The government and financial industry in South Africa are increasingly aware of the need to provide financial services to poor households, but a lack of understanding of the financial needs of the poor makes this task a difficult one. The Financial Diaries study addresses this knowledge gap by examining financial management in rural and urban households in South Africa.

The Financial Diaries project is a year-long household survey that examines financial management in poor households. Fortnightly interviews were conducted in three different areas in South Africa: Langa in Cape Town, Diepsloot in Johannesburg and Lugangeni, a rural village in the Eastern Cape.

Please see our Focus Notes on the Key Findings page, which address a number of topics such as indebtedness, medical spending and savings. Detailed individual household profiles can be found on the Household Profiles page. The search function allows the viewer to segment households by area, dwelling type, income and net worth.

The Financial Diaries dataset is available through DataFirst at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and can be accessed at

For further questions on the Financial Diaries, please contact Daryl Collins on or, or phone Brenda Adams in the SALDRU offices at UCT on (27) 21 650 5696.

The Financial Diaries project is funded by FinMark Trust, the Ford Foundation and the Micro Finance Regulatory Council.

Home | Methodology | Key Findings | Household Profiles | Financial Diaries Team | Related Links
Disclaimer | Comments & Questions