How experiment saved One Rand man from hefty hospital bill

The One Rand Man's July 2014 salary separated in containers to pay rent, his car and food.
The One Rand Man's July 2014 salary separated in containers to pay rent, his car and food.

Cape Town – An unplanned operation would have plunged the One Rand Man into serious debt recently, but last year’s savings experiment changed the way he lived life and he was able to come up with a savings plan to offset the unexpected payment.

The One Rand Man got his entire July salary paid out in R1 coins in 2014 to reveal how quickly money runs out when you use a bank card without thought and how easy it is to slip into serious debt.

Focusing on saving money instead of buying material things is more rewarding, said the One Rand Man.

“Life has improved by living a simpler life,” he told Fin24. “It changes your outlook on life. I am starting to love experiences more than things."

His message to South Africans is to change your philosophical outlook on life.

“People were made to love other people, but now they are made to love other things,” he said. “Don’t let society judge you and don’t try match up to your neighbour.

“I have enjoyed the simpler things in life and focus on moments rather than trying to buy things,” he said. “I have learnt that you don’t need expensive things to make you happy.”

Savings superhero

The One Rand Man’s desire to remain anonymous certainly gives him a superhero aura.

“People recognise me from across the street or in a bar,” he said. “I have taken a lot of time out to speak to people and to talk to them about the importance of saving.”

Simplifying his life and finding more ways to save actually came at the right time, as the One Rand Man had to undergo an operation and the costs skyrocketed.

“I expected my medical aid to cover 100% of the costs, but then I got a bill 300% more and I had to pay R10 000,” he said.

“In the past I would have taken out a loan, but now I put a plan in place, which made it a saving at the end of the day,” he said. “From everything I learnt in the series, I was able to do it without taking out a loan.”

The One Rand Man says his R1 containers have been turned to good use. “My fridge is now very organised with all the Tupperwares,” he said.

WATCH: The One Rand Man documentary

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

* Write a guest post
* Share a personal story

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot