Money Diaries: a month in the life of someone who earns R17 000

Money Diaries: a month in the life of someone who earns R17 000

Last updated on 12th December, 2018 at 09:10 am

We asked real South Africans to share their money diary for a month with us. Why? So that you can see how real people earn, spend and save – and how they can save more with just tiny (almost painless!) lifestyle tweaks. Here, one month’s money diary from a 26-year-old tax trainee from Johannesburg.

*Values rounded up to nearest rand.

Monthly income (after tax): R17 129

Monthly expenses

Rent: R5 000

Utilities: R800

Groceries: R1 500

Cell phone: R899

Bank charges: R200 (but this varies depending on my activities for the month)

Toiletries, medication etc: R1 000

Student loan repayment: R2 000

Transport: R800

Clothing and clothing accounts: R2 500

Entertainment: R1 500

Work coffees and lunches: R800

Money left at the end of the month: R130 

“What I learnt”

“I have realised that I spend a lot of money on ‘luxury’ items and often find myself neglecting things that really matter, like my savings, planning for retirement and getting medical aid. Most of my money is spent on entertainment and clothing, and I rarely budget and set my finances accordingly for the upcoming month.

“I have a theory that as long as my rent is paid and I have groceries, I should be fine and whatever I have left I can just spend without really thinking of the repercussions. Doing this money diary has encouraged me to sit with my bank statement and fully look at my spending habits.

“I realised that I also spend a surprising amount on fast food because, after a long day at work, all I want to do is order in rather than cook. I’ve committed to training myself to only buy what I need and to plan my purchases accordingly – especially when it comes to clothes (this has been so hard!).

“I am planning to close my clothing accounts so that I don’t feel enticed to buy anything I can’t afford. By doing this, I won’t have to squeeze through to pay day and I can free up more money to save R500 and contribute towards my retirement plan. I am hoping to maintain this new trend and start saving more and working towards my financial goals.”

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