 (the other 12% de­clined to dis­close their in­come). A large ma­jor­ity (70%) said they read Per­sonal Fi­nance ev­ery week.


Most of the women sur­veyed (98%) have a large de­gree of in­put into the house­hold’s monthly ex­pen­di­ture, ei­ther with their part­ners or by them­selves, with only 1% say­ing they have lit­tle or no con­trol over the bud­get, and another 1% ad­mit­ting they do not have a bud­get.

Nine out of 10 women sur­veyed fol­lowed a monthly ex­pen­di­ture bud­get, some rel­a­tively strictly (54% of the sam­ple) and some as a guide (35%). Al­most all re­spon­dents recog­nised the im­por­tance of a bud­get, which they use pri­mar­ily to con­trol and mon­i­tor ex­pen­di­ture with a need to avoid over-spend­ing,

Sim­i­larly with longer-term fi­nan­cial man­age­ment and plan­ning, 92% of women said they man­age and plan their per­sonal fi­nances in col­lab­o­ra­tion with their part­ners or on their own, with only 8% say­ing they have lit­tle or no in­put into fi­nan­cial plan­ning.

Of the to­tal sam­ple, 65% of the women said they have a will. There was a fairly marked dif­fer­ence be­tween sub­scribers (76% had a will) and sin­gle-copy read­ers (53% had one).


The women who read Per­sonal Fi­nance ap­pear to be con­sci­en­tious savers, with 78% say­ing they save reg­u­larly or some­times. The re­main­der did not save, be­cause they said they did have the money to save (19%) or did not bother to save (3%).


More pos­i­tive news is that most of the women sur­veyed are not run­ning up big ex­penses on credit. Most (80%) buy big-ticket items, such as ap­pli­ances or fur­ni­ture, in cash, or use the straight op­tion on their credit cards, with only 9% us­ing the bud­get op­tion on their credit cards or a store ac­count.

Re­gard­ing the use of cards: • 21% do not have a credit card; • 29% nor­mally pay the full bal­ance at the end of the month; credit

• 36% al­ways pay the re­quired amount at the end of the month; and

• 13% usu­ally pay the re­quired amount each month.


Al­most all the women sur­veyed agreed fully or to a cer­tain ex­tent that, although they be­lieved they knew how to man­age their fi­nances, they needed to keep learn­ing and be up­dated on new de­vel­op­ments, and they ap­pre­ci­ated new in­sights and guid­ance. A can­did 21% said man­ag­ing their fi­nances was not an easy task.

A large per­cent­age of the re­spon­dents agreed with the state­ment “there are many un­trust­wor­thy sources of in­for­ma­tion about per­sonal fi­nance”.

When asked about the ar­eas of fi­nance they knew lit­tle and wanted to learn more, 46% men­tioned buy­ing shares and con­struct­ing a share port­fo­lio.

Other top­ics that fea­tured strongly were tax (37%), in­vest­ments (35%), car fi­nance (35%), and med­i­cal schemes and health cover (32%).

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