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Science of Success 2021

The Momentum Unisa Household Financial Wellness Index 2021 unpacks the behavioural financial habits that can accelerate or decelerate South African households on their journey to success.

We hosted the Science of Success Festival 2021 on 24 November, an interactive deconstructed conference where we unpacked the Momentum Unisa Science of Success Insights.

In this immersive experience, we’ll demonstrated:

  • The impact of mental bandwidth depletion on your financial decisions
  • The science behind the success of South African households
  • How your behavioural financial habits can accelerate or decelerate

7 weeks 7 habits

There's a science behind successful South African households. They follow 7 fundamental habits to make sure they stay on the money when it comes to their finances.

Habit 7: They diversify their income sources by having multiple income streams, whether it's a small project to learn or master new skills that can be turned into a major source of income in the future, or have passive income sources like dividends interest, or rental income.

It's never too late to invest and reach your goals

You're ready to keep your money safe and grow your wealth. The question is, what are the most suitable investment options for your unique needs? Whether you want to invest a lump sum amount or build savings monthly, with our wide range of savings plans and investment solutions, we can help you achieve your financial goals.

  • Flexible savings plans and tax-efficient investment options.
  • Your trusted investment partner growing your wealth since 1966.

We offer a range of personal investment solutions you can tailor to meet your investment needs and achieve your goals.

Speak to a Momentum Financial Adviser and get #AdviceForSuccess to help you map out your path to financial success.

What our insights have revealed


A combination of lower interest rates, loss of income as well as fear and uncertainty contributed to many households reducing their long-term deposits and switching to shorter- and medium-term deposits.

Financially knowledgeable women

Women, on average, occupied about 44.2% of the skilled and managerial positions in 2017 to 2019.

Financially knowledgeable youth

The youth households’ main sources of income are mostly from salaries and wages (61.7%), while some mainly depend on business income (17.7%) or grants (13.0%).

SMMEs and
side hustlers

SMMEs are highly reliant on word of mouth to accelerate their momentum. Research highlighted businesses (19%) are very reliant on word-of-mouth recommendations to increase awareness and ultimately their client base.

To get more insights into the science behind the success of South African households, read the Momentum Unisa Science of Success
Insights Report.

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Entrepreneurs, calibrate your mind towards financial success

It’s time to think clearly about your next money moves. We understand that the economic situation has not been easy on your financial choices. That’s why we give you digestible insights to sharpen your thinking in discerning what is almost right versus what is right for your business.


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on #SuccessIsAScience

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Rands and sense with Science of Success 2021

Your financial success needs your full attention.
Empower yourself. Learn how #SuccessIsAScience with the 2021 insights, and by speaking to a financial adviser who is ready to help you succeed.

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Financial wellness
index score

The general decline in the household Financial wellness component scores was driven mainly by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Financial success

True financial success should be assessed in terms of each individual’s and household’s unique financial goals, and not by looking at how much they earn or how wealthy they are.

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Young people

Young people in South Africa have experienced many challenges ranging from disruptions in their education endeavours due to the COVID-19 pandemic to struggling to get jobs.

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The financial
wellness groups

A general downward shift away from financially well to the lower financially unwell groups was experienced
in 2020.

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She may or may not be the head of the household, but she is at the forefront of her household’s money management and therefore has an insight into their financial matters.

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Momentum Unisa Household Financial Wellness Index

The Financial Wellness Index and the financial
wellness groups

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Mental bandwidth

Mental bandwidth was challenged during 2020. Not only did 2020 entail health and life risks, but national lockdowns reduced many freedoms such as the freedom of movement and to purchase goods.

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A decade
of partnership

The Momentum Unisa Household Financial Wellness research project is now in its 10th year. Here's some of the key learnings from the previous years’ research.

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Side hustle

The Momentum Unisa Household Financial Wellness Index revealed that an estimated 14% (2 639 126) of households obtain an additional income from a
side hustle.

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SMMEs bridge the gap often left by larger corporates by providing local knowledge, skills, solutions, and products.

7 habits of money savvy households

At Momentum we believe that every South African deserves to have access to information and advice to support them on their journey to financial success. We encourage you to take the first step towards your successful financial future by adopting the 7 habits of money savvy households.

They map out their journey with measurable goals and a plan to achieve them.
They maintain their momentum by knowing where every cent goes.
They cover themselves for rainy days by having savings for unexpected financial emergencies.
They make the bold choice to invest and understand the power of compound interest, enabling their investment to increase over time.
They don’t let speedbumps deter them. They learn from their previous financial mistakes, and move on to strive for financial success.
They’re financially savvy and streetwise and keep up-to-date with financial news and review all applicable tax legislation changes each year to ensure they optimise any adjustments and deductions.
They diversify their income sources by having multiple income streams; whether it’s a small project to learn or master new skills that can be turned into a major source of income in the future, or have passive income sources like dividends, interest, or rental income.

Take the pledge

Financial success starts when you take one step at a time. There are 7 habits that every household needs to learn to become financially successful. Take the pledge and start your journey to financial success.

Your journey to success starts today

Momentum and Unisa celebrate 10 years of successful partnership

For the last 10 years, the Momentum Unisa Household Financial Wellness Index has been giving South African’s practical tips from experts to empower them to get serious about their finances and gain momentum with their financial goals..

Since 2012, Momentum and Unisa have partnered on various projects to provide credible research insights into the state and success of household and consumer finances in South Africa. This purposeful collaboration includes:

Momentum Unisa logo

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Manage your money better

Being financially healthy isn’t about how much money you make but how well you manage it. When you focus on your attitude toward money, build good habits and use the right tools, you can effectively manage your money for long-term financial success.

For the media

Stay up to date with the latest news and developments for the Science of Success Festival and media events.

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