In a world of plastic money, debit orders and generous overdrafts, what would happen if we were forced to live entirely off coins? Would we feel more connected to our money? Would we spend less? Would we save more? A 32 year old architectural consultant from Cape Town has set out to find out as part of a campaign for this year’s National Savings Month.
Aptly dubbed, ‘The One Rand Man’, all his financial ‘comforts’ will be removed and his month will kick off with a delivery of a large bag containing his entire salary in R1 coins. 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 first hand how a world unaccustomed to cash reacts to a guy with so many small coins.
Using hidden cameras to capture his interactions with people in an authentic way, his experience will be edited into five documentary episodes which will be hosted online. Episodes will variously track The One Rand Mans’ initial struggles with this vastly changed financial system, his experience 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 only has a few coins left.
Yegs Ramiah, chief executive officer of Sanlam Brand says that The One Rand Man signifies a young man with a typical relationship with money, and it is for this reason that Sanlam 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 spiraling rapidly into debt,” he says. “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.”
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to email@example.com.