Momentum’s science of success: You need goals to reach financial wellness

There are short-term and long-term goals that lead to your destination and one of the differentiating factors the research found was that many households lacked financial goals.


JOHANNESBURG – As they celebrate a 10-year partnership, Momentum and Unisa are here to give you the right tools to understand and manage your finances.

Through the science of success campaign, their Household Financial Wellness Index seeks to not only determine the state of the nation’s financial wellness but provide effective insights to help enhance the financial wellness of all South Africans.

They do this through understanding financial wellness and financial success, encouraging and empowering South Africans to take control of their finances, driving national conversations to improve the households’ financial well-being and success.

On Wednesday, they released their latest report into how households are doing financially at the Forum in Bryanston.

The event saw panel discussions, a mirror maze, a think tank and even live performances from the likes of DJ Zinhle.

Consumer financial education specialist at Momentum Claire Klassen said: “Each year we talk to about 2,500 households, but this year we were in a position to talk to 2,868 households. And during that survey, we asked quite personal questions on their income, expenses, financial behaviours and how they go about with their financial matters.”

Here's the Financial Wellness Index score for 2020:

Unisa’s Professor Bernadene de Clercq said the index was a combination of objective measures where they looked at households’ financial positions, their income statement, balance sheet statement, their education level, their level of self-empowerment and their living conditions.

They’ve also expanded the scope to include financial success. But what exactly is it?

“Financial success talks about your personal journey to financial wellness, but you need to have the goals to get to through that journey,” Clercq said.

There are short-term and long-term goals that lead to your destination and one of the differentiating factors the research found was that many households lacked financial goals.

She said: “Those households at the bottom of the spectrum are financially distressed, they don’t have financial goals or only have one. While the households at the top of the spectrum have quite a variety of financial goals.”

The research found that 45% of South Africa households don’t have goals and that a lot of houses focus on financial wealth as the goal, but the COVID-19 has come and made thing more difficult, pushing households to have diversity.

“You need to look at savings, short-term funds, long-term debt management, risk management so that there’s a variety of goals that one should look at.”


The research also looked at the youth of South Africa and their relationship with money. It found that this group thinks their financial problems will just disappear by themselves.

“Taking control of your finances… starting with financial planning and starting with the basics of financial goals is one of the key components that can guide you in your journey,” Clercq added.

Tips to help you get on the right financial track from financial advisor, Dave Fisher:

⦁ It’s time to stop
“Especially with the festive season approaching, let’s take time off from social media, stress, anxiety, and really take care of ourselves. Renew, refresh yourself and just be kind to yourself.”

⦁ Relook your financial priorities, goals and ambitions
“You can compile or recompile a financial plan, strategy and budget accordingly. Now’s the time to start planning.”

⦁ Mindset shift
“Proper planning and budgeting require the proper mindset; we have to get out of the survival mentality and adopt the victory mentality.”

⦁ Stay on it
“We have to make daily choices in alignment with our strategy.”