Man pays with R1 coins only

OneRandMan pays a teller with R1 coins this week.
OneRandMan pays a teller with R1 coins this week.
Cape Town - Have you ever been stuck behind someone counting coins at the teller? Time seems to come to a standstill. Well, chances of that happening in Cape Town in July are going to increase if you live on the same block as OneRandMan (@OneRandMan and #OneRandMan).

Using only R1 coins to pay his way through the month, a Cape Town architect dubbed himself this name as he embarked on a mission to visualise his monthly expenditure and savings. “Buying lunch was interesting,” he wrote on Twitter this week. “Not only did I have to count my coins, but the cashier had to as well. The queue was not happy.”

OneRandMan, who prefers to remain anonymous, partnered with Sanlam to bring awareness during Savings Month. With a hidden camera stashed away, his interactions with retailers and clients will be documented and cut into short YouTube clips and form part of a series.

Talking exclusively to Fin24 on Friday, OneRandMan described his first week: “It’s interesting literally feeling the money weighing me down. Even R100 or so weighs about half a kilo.”

See the promo to his series, which starts on Saturday:


With his bank accounts, bank cards and debit orders frozen for the month, this will be all he has. He will have to physically manage every R1 he earns and spends. He’ll also learn firsthand how a world unaccustomed to cash reacts to a guy with so many small coins.

On July 2, OneRandMan tweeted the following as he collected his bag of R1 coins, after he had asked his company to pay out his salary with only R1 coins:
His experiences will be edited into five documentary episodes which will be hosted on the YouTube link below, with the first episode starting on Saturday July 5. Episodes will variously track OneRandMan's initial struggles with this vastly changed financial system, his experience in making large payments in coins, how his usual lifestyle choices are affected and finally how he deals with the end of the month when he potentially has only a few coins left.

Twitter and Instagram entries this week give an insight into how the first week has gone. “Blocked my internet banking and deleted the app on my phone,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “Time to go old school.”
“It took me 25 minutes to organise R600 into piles,” he writes. “Best I #focus so I don't have to sit again and recount.”

When it came time to pay his rent, a surprised landlord was greeted with a hefty load of coins: “Paying rent in R1 coins is interesting. Landlord was surprised, to say the least,” he tweeted.

Even getting dinner was an issue.

Yegs Ramiah, chief executive officer of Sanlam Brand, says OneRandMan signifies a young man with a typical relationship with money, and it is for this reason that the company is delighted to be giving him a platform to share his story.

"The reality is that we generally spend more when we spend on a card. With people so disconnected from money these days, the implications of our spending simply aren’t felt. And because it is so easy to spend – and to spend money we don’t actually have – many South Africans find themselves spiralling rapidly into debt.

"Since our national savings rate is extremely low, we believe that any insights into our money habits which may lead to increased savings is well worth promoting," Yegs says.

Following each episode, experts will offer insights and commentary to ensure that the many lessons OneRandMan learns are analysed and used as key learnings for others.

To find out more, visit this link to Youtube. Follow OneRandMan's story here on Twitter and Instagram.

“I am the One Rand Man,” he explains on Twitter. “Follow me to discover what it’s like to live an entire month using only R1 coins.”

While the rest of us start to shudder every time our card swipes near month-end, OneRandMan will give his neighbour a wry smile, knowing he has less weight to carry for the day.

 - Fin24

Consider yourself a savings hero? Or just have something on your mind? Add your voice to our Savings Issue:

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