Money and Markets

Even rich South Africans are looking for cheaper places to buy their groceries – and just about everyone is trying to spend less on clothes

Business Insider SA
  • Even the rich are feeling the pinch, and trying to figure out how to save money, a new survey from Old Mutual suggests.
  • Nearly half of households that earn R40,000 per month or more are now shopping at cheaper supermarkets, and 40% say they're looking at cheaper grocery brands.
  • Meanwhile rich and poor alike are trying to cut down on clothing and shoe spending, and younger people are trying to spend less when they entertain at home.
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Even rich South Africans are trying to save money on their monthly expenses, a new survey suggests, and they are increasingly trading down to do so.

A full 49% of South African households that earn R40,000 per month or more are shopping at cheaper supermarkets now, according to new data from the Old Mutual Savings & Investment Monitor, an annual survey of urbanites conducted by way of face-to-face interviews released this week.

That number is up from 41% a year ago – and just 31% in 2016.

Those rich households are also looking for the discounts; among the R40,000 plus households, 87% said they are on the lookout for discounts and specials as a way to save money.

Among the rich 40% also said they are changing to cheaper grocery brands, roughly similar to those who can earn as little as R20,000 per month.

Food and groceries is the main place households are trying to save money, but not the only one. Among those who buy shoes and clothing, 42% said they were cutting back on that kind of spending – and the number was slightly higher for R40,000 plus households.

Those who buy cellphone data and airtime said they were looking at cutting down on those expenses in 34% of the interviews, and again the number was slightly higher for R40,000 plus households. 

South Africans proved the least keen, or able, to cut back on their spending on accommodation, and armed response and alarm systems. 

43% of younger people, the so-called Generation Z group, said they were cutting back on the expenses of having people around to entertain at their homes – third only to cutting back on groceries and on holiday-type travel.

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