A quick Google search will bring up a number of local reports describing how we spend our money, but the only sure-fire way to find out how successful South African women spend their money is to ask them. 

And it's not just about curiosity - some case studies have shown that pay transparency makes employees work harder and can be a tool to reducing the gender pay gap. It can also act as a guide to help you know how much you should ask for when applying for a new job or negotiating a raise.

We interviewed some of the women nominated for the Rising Star Awards, a local organisation which aims to recognise, celebrate and connect young talented people who have a capacity for achievement and success and who contribute in an inspirational manner to the future of this country. We asked them what they spent on around 10 common items as part of their budget. This is what they were willing to share with us:

Lesego* 27, director and management consultant of her own consulting business

She lives in Hartbeespoort, works from home and earns around R65 000 per month. 

This is how she spends her income: 

Bond repayment: R12 000

Data/airtime: R700

Savings: R21 000

Transport: R5 000

Groceries: R1 200

Clothing: R600

Entertainment: R700

TOTAL: R41 200

This is what she shared with us:

"On average I do travel out to clients about three times in a week and prior to leaving I try my best to have breakfast before I leave the house. I only cook two to three times a week, but the trick is I cook in bulk so that the meal can be spread over two days. It works for me especially if I get back home very late. My husband and I do get take-aways once or twice a week which would cost us about R300, usually during the weekend. Weekends usually include being home or going to see family and friends."

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Taryn* 34, marketing specialist in the advertising sector 

She lives in Johannesburg, considers herself a conservative spender on weekdays, who likes to splurge over the weekends and brings home around R28 000 a month. 

This is how she spends her income: 

Bond repayment: R6 500

Cellphone contract R1 300

Savings: R2 000

Car loan instalment: R5 500

Car insurance: R1 200

Petrol R3 500

Groceries: R2 000

Clothing: R500

Entertainment: R1 000

TOTAL: R23 500

This is what she shared with us:

“During the week my spending habits revolve around basic needs such as groceries, food, petrol etc. On weekends I enjoy being social and spend a little extra on entertainment (music shows, movies, restaurant dinners etc) and luxury items such as wine, chocolates and take-aways which could amount to R350 per week.

As a single modern woman, I am responsible for my own finances. Quality accommodation in a safe neighbourhood, reliable transport and medical insurance are at the top of my priority list. I also invest in a good cellphone contract to ensure that I am always connected but have to top up on data at least once a month which usually costs about R130.

I have signed up for a kick-boxing class twice a week, which costs me R360 per month. I am also a mom of a spoilt schnauzer baby and his food and monthly medical aid bill usually amounts to R440.” 

READ MORE: Manage Your Money Like a F*cking Grownup

Sibongile* 30, broadcaster and entrepreneur in the media industry

She lives in Johannesburg, runs an SME and until recently most of her savings and spare cash have gone into getting it to a profitable position. She earns a salary of R60 000 a month. 

Rent: R9 000

Data/airtime: R3 000

Savings: R10 000

Transport: R3 000

Groceries: R2 000

Clothing: R3 000

Entertainment: R1 500

TOTAL: R31 500

This is what she shared with us:

“I buy one or two items of clothing every other month, petrol in my German engineered ride is heavy and as a vegan I buy fresh fruits and veggies every other day. My hair and nails are a must every month or every two weeks. I spoil myself with an expensive item of clothing, a bag or a gadget at least once every 6 months. I am part of a stokvel saving group and it is the perfect way for me to save money and plan ahead for overseas trips or investments.”

*Name has been changed.

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