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By Alicia Pillai, Content Specialist Financial Sector Conduct Authority, Consumer Education
This week, as Black Friday mania is hitting the country, the message from the FSCA is "Do not spend, what you don't have!" but rather to think before you shop. Avoid the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) on a bargain feeling. Just because it's a "special" does not mean you need it or that you must buy it on credit. There are many people who have spent thousands of Rands' in last years' Black Friday craze in pursuit of instant gratification. The sad truth is, a year later, they are still paying it off. This year, why don't you use Black Friday wisely and SHOP WITH A PURPOSE! You might ask, what does shopping with a purpose mean?
1) You are looking for a new bed [the purpose]. 2) You have saved R6000 over the past year for this bed [the budget]. 3) You have been looking at various places over the past few months that stock the type and size of the bed you want [research].
So, for Black Friday the plan is clear when you shop with a purpose;
If you have taken the day off, wake up early and go to the store you have selected.
Enter the store with the purpose in mind. Try not to look at the other "specials".
For extra precaution, you can set your card limit to R6000 [your budget], so that you do not over spend.
OPERATION: Get bed - Pay for bed - Leave store!
Wait for the delivery of the bed at home! Consumerism engulfs us this time of year and consumers are lured to spend money they don't necessarily have, all because of this once-a-year-opportunity when stores stay open for longer and "specials" last for a week! Be careful that the "special" you bought on Black Friday, does not leave you in the Red on Monday! We need to be more consumer-savvy, cash conscious and plan prior to Black Friday shopping expeditions. Alternatively, if you have no purpose, make a list of the items that you want to get next year, and start working on saving for your goal. This year however, avoid the temptation of spending for the "sale of it", shop with a purpose or keep yourself occupied at the office or at home.