Spend wisely this festive season

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Consumers have been encouraged to spend their money wisely this festive season and avoid overspending.

“As consumer protection agencies, we encourage consumers to spend wisely and be savvy. Don’t let a Black Friday Sale end with a Black Listing - only buy what you need not what you want just because it seems to be a good deal,” Gauteng Office of Consumer Affairs (GOCA)  Director for Education, Awareness and Stakeholder Relations, Milly Viljoen, said.

The Gauteng Department of Economic Development said many consumers get caught up in the same cycle of sales and promotions during the festive season.

“Consumers recklessly spend their hard-earned cash and bonuses on goods and services that they did not budget for.

“They end up overspending early in the month of December without purchasing essential items such as school uniforms, and consequently resort to loans and money lenders in January,” the department said.

The GOCA under the auspices of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development will embark on a campaign of consumer education and awareness across the province targeting shopping malls and taxi ranks during the festive season.

The campaign starts on Tuesday and will run until 20 December. It will be held under the theme: #WiseConsumersSpendWisely.

Consumers are urged to take the following tips into consideration this festive season:

  • Consumers should set a budget for the festive season;
  • Consumers should live according to that budget and in accordance with what they can afford;
  • Try to pay cash (debit cards) when purchasing items - buying on credit could mean that the initial saving on the sale price is paid for twice due to high interest rates;
  • Shop Smart and Save - by shopping around and visiting price comparison websites, consumers will ensure that they get a good deal;
  • Remember the “RRR”- you have the same right to repair, replace and refund of defective and unsafe goods purchased online as of that purchased in a store;
  • By using your bonus/13th cheque to pay off small debts, your credit cards or towards your home loan, will not only reduce the interest payable but also the term of the debt, e.g. paying extra into your home loan each month or paying lump sums every time you have extra cash will reduce the 20-year term;
  • Consumers should make provisions for unforeseen circumstances; and
  • Spend wisely this festive - remember most stores have sales the beginning of the New Year.

    “By taking the above tips into consideration consumers can enjoy the festive season and start off the New Year hopefully without financial stress and new debt,” Viljoen said. – SAnews.gov.za 

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