When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, health and wealth seem to come out on top every year.

A survey carried out by Game shows that 2021 is no different, as 69% of South Africans aim toward better health and wellness, and 67% look to start a new business or ‘side hustle’ to supplement their income.

Looking back at the events of 2020, these findings are not surprising as the survey, which was taken by more than 1 200 South Africans in December 2020, found that 20% of the sample had taken a salary reduction since the beginning of lockdown, 17% had been retrenched and 11% had to close their businesses as a result of Covid-19 and the lockdown.

Unsurprising, 52% of respondents said they were looking to manage their budgets better for their children’s schooling, while 16% said they needed to supplement their income while at university.

For those prioritising health and wellness, 40% identified perceived costs as a barrier to this goal, while 17% identified a lack of time.

When asked what they were spending on health and wellness monthly, 33% said they were spending between R250 and R500, while 32% were spending less than that. Only 10% of respondents were spending over R1 000 and only 3% were spending more than R3 000 per month.

When asked to identify which parts of their healthy lifestyles were most expensive, the majority of respondents (71%) said food, closely followed by gym memberships and the cost of fitness classes. 48% cited gym and sports equipment and 38% cited supplements, vitamins and slimming products as the most expensive part of their lifestyle.

Of the 67% looking to start a side hustle, 76% said the aim was to supplement their income, 56% aimed to be self-sufficient and not rely on an employer, while 44% were looking to follow their passion in 2021.

When asked to rank the expenses of starting a side hustle, respondents said:

* Access to tech – like cellphones, laptops, printers and data.

* Operating costs – like petrol, transport, supplies and material.

* Setting up a workstation or office – office furniture and office supplies.

* Marketing or advertising.

Despite high expenses, many respondents have high hopes for the income they will be able to generate, with 28% expecting to make over R20 000 per month and 23% expecting to make between R5000 and R10 000.

Of the respondents returning to university, only 10% have the luxury of not needing to supplement their income. For those who have to, 69% are doing so through casual work (such as working in restaurants, retail stores or bars), while 50% look for work that is aligned to their area of study. 33% said they were looking for work within the university, such as tutoring or assisting with admin, for example, while 17% were tapping into the gig economy – through work as an uber driver or doing deliveries.

Excluding fees, university students ranked accommodation as their number one expense, followed by technology, stationery and course material, and petrol and transport, respectively. For 45% of the sample, a sizeable sum of over R21 000 a year is spent annually (over and above fees) in order for them to gain a tertiary education.