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How South Africans spend their money each month in South Africa

| Economic factors

A new report by Standard Bank reveals the monthly spending habits of households in South Africa. The bank notes that 62.3% of households fall within the poorest income bracket – below R86,000 per annum, while middle income groups (R86,001- R1.48 million per annum) comprise a combined 26.4% of South African households.

The wealthiest households in South Africa only account for 1.2% (R1.48 million – R2.36 million+ per annum).

According to Standard Bank, the largest components of household expenditure are food, beverages and tobacco (20%) and contributions, which refers to instalment type payments and includes medical aid, insurance and pension fund contributions (29%).

Transport comprises 15% of aggregate household expenditure. This includes petrol and purchases of new vehicles.

Health accounts for 6% and housing, electricity, gas and fuels for 5% of aggregate household spending.

Education is only 3% of spending. This includes primary, secondary and tertiary education.



Up to 60% of household spending is on essential items and 40% on non-essential items.

The bank found that 59% of expenditure by low income households is on non-durable goods, primarily food, making these households more susceptible to food inflation.

It said that 8.8% of spending is on semi-durable goods and only 3.5% of low income household expenditure is on durable goods.

Between 22% and 40% of spending by middle income households is on non-durable goods and 5% and 10% on durable goods, while 15-23% of spending by high income households is on durable goods, making these households more sensitive to currency weakness and interest rate hikes.

Spending on services tends to comprise a similar percentage of each household budget i.e. between 25% and 33% of household spending.

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