Improve your financial literacy in 2017

Professor Carel van Aardt from Unisa’s Bureau of Market Research worked on the Momentum Financial Wellness study in 2016, which showed that a number of households with members earning high incomes were not categorised as financially well.

“The survey showed that, despite having the required resources of sufficient income and assets, as well as a good living environment, members of these households were not able to take control of their finances,” he says.

According to a comprehensive study by the Financial Services Board, South Africa currently has a financial literacy rate of 51%, on a par with a number of developed countries and higher than many contemporary developing nations.

“South Africans love the bigger house, bigger car lifestyle and, as a result, credit use is high. There is most definitely a need for increased financial literacy so that householders can learn more about planning, budgeting and saving.”

The survey, which included more than 2 500 households and more than 10 000 individuals, further showed that South Africa has a high number of single-income households, which are “really struggling compared with double-income households”.

The truth about money

Launched by insurer 1Life in March 2014, Truth About Money offers a financial education course, debt management tips and estate planning advice.

Since inception, the programme has been used by more than 30 000 South Africans, who each received a certificate of completion following the eight-hour short course, worth R2 500, through Boston City Campus and Business Colleges.

1Life sponsors individuals who cannot afford the fee.

Carol Zimmerman of Gauteng, who completed the course, says: “The rules of the financial universe never change and it is a tragedy that most people are not taught these rules.”

IMB workshops

IMB, a fintech firm, runs financial literacy workshops aimed at women, explaining the fundamentals of money – how to make your money work for you.

Michelle Muchemenye from IMB says being able to manage debt more effectively means women will have more disposable income each month to feed their families and pay school fees.

“Financial freedom is not about being wealthy; it is about having control over your own money,” she says.

This year IMB will be opening their workshops to the general public. Go to, click on the Contact tab and contact the relevant branch.

JSE investor educational seminars

You can attend free educational seminars at the JSE, which will help you learn the basics about how to invest on the stock exchange and grow your wealth wisely.

Go to, click on Individual Investors, scroll down and, under Keep updated with us, tick the boxes that say Power Hour Free Investment Seminars, Learning Modules and Newsletters.

Then fill in your name and email address and click Subscribe.

You will then be sent regular information regarding dates and times for the educational seminars.

Good luck!

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