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South Africans planning budget overruns for festive season

A survey, commissioned by Western Union and conducted by Wakefield Research, polled between 21 September and 21 October 2011 in the US, Mexico, Germany, 500 India, Brazil, the UAE, South Africa and the UK found that when it comes to holiday shopping, saving money and wanting to please your loved ones, most countries are the same.
South Africans planning budget overruns for festive season
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According to this first annual Global Gifting Survey, South Africans are on track to repeat their mistakes, with 57% of South Africans expecting to blow their budget for the second year in a row. Last year, 46% of South Africans made a holiday spending budget, but most didn't follow it. Only 15% spent exactly what they budgeted, and 64% went over budget.

Whilst most plan a budget (69%), many do not think they will stick to it if it means finding the perfect gift. However, the research revealed that you might not have to empty your wallet finding the perfect gift after all. South Africans overwhelmingly want cash - 84% would rather have R1000 in cash than a gift worth R1000.

South Africans planning budget overruns for festive season
click to enlarge


  • Budget Blueprint: This year, more South Africans are planning - 69% plan to
    make a holiday spending budget this year, an increase of 23% from 2010 (46%).
  • Busted Budgets: South Africans may have good intentions, but many do not think they'll necessarily stick to a budget this year - 57% said they will spend more money than they have budgeted if it means finding the perfect gift.
  • Wallet Worries: South Africans are concerned that they will exceed their budgets: overspending (40%) is the top holiday worry this year. Other prominent concerns include eating too much or being unhealthy (16%), work commitments (12%), seeing family (9%) and finding the perfect gift (5%). When there is more than one person on your gift list, it is easy to let the costs add up.
  • Community giving: Despite economic situation in South Africa and the added financial stress that the holidays may bring, 50% are planning on donating to a charity. Most South Africans prefer to donate clothing (55%), food (48%), and cash (48%).
  • Thrifty Thinking: 82% of South Africans are making sacrifices to get through the holidays. In particular, they are cutting back on eating at restaurants (54%), spending on entertainment (39%), and spending on clothing (38%). On average, South Africans are planning to spend R 1,233 on gifts this year. Answering the call for cash will help them stay within their budgets.
  • Responsible Receivers: Those that get what they wish for - cold hard cash - would most likely spend it wisely. Necessities like gas, groceries or bills (34%) are the top ways South Africans would spend their holiday cash. This is followed by splurging on a treat for themselves (26%), saving or investing it (17%), and using it for holiday related spending other than gifts (17%).
  • Family fortunes: South African respondents (74 percent globally) said they would choose their children, mother or significant other as the loved ones whose life they would most like to make better. "Child" was the most popular response (36 percent), followed by "mom" (21 percent), and "significant other" (20 percent).

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