South Africans entering the job market should learn to pay themselves first and draw up a proper budget before going out to parties.
This is the advice from financial experts after an observation that young people are seemingly living beyond their means, with many lacking financial acumen in the ever-changing South African economic tide.
Phumelele Masango, a recent graduate and entry-level worker, said that young people had to trade in their “student mentality” of reckless spending with a more responsible and disciplined one when they entered the workplace.
“When I first left the house for university, it was only a minor shock because my parents were still supporting me financially.
“It was only when I graduated and starting working in my first job that I realised how hard life is, and how important it is to be responsible with money. These days, it’s difficult to plan ahead because every three months something happens in the local economy and prices constantly change.
“But it taught me to look at things differently and prioritise.
“I have learnt how to be responsible and disciplined with money and also how not to compromise on anything because it’s the cheapest option.”
She said students did not receive enough guidance in tertiary institutions to assist them on how to grow money and handle finances.
Young people would eventually become too financially dependent on their salaries and it was hard to think outside the box because they lacked the tools to financially liberate themselves without falling into debt.
Octagon Financial Services specialist risk and investment consultant Chaim Shalpid said there were many reasons why many were falling into debt so early in their careers and agreed that there was a need for tertiary institutions to incorporate financial modules into the curriculums of all final-year students.
He said if 10% of them applied the lessons and planned for the future early on, they would free themselves from becoming a burden to the state later in their lives.
“It is important to have confidence in knowing what you want, when you want it, where you are going and to see the bigger picture,” said Shalpid.