Black Friday, festive season splurge warning

Consumers are urged to avoid getting into more debt, especially for non-essential items, such as luxury goods.

South Africans have been urged to be cautious when splurging this Black Friday and during the festive season as things look bleak after the finance minister’s address recently.

Tabling his medium-term budget policy statement in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana painted a bleak picture of the state of the country’s finances saying government spending has exceeded revenue since the 2008 global financial crisis.

With the mega retail event that is Black Friday approaching, followed by the festive season and Christmas, back to school, Valentine’s Day and then Easter, financial experts are cautioning consumers to be more mindful of their spending.

Hayley Parry, money coach and facilitator at 1Life’s Truth About Money, said people need to be critically intentional about managing the money they have.

“The state of our nation’s finances are mirroring the state of some of our personal finances which means it’s a little messy and its definitely hard at the moment. I know the temptation to splurge is there. It’s been a tough year and Black Friday is coming, Cyber Monday is coming, then we’ve got the holidays and Christmas, but, unfortunately, we’ve also got January.

“Everyone knows that December debts create ‘Janu-worry’ which makes it tough for people to buy the things they need, like school uniforms and stationery,” said Parry.

She said since November 2021, South Africa has had 10 interest rate increases.

“For you and I, that means that the cost of servicing any debts we have just keeps going up. There is a chance that the cost of that debt is going to increase further before it stabilises or gets better.”

She urged consumers to, if possible, avoid getting into more debt, especially for non-essential items, such as luxury goods.

Before splurging on Black Friday sales, Parry said people must make sure that they have saved enough for the splurging that they want to do because buying on credit means that you will be paying it off at a higher rate.

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