Spending sur­vey re­veals shop­ping trends of fes­tive sea­son rev­ellers

Pretoria News - - BR | FOCUS - Staff Re­porter

A FES­TIVE spending sur­vey was re­leased yes­ter­day by short-term lender Wonga.

It said al­most 6 000 South Africans had shared what they planned on do­ing these hol­i­days, who they planned on do­ing it with and how much they in­tended to spend.

“Our re­search re­vealed that 60 per­cent of peo­ple think they’ll spend more this fes­tive sea­son than they did in 2018, de­spite the tough eco­nomic cli­mate. How­ever, rather than turn­ing to debt, the ma­jor­ity have ei­ther saved through­out the year or plan on us­ing their end-of-year bonuses to man­age the ex­tra ex­pense,” said James Wil­liams, the head of mar­ket­ing at Wonga.

The re­search re­vealed that 76 per­cent of South Africans spend more than usual over the fes­tive sea­son, with food and drink tak­ing up 37 per­cent of most bud­gets at an aver­age cost of R2 430 a per­son.

This is fol­lowed by gifts, which ac­counted for 20 per­cent of fes­tive bud­gets, with South Africans fork­ing out more than R1 200 to spoil their loved ones.

In to­tal, re­spon­dents ex­pected to spend an aver­age of R6 585 each, which was al­most half (46 per­cent) of the aver­age South African’s take­home pay.

“This is based on Bankserv Africa’s lat­est in­dex, ac­cord­ing to which South Africans take home an aver­age of R14 385 each, after tax. This rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease from 2018, when fes­tive bud­gets made up just a third of the aver­age ‘take home pay’,” the sur­vey said.

Half the re­spon­dents in­di­cated that they dis­liked the pressure of spending money over the fes­tive sea­son.

To cope with the ex­tra ex­pense, the ma­jor­ity (45 per­cent) planned to draw from their end-of-year bonuses, or dip into their sav­ings (42 per­cent) or stokvels (25 per­cent).

Only a small por­tion planned on ei­ther tak­ing out a loan (17 per­cent) or spending money on their credit cards (11 per­cent) to get them through the hol­i­days.

◆ Only one in three South Africans have fes­tive sea­son travel planned this year, a 5 per­cent drop from 2018, with most peo­ple (33 per­cent) cit­ing the cost of travel as their main rea­son for stay­ing home, fol­lowed by work com­mit­ments (27 per­cent).

◆ Nine in 10 South Africans planned on buy­ing gifts this fes­tive sea­son and, while the ma­jor­ity (83 per­cent) planned on spoil­ing their fam­ily, 22 per­cent also planned on buy­ing them­selves a gift this Christ­mas. At the top of most peo­ple's Christ­mas lists, money (34 per­cent) and vouch­ers (26 per­cent) emerged as the firm favourites again this year.

◆ The favourite way to cel­e­brate the fes­tive sea­son for 78 per­cent of Africans was by spending time with loved ones. Hav­ing a braai emerged as the most-loved fes­tive tra­di­tion for 47 per­cent of re­spon­dents, mak­ing it 10 per­cent more pop­u­lar than a tra­di­tional Christ­mas roast.

◆ Only 57 per­cent of South Africans had work func­tions planned to mark the end of the year and the vast ma­jor­ity looked for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing with their col­leagues. How­ever, for 18 per­cent this ex­cite­ment was re­placed with in­dif­fer­ence ei­ther be­cause they find their year-end func­tions bor­ing (35 per­cent), don’t en­joy so­cial­is­ing with their work mates (20 per­cent) or re­sent hav­ing to spend money on gifts, cloth­ing or food for the oc­ca­sion (24 per­cent).

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