South Africans are trying to beat the economic slump by becoming Slashers, individuals with more than one consistent stream of income, the Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor for 2017 revealed.
Lynette Nicholson, research manager at Old Mutual, spoke to Fin24 following the launch of the survey on Wednesday.
The term Slasher emerged as far back as 2007 and is a worldwide emerging trend, where someone has two or more jobs to provide an additional source of income, said Nicholson. “For example I am a research manager by day, slash, a yoga teacher at night,” she explained.
“They like to refer to their jobs as a portfolio of jobs, which is really entrepreneurial.”
Of the almost 1 000 people who took part in an online survey, 24% were “true Slashers” in that their two jobs were unrelated, said Nicholson. Thirteen percent of respondents said their secondary jobs were related to their main job. For example, someone who works as a chartered accountant could help friends and family with their personal accounts and finances.
About 53% of respondents said they would prefer to make a career from their “other” job.
These jobs include event planning, garden services, photography, catering, making and selling products, waitressing and tutoring.
“It was not just the younger end of the age continuum, it applies across age bands, people in their 50s and 60s have other forms of income too,” said Nicholson.
Of the respondents, 63% said they enjoy having more than one job, while 42% said they struggle to cope but need the money. About 38% said they are Slashers because financially they are unable to make ends meet. Only 17% of respondents said the additional jobs are having a negative impact on their family and personal life.
Over half (55%) of respondents choose to be Slashers to support their lifestyles, while 45% are saving for a rainy day, and 43% said they are Slashers to pay off debt, the research showed.
Nicholson explained that besides having extra disposable income, people want to ensure their job security in difficult economic times. “If one goes bad, they can fall back on the other,” she said.
A lot has to do with passion, and many people are trying to find something they like to do which is why they take on multiple jobs, she explained. Deciding to become a Slasher is also linked to the personality trait people have. “It does not suit everyone, and goes better with someone who has an entrepreneurial personality.”
This entrepreneurial activity is good for South Africa, said Nicholson. “By earning more than one income, people will have more money to save.” However, on the negative side having more than one job is time-consuming.
About 37% of respondents said they are Slashers because they want to retire comfortably one day, and 37% are doing it because they expect to care financially for their families at some point, the survey indicated.
Less than a third (29%) of respondents are saving their additional income for their children, while 31% are saving for future travels and 26% to buy a house.