Consumers warned to be wise

The euphoria and spending spree of the past Black Friday may add to the spending culture in store as the festive season commences.

This concerns the National Credit Regulator (NCR) who advised consumers to avoid getting caught by sales gimmicks and to approach the festive season with level heads.

“Don’t give in to impulse buying and avoid being tempted by the flood of advertisements in the media,” cautioned the NCR’s Mpho Ramapala in a statement.

The regulator said Black Friday may have triggered an overspending binge that could set the consumers back financially in the new year if they spent carelessly in the festive season.

“Before you break the bank, ensure you have prioritised your necessities for the months ahead, like your bond, rent and transport. A sale does not necessarily mean that you must shop until you drop, certainly not if you haven’t budgeted for it and have more important commitments. Never fund your Black Friday or festive shopping spree by taking unnecessary credit and getting into debt.”

Read: South Africans are not the world’s biggest alcohol consumers

The regulator advised consumers to spend their money cautiously:

  • If it is on sale and you buy it on credit, remember that interest and fees will push up the prize. Cash is king for sale items
  • Don’t spend what you don’t have. Don’t live beyond your means and don’t buy if you haven’t budgeted
  • Set a realistic budget of what you can afford to spend before you shop on Black Friday or do your Christmas shopping and stick to it
  • Don’t shop without a plan and place everything on your credit or store card
  • Plan your budget for the festive season and new year and include all debt, rent, electricity, water, insurance, transport, gifts, school uniforms, stationery, entertainment and other essentials
  • Make a shopping list to avoid buying unnecessary items. If you don’t need it now, chances are you may never need it. Avoid wasting your time and hard earned money
  • Don’t blow your bonus on treats. Spend wisely and rather pay off your debts
  • Shop around for specials and compare prizes.

Details: National Credit Regulator 011 554 2722

Leseho Manala

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