The One Rand Man | A Social Experiment


When we think about money it’s usually about how much we have, how much we’d like or how much we spend, but do we ever think about how much we save? July is National Savings Month and in a social experiment made possible by Sanlam one man, dubbed the One Rand Man, is going to the extremes to track his personal finances.


It all started when a 32 year old architectural-consultant from Cape Town wondered what would happen if he was forced to live entirely off coins. Would he feel more connected to his money? Would he spend less, or would he save more? The only was to answer these questions, he decided, would be to recieve his entire months salary in R1 coins. To ensure that he has no way of cheating all of his bank accounts, cards and debit orders have been frozen until the end of the month.


For the next few weeks the One Rand Man is going to have to sacrifice many of the conveniences he has grown accustomed to, with the upside of being able to see every single rand that leaves his pocket. Using hidden cameras to capture his unique experiences and his interactions with unsuspecting people as he adapts to this unorthodox lifestyle, the journey of the One Rand Man will be captured in a 5 part documentary series.


Watch the first installment below, and follow him on Instagram or Twitter to see how things progress.




  1. peter prinsloo

    Just saw one rand man on expresso. Heard him say the counting is a problem. I have a suggestion. Carry a small scale around with you. Weigh 100 coins and 50 coins.
    Easier still make a guage……cut a piece of wood 2,5×2,5cm accurately to the size of 100 coins. Just stack up the coins to the level of the block. It will take only seconds to count 100 coins. Do the same for 50 coins. In fact just the 50 coin guage will suffice. Also one for 10 coins. Then, just remove the ones you dont need. Example: to pay R47, measure 50 and just remove 3. It will be much quicker. To pay R347 then 3 stacks of 100, one stack of 50…. remove 3. It will also be less frustrating and much neater for the cashier. Forget the scale. Hope this helps lol.

  2. I love the Behavioral economics principles here! Thaler would be proud.

  3. how much did he start with