Saving money is a top priority for South Africans this year

Fifty-nine percent of South Africans want to save money during the coming year

South Africans have resolved to save money this year, according to the results of an online YouGov survey commissioned by YouTube. According to the survey, 59% of South African adults have set this as a primary goal for 2020. To “eat healthier” (49%) and to “exercise more” (47%)  are also important resolutions for adults in South Africa, showing South Africans’ significant interest in acquiring healthier habits.

Learning/improving a skill are also key resolutions for adults in South Africa, with 34% planning to “learn a skill for work” and 27% planning to “learn a new hobby”. Of all South African adults who want to learn a skill for work or a hobby in 2020, 59% plan to improve business-related topics (e.g. project management, public speaking etc.) while a further 48% said they’d like to improve/learn about technology (e.g. coding). Another popular area was self-care and self-development, which involves activities like meditation, mindfulness etc, with 54% of those surveyed saying this was an area they’d like to improve/learn or start in 2020.

Setting personal goals at the beginning of the year is an increasingly common tradition. Survey data shows that 82% of South Africans have set resolutions for the new year before and, of these respondents, 69% managed to achieve their last set of New Year’s resolutions.

Technology plays an important role in not only monitoring the achievement of these goals, for example, through a mobile app to measure calorie intake, but also to access quality content, for example, to learn new workout routines or healthy food recipes. South African adults who have ever made a New Year’s resolution indicated that YouTube (46%), social media (43%), and mobile apps (42%) are important platforms that they used to help them achieve their last New Year’s resolutions. 

Some local channels South Africans turn to for help include Financial Bunny for tips on how to save money, Sixpack Factory for workout tutorials, Yolz Channel for self-care and self-development, and Tanya Visser – The Gardener for learning a new hobby.

Data in perspective

The survey, which was conducted in 13 countries, offers an interesting look at the most popular New Year’s resolutions in each geography. Belgians, like South Africans, have also resolved ‘to save money’. This differs from the overall trend which puts traveling or acquiring healthier habits in the top charts across the markets surveyed. 

Learning something new/ improving a skill are featured in the top charts across the board, although the areas they’d like to learn vary, with South Africa being the only country to rank business and technology highly — the majority of markets surveyed leaned to languages, sports or self-care activities like yoga or meditation as areas they’d like to learn/ start or improve.