With less than 24 hours to go before arguably the biggest shopping phenomenon of the year, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) is urging the public to spend their money wisely.
“While millions of shoppers count down the hours until the much awaited Black Friday sale tomorrow, the NCR advises consumers to avoid getting caught by sales gimmicks and approach Black Friday offers with a level head,” said the regulator.
Manager of Education and Communication at the NCR, Mpho Ramapala, urged South Africans not to fall into the trap of impulse buying and to avoid being tempted by the flood of advertisements in the media.
Black Friday, which originates in the United States, is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day, which has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, has in recent years started gaining traction in South Africa.
“With the festive season just around the corner, Black Friday may just trigger an overspending binge that could set you back financially in the new year if you are not cautious. Before you break the bank this Black Friday, please ensure that you have prioritised your necessities for the month(s) ahead like your bond/rent, transport etc.,” said Ramapala on Thursday.
In addition the NCR — which is responsible for the regulation of the South African credit industry — said a sale does not necessarily mean that consumers must shop until they drop.
It urged the public to never fund their Black Friday or festive shopping spree by taking unnecessary loans/credit and getting into debt.
Ramapala also shared some advice on surviving Black Friday and spending wisely during the festive season. These are:
- If it is on sale and you buy it on credit, remember that interest and fees will push up the price. Therefore, cash is king for sale items.
- Don’t spend what you don’t have – this means do not live beyond your means and don’t buy if you haven’t budgeted;
- Set a realistic budget of what you can afford to spend at the beginning of your Black Friday/Christmas shopping and stick to it;
- Don’t shop in a hurry, without a plan and place everything on your credit/ store card;
- Plan carefully and pay particular attention to your budget, especially bearing in mind the additional expenses that come with the new year;
- Have a shopping list to avoid buying unnecessary items – if you don’t need it now, chances are you may never need it. So avoid wasting your time and hard earned money;
- If you want to begin the New Year in a financially sound position, be aware of how you spend your money during this period and save for the New Year;
- Do a budget for the festive season which includes all debt, rent, electricity, water, insurance, transport, gifts, school uniform, stationery, entertainment etc;
- Don’t blow your bonus on treats. Spend Wisely and rather pay off your debts and
- Shop around for specials and compare prizes.
“Spend wisely tomorrow and during the festive season and enjoy a financially relaxed and peaceful new year. Remember that if you choose to ignore your budget and break the bank on Black Friday or max out your credit cards for festive shopping you may be headed for a cash strapped and bleak 2018,” said Ramapala.
The NCR is an agent of the Department of Trade and Industry.