With Black Friday and the upcoming holiday season, consumers become vulnerable and tend to spend money on unbudgeted items or shop beyond their budget.
As guardians of economic development in the Free State, DESTEA warns consumers to be smart spenders and save during Black Friday and the holiday season.
The majority of consumers change their spending habits during the festive season and indulge in the situation of spending money they don’t have. As a result, they end up spending beyond their means and signing contractual agreements that they haven’t read well.
MEC Makalo Mohale explained that, “Lack of financial education and planning are contributing factors as most consumers continue to spend regardless of rising inflation and rising interest rates.”
Meanwhile, criminals are also taking advantage of the hype. Consumers therefore need to be vigilant at all times with their hard-earned money, car keys and bank cards.
Become a savvy shopper during Black Friday and the holiday season by saving or focusing on essentials like next year’s school uniform, school fees, investments, and more.
Here are several ways to keep your spending under control this festive season:
- Always plan ahead before you spend and figure out what you can afford before you spend – Set a budget.
- Always have a festive budget – set aside your income against living expenses and debt. This will help you be realistic about how much you can spend on gifts, travel, accommodations, and other entertainment during this time.
- Always pay your creditors (store accounts, insurance, and medical plan) on time during the holiday season.
- Avoid small purchases, such as dining out, movies, daily takeout, snacks, magazines, etc. All of this can add up to a big debt burden.
- Avoid spending your 13th check/bonus on your “wants” instead of your “needs”, eg expensive clothes are “wants” and school uniforms are “needs”.
- Always look for the best deals and prices before making a purchase.
- Always watch out for “buy now, pay later” offers.
- As you pass the festive season, always remember that some bills such as electricity, water and telephones do not go on vacation during the festive season and will have to be paid on New Years.
- Avoid wasting money on inferior products as you will spend more money on repairs. For example, cell phones.
NB Always shop with January in mind.
Remember: “You have rights as a consumer. Understand them. Make them respected”.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the South African Government.
This press release was issued by APO. Content is not vetted by the African Business editorial team and none of the content has been checked or validated by our editorial teams, proofreaders or fact checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.