Pearl Thusi has been behaving a little differently this July. She’s been quite conspicuously thrifty. Fixing her own clothes and shopping at second hand stores, trading manicures with her daughter and choosing free outdoor activities over more expensive pastimes.

Some fans have been surprised by their idol’s lesser-known frugal side, but most are right behind her. In a really tough economy, Thusi’s many social media admirers seem to really relate to her choices – she’s received tens of thousands of likes and hundreds of comments like these:

  • mshildah I cannot lie, I’m so impressed at how lately you’re promoting saving money and it is not about popping bottles. @pearlthusi, how can I not fall more and more in love with you though
  • mrsmbundwini_official LMAO you are on some saving mode these days.. I shouldd try practicing your habits myself..
  • craig_sibiya Seems like most well-known people are cutting cost lately, taking a break from the lavish and being simple like ordinary citizens. Nice one @pearlthusi

Thusi’s #ConspicuousSaving is part of a collaboration with Sanlam for National Savings Month. Every July, South Africans are urged to focus on taking care of their finances by getting out of debilitating debt, investing for the future, having a monthly budget and saving for things rather than taking on credit. Sanlam always uses the opportunity to find new and creative ways to engage on the subject. In previous years, they were the force behind multi-award winning social experiments the One Rand Man and the One Rand Family.

#ConspicuousSaving gains street cred
This year, Thusi and her ‘partner’ in the initiative, rapper Cassper Nyovest, worked alongside Sanlam. Their mutual goal was a clear one: to raise the street cred associated with ‘conspicuous saving’ and to get us to think before we spend.

The Wealthsmiths over at Sanlam believe there should be a sense of pride instilled in people for managing their money well, that saving should come with its own set of bragging rights. By living within your means today you will be able to live your best possible life tomorrow.

And with an icon like Thusi right behind the idea, their chances of success are pretty high. Thusi needed no convincing to get involved with National Savings Month. At her core, she remains a humble girl who has had her fair share of hard knocks and who has worked hard to set up an amazing future for herself and her family.

The lifestyle she normally reflects to the public is a more opulent one, but a lot of it is for show. She is successful, but first and foremost she is a mother who is doing everything she does for her daughter Thando. She is teaching her little girl good values, she has a very strong business ethic and she has very good handle on her finances. Thusi has taught us that there is in fact a difference between earning a big salary and being truly wealth.

Sanlam aims to help consumers understand that money is not a limitless resource. It’s not how much money you make but rather what you do with it that counts – so while we are earning, we should be putting away for the days when we don’t have an income anymore.

Consumers are inundated daily with messages encouraging them to spend and the group is committed to encouraging consumers to prioritise their financial needs so they don’t get tempted to spend conspicuously. Because ultimately, the more we save, the more domestic wealth the country has, which makes it easier to fund investment, jobs and better living standards. DESTINY hopes that the initiative will inspire many more of us to get sensible with our money.

One Instagrammer summed Thusi and Nyovest’s thrift story perfectly:

memakwala You and @casspernyovest are cutting costs, now that might be inspiring

Want to know more about this social experiment? Take a look at the documentary featuring Pearl and campaign ‘partner’ Cassper Nyovest.