South Africans urged to save bonuses

2012-11-07 14:06

Johannesburg - South Africans should save their Christmas work bonuses rather than spend them on unnecessary luxuries during the holiday period, the SA Savings Institute (Sasi) said on Wednesday.

"Bonuses should be put to more productive [areas] such as pay-off debt or even a retirement savings plan," said Sasi chairperson Prem Govender.

"While it is justifiable to make merry, we want to remind consumers that the short-lived joy over the season might not be worth the suffering they are likely to go through if they do not plan [for] obligations awaiting in the New Year, especially at the beginning," she said.

According to Sasi, South Africans were barely saving and most households were in deep debt.

"The household debt [is] still soaring above 75% of household's disposable income."

The Consumer Financial Vulnerability Index indicated that consumers had experienced strain on their cash flow during the second quarter of the year.

"The index declined sharply from 58.9 points in the first quarter to 48.6 points in the second quarter," said Govender.

The National Credit Regulator claimed it was owed R1.36 trillion in the form of mortgages, vehicle finance, credit and clothing cards, personal loans, pension and insurance and pension-backed loans.

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-11-07 14:23

    Totally agree, the next year is going to be tough. Christmas bling tempts us to say 'devil may care' tomorrow is another day. But, life is getting harder not only in South Africa, as recession bites we have to pinch our pennies until they squeak.

  • lulu.shezi - 2012-11-07 14:27

    smart plan...meanwhile we are bombarded from as early as september about spending on the festive season through many adverts n campaigns evrywhere we go...its inescapable

      denis.dendrinos - 2012-11-07 14:36

      and pretty pamphlets from every shop, esp grocers of all the super yummiest treats

      craig.m.fulton - 2012-11-07 15:13

      It is a little thing called self control.

  • nhlapop - 2012-11-07 15:02

    I agree with SASI. Next year is going to be tough because millions already been spent to upgrade Inkandla (New York of SA). Rather save for new year than spending a lot for two weeks of short-lived joy over.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-07 15:15

    I say spend every penny today cause it might just be your last day on earth... ;)

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-11-07 15:21

    For those who do receive a bonus. Many people don't.

  • rjdkolb - 2012-11-07 15:34

    Tax incentives are needed even if it locks in the savings for a few months.

      wendy.webb.980 - 2012-11-07 17:17

      For those under 65, R22800 interest per annum is tax-free. R33000 if you are over 65.

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-11-07 15:41

    I know this doesn't have anything to do with the story but I got this message from SARS today!! Did you?? Nice marketing ploy cause I don't believe them....Dear Taxpayer, thank you for your tax contribution that's touching people's lives. Go to to see their stories of hope and achievement. Regards SARS....

  • Lana Van Der Berg - 2012-11-07 15:44

    I haven't received a bonus in 4 years and only a 4% increase in the same amount of time, so pray tell what am I supposed to save?

  • lisa.vanwyk.357 - 2012-11-07 15:46

    The month is always longer than the salary, for once there is a change of some small enjoyment and you want us to save? Please come and see how millions of people in South Africa live before you dare say anything about saving. And who says there will be bonuses? There wasn't even an increase.

  • phaldiemeyer - 2012-11-07 16:06

    Yeah...we gotta save your money because the government wants to make sure you have money when they raise the cost of electricity and roll out etoll system. Kucf you and kiss my ass, I deserve to spoil myself with a good holiday!! I worked my ass off whole year!!!

  • malebo.chadi - 2012-11-07 16:27

    My govt is taking this job creation thing a bit too far. South Africa Savings Institute? Really? We needed an "Institute" for THAT?

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-11-07 16:55

    Easier said than done. This "Sasi" group most probably consist of rich people who earn BIG wages and get massive bonuses who try to tell those who struggle what to do with their minimum wages. Bunch of IDIOTS.

  • malcolm.dale - 2012-11-07 17:21

    The advice may be noble in intent but little else. SASI must realise that the reason for the debt ridden public is because of the total corruption taking place in the government sector as well as the para-statals. The public get loaded with increases in everything from water right through to luxuries such as electricity (yes it is a luxury for some because it is given away free to a large number of people) and there is small wonder that people have to borrow to bail out the corrupt institutions as well as look to staying alive. We are reaching the point of no return in SA and the question phrased "what did SA have before candles?" comes to mind - The answer of course is "Electricity!!" Now we are going to stop white people being eligible to be included in charitable institutions, food is being imported on a grand scale, people are resorting to a scorched earth mind set - the burning of the vineyards comes to mind immediately ........ the list is endless and it can, to all intents and purposes, only get worse. God Save South Africans and the hell with saving anything else!!!

  • kim.mann.127 - 2012-11-07 17:48

    .... and what if we don't get a bonus, how will we survive Christmas and the New Year when Checkers has already put up all their prices by 30% for the Christmas season????

  • renier.lubbe.7 - 2012-11-07 18:26

    Most people's normal pay goes towards keeping up with living costs i.e food, fuel/transport, electricity and a place to stay. Bonus month is the only month with something extra (that is if the car, fridge, or stove does not break) And they expect us to save...!

  • pierre.walt - 2012-11-07 20:57

    And others apart from ridiculous salaries receive R200m for kaya zumaville (note small letter) development for 5 wife's and 200 showerheads. WTF.

  • william.hall.12979 - 2012-11-07 21:00

    Save it? Invest it? so guvmnt can tax me on my dividends and interest, after already taxing it at the highest bracket due to it coming in in one month... i say No Way! Pull the other one! (i know i probably get back some of it next year when i do my return... but thats not the point) Rather buy a nice overseas holiday, so they cannot even get their grubby hands on the VAT! Maybe even do a Wiese and squirrel it away in cash notes... im sure the swiss would pay top dollar for mint condition randelas!

      wendy.webb.980 - 2012-11-08 07:57

      The fact that it is paid in 1 month is irrelevant. The bonus is added to your ANNUAL income, ie you would pay the same tax on it regardless of whether it is paid in one lump sum, or split and added to your monthly salary.

  • japiejj.dutoit - 2012-11-08 06:27

    Here is some thoughts. Do not purchases any presents during December, save the Xmas moola for Jan, as most shops sell the items at discount prices, and get a bargain. Being doing it for years now, and save about 30% everytime.

  • philip.mostert.14 - 2012-11-08 20:28

    Only a small portion of people still get bonuses. If people spend money other people make money. The more money spent the more money earned, if people dont spend money other people cant make money. I say spend some of your money not all of it. Just try and keep your money local

  • denny.cray - 2012-11-21 13:22

    SASI should spend there time looking at the actual problem. The country is under financial repression. Real interest rates are basically zero or negative. This makes debt more attractive while discouraging saving. Asking people (even politely) to act exactly opposite to what the government has deliberately engineered is unlikely to be successful.

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